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THUNDER FALL 5-4 TO MONARCHS IN FRONT OF SOLD OUT CIVIC CENTER

Saturday, April 9th
THUNDER FALL 5-4 TO MONARCHS IN FRONT OF SOLD OUT CIVIC CENTER

Glens Falls, NY - The Adirondack Thunder fell to the Manchester Monarchs by a 5-4 score in the final game of the regular season on Saturday evening in front of a sold out Glens Falls Civic Center. The Thunder and Monarchs will meet again in round one of the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs, beginning on Wednesday evening in Manchester.

Manchester opened the scoring just after the midway point of the opening period, when Michael Boivin netted his tenth goal of the season, coming on the man advantage. The Monarchs set up heavy traffic in front of Adirondack netminder Ken Appleby and Boivin’s shot from the point snuck its way through and into the back of the net. Assisting on the play were Maxim Kitsyn and Gasper Kopitar, earning their 28th and 24th assists of the year respectively.

The Monarchs struck again with 4:39 remaining in the first period, when Matt Fornataro forced a neutral zone turnover and led a two on one rush into the Thunder zone. Fielding turned away Fornataro’s initial shot but the puck took a long rebound onto the stick of Zac Larazza, who buried it into the back of the net. It was the 19th goal of the year for Larazza, while Fornataro picked up his ninth assist. Darik Angeli added the secondary assist on the play, his tenth.

The visitors added a third tally just before the end of the period when Ryan McGrath set up shop in front of the net and redirected Alex Lintuniemi’s blast from the point over the left shoulder of Fielding for his fourth goal of the year. For Lintuniemi, it was his 16th assist of the campaign, while Jacob Middleton added the secondary assist on the play, his first in his second game with the team.

The Thunder got on the board with a power-play goal of their own with under eight minutes left in the second period, coming off the stick of Mathieu Brodeur. Brodeur took the feed from Patch Alber, wound up and blasted a rocket of a shot over the outstretched glove of Manchester goalie Doug Carr for his ninth tally on the year. Alber picked up his 28th assist on the play, while Michael Kirkpatrick, who contributed the secondary assist on the play, his thirtieth, stretched his point streak to three games.

Minutes later, Adirondack cut the deficit to one, once again striking on the power play, with forward Terrence Wallin lighting the lamp. Kirkpatrick positioned himself at the top of the left faceoff circle, took a pass from Alber and fired a shot that Wallin tipped off of Carr and into the back of the net. Wallin’s goal was his fourth of the 2015-16 season, while Kirkpatrick and Alber collected assists on the play, giving both a multi-point effort.

The Monarchs pushed the lead back to two with 13:38 left in the game. Lintunemi took a pass from Maxim Kitsyn, carried the puck down the center lane and dropped it back too Gasper Kopitar, who fired underneath Fielding, who was diving across the crease to attempt the save. The goal was the ninth of the year for Kopitar, while Lintunemi and Kitsyn notched their 17th and 29th assists respectively.

Manchester increased the lead to back to three when Zac Larazza forced a turnover in the Thunder zone, skated through the slot uncontested and fired over Fielding for his twentieth goal of the year and third two-goal effort.

The Thunder got one back with a just over a minute left in regulation on Alex Carrier’s fifth goal of the season. Gunnar Hughes won the face off and passed back to James Henry, who found Carrier through a scrum where he immediately sent the puck on net to decrease the lead to two. Hughes and Henry notched their 11th and 14th assists on the year respectively.

With Fielding pulled for an extra skater, Adirondack cut the lead to one with 32 seconds left when Greg Wolfe found the back of the net. Alber set up Wolfe’s goal, with his helper marking his third assist of the evening. Despite a pair of late chances, including a sweeping bid from Wolfe that nearly went wide, Manchester held on for the victory.

With a loss combined with a Wheeling regulation win, the Thunder and Monarchs will square off once again in a best of seven series, beginning on Wednesday evening at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Thunder will host their first home playoff game since 2006 on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.

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