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THUNDER TAKE OPENING GAME WITH 4-3 SHOOTOUT WIN IN MANCHESTER

Friday, October 14th
THUNDER TAKE OPENING GAME WITH 4-3 SHOOTOUT WIN IN MANCHESTER

Manchester, NH - The Adirondack Thunder were victorious in their season opening game in Manchester with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Monarchs on Friday evening at SNHU Arena.

Adirondack opened the scoring in the first period for not only the game but the entire ECHL as Dana Fraser converted with a nifty finish in front for the first goal of the season. After a one-time shot from Greg Wolfe went wide of the net, Fraser collected the puck at the back post, went between his legs and past Colin Stevens to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead. Fraser’s goal was his first of the season after he netted nine a season ago, while Wolfe and defenseman Mathieu Brodeur picked up the assists on the play.

The Thunder doubled their advantage less than three minutes into the second period as Brian Ward netted his first career professional goal at the 2:50 mark of the middle stanza. Ty Loney worked the puck below the goal line and sent the puck across the goal crease, where Ward awaited and buried his shot at the back post. Loney and James Henry collected the assists on the play, the first points of the season for both players.

Manchester capitalized on a choppy play in front and forward Daniel Ciampini converted with a nice finish to cut the Adirondack advantage to 2-1. After the puck bounced around in front of Thunder netminder Mason McDonald, it found the stick of Ciampini inside the left circle and the Union College graduate fired top shelf over McDonald’s stick side for Manchester’s first goal of the season. Justin Agosta and Edward Wittchow collected the helpers on the play for the Monarchs.

The home side then leveled the score at two late in the second period as Justin Gutierrez scored his first career professional goal to tie the game. With the Thunder unit trapped on the ice after a complete two-minute penalty kill, the Monarchs controlled the puck and finally capitalized with a nice goal at the back post. Forwards Derek Arnold and Matt Leitner collected the assists on the play, the first points on the season for each.

With the middle frame winding down, Brett Pollock forced a turnover in the neutral zone leading to a break-in for Wolfe. The right-handed winger skated down the right side and blasted a slap-shot over Stevens’ left shoulder for his first tally and second point of the night. The assist for Pollock was the first point of his professional career, while defenseman Alex Wall also collected an assist on the play.

Despite a stout defensive display for the majority of the third period, Manchester knotted the score at three with just 1:33 left in regulation. With time ticking down, Leitner hit a streaking Quentin Shore in front of the net and the rookie forward slotted his shot past McDonald, who could do nothing to prevent the goal. Shore’s goal was the first of his professional career while Leitner and Ciampini picked up the assists.

Following a back-and-forth overtime period, the Thunder and Monarchs headed for a shootout. After both sides were denied on their first two attempts, Peter MacArthur buried a goal for the Thunder but was matched by Ciampini for the Monarchs. James Henry netted a goal in round four which set the stage for a pad save from McDonald on Gasper Kopitar to seal the win for Adirondack.

The Thunder and Monarchs will square off again tomorrow evening in Manchester to complete a back-to-back set with puck drop slated for 6:00 p.m. The Thunder are eight days away from their home opener, as they kick off their 2016-17 home schedule on Saturday, October 22, at 7:00 p.m. against the Monarchs at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Ticket packages are available now for the 2016-17 season at just $13 per seat, a savings of 34% off of 2015-16 pricing. Call 518-480-3355 x1 to customize a plan and reserve your season ticket locations today.

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