Manchester, NH – The Adirondack Thunder rebounded from last evening’s defeat with a 5-3 victory over the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday evening at SNHU Arena.
Forward Shane Conacher led the Thunder with two goals and two assists for a four-point effort, while forward Troy Bourke tallied a goal and two assists. Forwards Kenton Miller and Ryan Schmelzer also found the back of the net for the Thunder, while goaltender Drew Fielding compiled 35 saves to earn his 17th victory of the season.
The Thunder opened the scoring with less than two minutes to play in the first period as Schmelzer scored the first goal of his professional career. Forward Mike Szmatula, stationed at the top of the right-hand circle, fired a shot towards the net that Schmelzer redirected past Manchester netminder Charles Williams for the game-opening goal, which came on the man advantage. Szmatula and Conacher collected the assists on the play, Conacher’s 41st of the season.
Adirondack doubled its advantage early in the second period as Miller collected his third goal with the Thunder and his 24th overall on the season. Miller took the puck down the right wing, shielded it around the Manchester defense and beat Williams on the short side for the goal. Defenseman Conor Riley collected the lone assist on the play, his 13th helper of the season.
The Monarchs rebounded with a goal of their own as forward Ashton Rome cashed in a rebound opportunity for his eighth tally of the season. 5:01 into the second period, a shot on net by forward Michael Doherty was kicked aside by Fielding, but the rebound fell to Rome who buried it to get his team on the board. Doherty and defenseman Jared Kolquist collected the assists on the play, Kolquist’s third of the season.
The visitors responded with a pair of Conacher goals less than three minutes apart to open up a 4-1 advantage. First, 11:30 into the second period, Bourke, stationed behind the net, fed Conacher in the slot where he beat Williams for his 16th goal of the season. Conacher struck again 2:12 later as he finished off a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play for his second tally of the evening. After a turnover by the Monarchs in the neutral zone, Bourke, Schmelzer and Conacher moved the puck around a Manchester defenseman before Conacher converted a tap-in for his 17th tally of the season.
Adirondack struck again inside four minutes remaining in the middle stanza as Bourke collected his third point of the game with his eighth goal of the season. With the Thunder on the man advantage, Bourke walked in from the left-hand circle and fired a shot past the glove of Williams for the goal. Defenseman Desmond Bergin and Conacher collected the assists on the play as Conacher netted his fourth point of the evening.
Manchester pulled a goal back 6:49 into the third period as Kolquist scored his first goal as a professional. With the Monarchs on the power play, Kolquist, stationed inside the right-hand circle, took a feed from forward Matt Schmalz and shot through traffic, past a screened Fielding for the goal. Schmalz and defenseman David Kolomatis collected the assists on the play, the 21st helper of the season for Kolomatis.
The hosts struck again with less than two minutes remaining in regulation as Doherty collected his second point of the evening and 18th goal of the season. Stationed behind the Adirondack net, Schmalz fed the puck in front to Doherty, who went backhand-to-forehand for the goal. Schmalz and Kolomatis collected the assists on the play, the second helper of the game for both players.
Adirondack is back in action this week with three games, beginning on Wednesday evening in Worcester, where a Thunder victory would clinch a Kelly Cup Playoff berth. Visit ECHLThunder.com or call 518-480-3355 x1 to get tickets for all upcoming Thunder home games.
Adirondack Thunder Hockey – This Is Our Team