Norfolk, VA – The Adirondack Thunder were unable to build off of a three-point weekend as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Norfolk Admirals on Thursday evening at the Norfolk Scope.
Norfolk opened the scoring 4:57 into the game as Scott Allen picked up his 15th goal of the season to open up a 1-0 lead for the home side. After the Admirals won a battle in the corner, Michael Pelech fed the puck into the slot where Allen was cutting through and the Norfolk winger fired past Adirondack netminder Drew Fielding for the goal. The goal for Allen marked his fourth of the season against Adirondack, tied for the team lead, while Pelech’s assist was his 28th helper of 2015-16 campaign.
The Admirals would strike again with 5:54 to play in the opening period as they took a 2-0 lead on a goal from defenseman Samuel Noreau. After the Norfolk forecheck won the puck beneath the goal line, Pelech fed the puck to Noreau at the right point, where the 6’5” defenseman wired a one-timer that deflected off of a Thunder defenseman’s skate and past Fielding for Noreau’s third of the season. Pelech and Jonathan Lessard had the helpers on the play, a team high eighth point of the season for Lessard against Adirondack.
Adirondack got on the board late in the first period as they capitalized on a power play with 4:42 left on the clock to cut their deficit to 2-1. After Peter MacArthur had his shot from the slot denied by Norfolk netminder Ty Rimmer, Louick Marcotte pound on the rebound and put his first shot off the left post before he followed up with the tap in goal. The tally for Marcotte was his 15th of the season and his seventh over his past six games played, while MacArthur collected his eighth point over his last six games played with the lone assist.
The home side opened the middle stanza with a goal just 3:14 in. Norfolk forward Greg Chase cruised down the left wing and into the offensive zone, where he fired a pass to Braden Christoffer in the middle of the ice, who one-timed the puck home to increase the advantage to 3-1. The tally for Christoffer marked his third goal of the season, while Chase collected his tenth assist and 25th point in 27 games this season.
The Thunder bounced back with a goal of their own, however, as they once again capitalized with the man advantage. Michael Kirkpatrick weaved through the Norfolk defense and put a backhanded shot on net from the bottom of the lefthand circle. The puck squired through Rimmer’s pads into the path of Gunnar Hughes, where the winger smacked it in for his tenth goal of the season. The goal marked the tenth time this season the Thunder have scored multiple power-play goals.
The high scoring affair continued as the Admirals found the back of the net for the fourth time with 5:46 remaining in the second period. Norfolk worked the puck in the offensive zone through forward Nick MacNeil, who fed a pass to Maxime Legault at the top of the right-hand circle and the St. Agathe, PQ native put a shot towards the goal that hit a Thunder skate in front and deflected past Fielding for the goal. Legault’s tally was his third of the season, while MacNeil and Nick Pageau collected their ninth and 15th helpers of the season respectively.
Norfolk put the icing on the cake in a penalty filled third period with an insurance goal inside five minutes to play in the game. With Adirondack pressing for a goal, Norfolk took an odd man rush the other way and a tic-tac-toe passing play set up Pageau in front for a spinning, backhanded goal, his fourth of the season. Chase and Dean Ouelett collected the helpers on the play, the first multi-assist game of the season for Chase.
Adirondack would get back on the board late in the third as Luke Curadi collected his third goal of the season with 1:25 to play in the game. With the puck deep in the offensive zone, James Henry fed the puck out in front, where Curadi stepped in from the point and one-timed it past Rimmer for the goal. The helper marked the ninth of the season for Henry as he got on the scoresheet in his first game back from injury.
The Thunder and Admirals will meet again tomorrow evening before the Thunder conclude their three-in-three set on Saturday night in South Carolina. Tomorrow night's game is set for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop while Saturday's contest begins at 7:00 p.m.
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