West Valley City, Utah – The Adirondack Thunder dropped the first in a three game series against the Utah Grizzlies as they fell 5-2 on Monday evening at the Mavrik Center.
The game saw just 2:45 tick off the clock before the hosts opened the scoring as Ralph Cuddemi tallied his third goal of the season to put Utah ahead 1-0. After Adirondack hit the post at one end of the ice, Cuddemi played a give-and-go with Colin Martin, who saw his shot denied by Thunder netminder Mason McDonald, but Cuddemi crashed the net and buried the rebound for the goal. Martin collected the lone assist on the play, his third of the season.
Utah doubled its advantage less than three minutes later as Shane Walsh converted off of a one-on-one rush in the offensive end to make it a 2-0 game just 5:10 in. Walsh collected the puck on the left wing, skated through the slot in the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot that eluded McDonald’s glove hand, the fifth goal of the season for Walsh. Martin picked up the lone assist on the play, the first two-assist game of his ECHL career.
The Grizzlies capitalized on an Adirondack turnover and took a 3-0 lead as they converted on the power play for the first time with 8:09 to play in the first period. The Thunder were unable to clear the puck out of their own end while shorthanded and Utah capitalized, as Taylor Richart gathered the puck and hit a wide open Cuddemi in front for the goal. The tally was Cuddemi’s second of the evening, his second career multi-goal game, while Richart picked up his third assist of the season.
Despite an extended possession from the Thunder in the offensive zone, Utah went the other way and capitalized on a 3-on-1 advantage to extend their lead to four goals. With Adirondack in a compromising defensive situation, Evan Stoflet hit an unmarked C.J. Eick at the back post and the Utah forward tapped it by McDonald for his fourth goal of the season. Stoflet and Carlos Amestoy collected the assists on the play, the sixth helper for Amestoy.
With time winding down in the middle stanza, Adirondack got one back on the power play as Ty Loney earned his fifth goal of the season. The Thunder struck while on the power play as Alex Fedoseyev tracked down a puck deep in the offensive end and sent a saucer pass to Loney in the slot, where the big winger fired past Utah netminder Ryan Faragher to get Adirondack on the board. The helper for Fedoseyev was his second assist and third point of the season.
After what was a scoreless third period for over 17 minutes, Utah picked up a fifth with less than 2:30 to play as Stoflet fired into the empty net for his first goal of the season. Adirondack would pull back a late one, as forward Greg Wolfe found Brian Ward in the high slot and the rookie forward put his shot past Amestoy for his ninth goal of the season, tying him for the ECHL lead in goals.
The Thunder continue their stretch of eight consecutive road games as they take on Utah again on Friday and Saturday, with puck drop once again slated for 9:00 p.m. Adirondack Thunder individual and group ticket packages are available for just $13 per ticket in addition to new Thunder mini-packs, consisting of four tickets and a gift card to a local restaurant for just $65. Call 518-480-3355 x1 or visit ECHLThunder.com/tickets to customize a plan and reserve your seat locations today.
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