Orlando, FL –The Adirondack Thunder were unable to replicate Thursday’s success in Orlando as they dropped a 6-3 decision on Saturday evening at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.
The Solar Bears opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game as forward Brian Christie scored the first goal of his professional career. After an Orlando faceoff win in the offensive zone, Jack Rodewald fired a shot towards the net and Christie got his stick on the puck to redirect it past Adirondack netminder Drew Fielding for the goal. Rodewald and Brady Vail had the assists on the play, the team leading 33rd of the season for Vail.
The home side struck again just under six minutes later as the Solar Bears increased their lead to 2-0 at the 8:43 mark of the first. An outlet pass from defenseman Mark Louis sent Rylan Schwartz streaking down the left wing and into the attacking zone. After his first shot was denied by Fielding, the Orlando winger collected his rebound and wrapped it around the cage and inside the far post for his 16th goal of the season. Louis had the lone helper on the play, his seventh of the season.
Orlando added their third of the evening just 38 seconds into the second period as they converted immediately after an Adirondack power play had expired. Vail and Rodewald connected again off the rush, as they moved the puck into the attacking end, where Rodewald hit Orlando captain Eric Baier out of the penalty box and he finished from the slot to make it 3-0. Baier’s goal marked his seventh of the season while both Vail and Rodewald collected multi-point nights with their second assists of the evening.
The Solar Bears capitalized once again late in the middle stanza as Jack Bradford slammed home a loose puck in the slot for his seventh tally of the season. A stout forecheck from Orlando forwards Austin Block and Johnny McInnis jarred the puck loose and into the slot, where a streaking Bradford hit it home for his team’s fourth goal of the evening. Both Block and McInnis found the scoresheet for the second straight night against the Thunder, the 16th helper of the season for McInnis.
Adirondack got on the board late in the second period as Mathieu Brodeur fired a slap shot through traffic with just 19 seconds remaining in the period to give the Thunder life headed into the third. After the Thunder worked the puck in the attacking end, Jeff Silengo sent a cross-ice feed to Brodeur at the right point and the 6-6 defenseman fired a shot through a screen from Gunnar Hughes and into the back of the net for his eighth goal of the season. Silengo and Terrence Wallin had the helpers on the play, the second game in a row Wallin has recorded an assist.
The Thunder got another goal early in the third period as a nice individual effort from Terrence Wallin cut the deficit to 4-2 with 17:46 still to play in the third. After Silengo dumped the puck behind the Orlando net, Wallin recovered it below the goal line, walked in front, spun to his forehand and beat Orlando netminder Ryan Massa short side for his third goal of the season. With the helper, Silengo collected his sixth multi-point game of the season on his second assist of the night.
Orlando extended their lead back to three goals less than a minute later, however, as T.J. Foster became the fifth Solar Bear to find the back of the net at the 3:03 mark of the third period. After an Adirondack turnover, the Solar Bears came down 2-on-1 and Denver Manderson hit a wide open Foster at the back post for the tap-in goal. Just over six minutes later at the 9:34 mark of the third, Foster struck again as he redirected home a Chris Bradley shot and the Solar Bears opened up a 6-2 lead for the home side. Bradley and Schwartz had the assists on the play, giving Schwartz a multi-point game with a goal and a helper.
Adirondack added a late goal with less than three minutes to play in the game to cut their deficit to the final score of 6-3. After a Thunder breakout, a nifty pass from Peter MacArthur sprung a 2-on-1 rush where James Henry kept the puck himself and put a wrist shot underneath the crossbar for his fifth tally of the season. MacArthur and Patch Alber collected the helpers on the play, the fifth in two nights for MacArthur.
Adirondack looks to take tomorrow evening’s rubber match and four points in their three-game trip to Orlando. The Thunder then return home on March 22 and will have seven of their final eight games at the Civic Center as they push towards the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
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