Glens Falls NY - The Adirondack Thunder avenged last evening’s defeat as they came out on top with a 4-2 victory, led by Michael Kirkpatrick’s two-goal performance, on Saturday evening at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Stingrays opened the scoring under two minutes into the first period when their penalty kill unit forced a turnover in the defensive zone, which led to Paul Rodrigues’ shorthanded breakaway goal. Rodrigues took the breakout pass from David Pacan, skated into the offensive zone and fired top shelf over Adirondack netminder Ken Appleby’s glove. The goal was the sixth on the season for the SUNY Oswego graduate, while Pacan earned his sixteenth helper this year.
The Thunder tied the game on shorthanded goal of their own only a few minutes into the second period. Gunnar Hughes forced a turnover in the neutral zone and led a two-on-one break into the offensive end, where he fired a wrist shot just before reaching the hashmarks past opposing goaltender Mark Dekanich. Hughes’ goal was his seventh this season and his second over the past three games.
Adirondack then took the lead with just over three minutes remaining in the second period. After generating pressure and creating traffic in front of the net, Mathieu Brodeur collected the puck after his first attempt was blocked, wound up again and sent a low shot from the point through the chaos and under the pads of Dekanich into the back of the net for his fourth goal on the year.
The home team increased their lead to a two-goal margin with just ten seconds remaining in the middle period. Michael Kirkpatrick took a pass from Patch Alber at the left faceoff dot, skated into the slot and rifled a shot past the out stretched glove of Dekanich for the power-play goal. It was Kirkpatrick’s team leading thirteenth goal of the season, while Alber added his ninth helper on the year. Also tallying an assist was Ryan Constant, who tied Kirkpatrick for the team lead at fifteen.
South Carolina cut the deficit back to one just nineteen seconds into the third period on Paul Rodrigues’ second tally of night. After the Stingrays gained control of the puck along the boards, defenseman Nick Jones shot high from the point leading to a Rodrigues redirection of the puck down and through Appleby’s fivehole. Rodrigues’ seventh goal of the year created his first two goal game this season, while Jones picked up his ninth assist.
Kirkpatrick put the nail in the coffin with nineteen seconds to go as he scored on the empty net. Peter MacArthur dumped the puck into the zone, where Alex Carrier found the it and put it towards the net, finding Kirkpatrick all alone to tap it in. Kirkpatrick’s fourteenth goal gave him his second two-goal game of the year while Carrier added his sixth assist.
With the victory, the Thunder improve to 21-9-1-1 and leapfrog the Stingrays in the conference standings to tie the Atlanta Gladiators for fourth place with 44 points. The Thunder return to the Civic Center ice Tuesday night to take on divisional foe Norfolk in the fourth game of their five game home stand. It will be the fifth meeting this season between the two teams, with each taking two of the previous four matchups.
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