02/09/2018 11:04 AM
Norfolk, VA – The Adirondack Thunder dropped their first of three games in Norfolk this week as they fell 7-4 to the Admirals on Friday evening at the Norfolk Scope.
Forwards Paul Rodrigues, Terrence Wallin, Pierre-Luc Mercier and Brian Ward each found the back of the net for the Thunder in defeat. Drew Fielding turned aside 31 shots while teammate Tomas Sholl came on late in relief and made five saves on six shots.
Adirondack opened the scoring 6:20 into the first period as Rodrigues found the back of the net in his first game back from injury to put the guests ahead 1-0. Defenseman Mike Bergin started the sequence, as he fed the puck behind the Norfolk net to teammate Shane Conacher. Conacher then fed a pass through the legs of a Norfolk defenseman to Rodrigues, who one-timed his shot over the shoulder of Norfolk netminder Ty Reichenbach for his ninth tally of the season. Conacher and Bergin collected the assists on the play, Bergin’s fifth point of the season.
The Admirals tied the game at one as they scored less than three minutes from the end of the opening period. After Tommy Schutt flipped the puck high in the air from his own end, the puck deflected off of an Adirondack skate and directly to Darik Angeli, who fired a wrist shot past Fielding for his 16th goal of the season. Angeli’s goal was recorded as unassisted.
The Thunder regained the lead early in the second period as forward Terrence Wallin extended his away scoring streak to six games with his 15th goal of the season. Stationed on the right wing, center Brian Ward slotted a feed across the ice, through a pair of Norfolk defenders to Wallin, who one-timed his shot inside the near post for the go-ahead goal. Ward and defenseman Colton White collected the assists on the play, the first helper of White’s ECHL career.
Norfolk fought back to take a 3-2 lead with a pair of goals in the second half of the middle stanza. First, after the hosts won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Schutt fed Melancon at the right point, where he fired wide, but the rebound bounced off the end wall to Angeli and he whacked it home for his 17th tally of the season. Just 2:02 from the intermission, the Admirals scored a power-play goal as defenseman Michael Young one-timed a Patrick D’Amico feed past a screened Fielding for his seventh tally of the season. D’Amico and Schutt collected the assists on the play, Schutt’s second of the evening.
The home side opened up a three-goal lead early in the third period courtesy of a pair of goals by forward Grant Besse. First, just 81 seconds into the third period, defenseman Sam Ftorek fired a shot on net, which was turned aside by Fielding, but the puck redirected off of an Adirondack player directly into the path of Besse, who backhanded it home. Less than two minutes later, Besse struck again as he took a breakaway pass from Norfolk captain Brodie Dupont and beat Fielding through the five hole for his 20th goal of the season.
The visitors pulled a goal back less than two minutes after Besse’s second tally as Mercier buried a persistent individual effort for his 13th goal of the season. After he took a cross-ice pass from defenseman Mathieu Brodeur, Mercier entered the offensive zone and, after he saw his first two shot attempts blocked, he drove the net and converted on the third try for the goal. Brodeur and Bergin collected the assists on the play, Bergin’s second helper of the evening.
Just past the halfway point of the third period, the Admirals regained their three-goal advantage as Angeli completed the hat trick for a 6-3 lead. The Norfolk forward exited the penalty box, skated down the left flank, used an Adirondack defenseman as a screen and fired high glove side for his 18th goal of the season. Angeli’s tally was his second unassisted goal of the evening for his second career ECHL hat trick.
The Admirals struck again with less than five minutes to play in regulation as forward Christian Horn scored his sixth goal of the season. After a sequence of shots on goal against Sholl, a rebound kicked to Horn in the high slot where he wired his shot into the back of the net for the 7-3 advantage. Dupont and Young collected he assists on the play, the second point of the evening for both players.
Adirondack concluded the scoring on the evening with just 25 seconds to play as Ward capped off a multi-point game with a late goal. The Thunder’s top line of forward James Henry, Wallin and Ward connected on a tic-tac-toe passing play in the offensive zone, which ended with Ward’s goal from the slot to close his team’s deficit to the 7-4 final. Wallin and Henry collected the assists on the play, Henry’s team-leading 41st point of the season.
The Thunder and Admirals continue their three-game set this weekend with games tomorrow and Sunday at the Norfolk Scope. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. tomorrow and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Visit ECHLThunder.com or call 518-480-3355 x1 for tickets to upcoming Thunder home games.
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