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THUNDER NEARLY DOWN ECHLS BEST IN 8-7 LOSS TO ALL STARS

Wednesday, January 18th
 THUNDER NEARLY DOWN ECHLS BEST IN 8-7 LOSS TO ALL STARS

Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Thunder rallied from behind and nearly knocked off the ECHL All Stars but fell 8-7 in a closely contested 2017 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic on Wednesday evening at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The ECHL All-Stars opened up a 3-0 advantage to start the game with goals from Alex Wideman (INDY), Matt Garbowsky (COL) and David Vallorani (BRM). Wideman opened the scoring 7:39 into the game as he took a stretch-pass from Garbowsky and beat Adirondack netminder Drew Fielding for the goal. Garbowsky tacked on a goal of his own at the 13:22 mark of the first, followed by Vallorani’s goal on a 2-on-1 rush to extend the ECHL All-Stars’ advantage to three with less than two minutes to play in the first half.

Adirondack got on the board with just 22 seconds left in the first half as Nick Bligh took a feed from Brandon Baddock and fired by All Star netminder Jamie Phillips for the goal. Baddock and Wall collected the assists on the play, the first goal from a Thunder player in All-Star history. With just fourteen seconds left in the period, however, Wideman scored his second goal of the evening from a one-timer wrist shot from the slot with assists from Erik Bradford (UTA) and Garbowsky. Wideman’s tally sent the game into the intermission with the Thunder trailing 4-1.

With the first half in the books, the Skills Competition kicked off with the Puck Control Relay. Adirondack trailed the ECHL All Stars until the final leg where the Thunder Captain Peter MacArthur showcased his speed to win the relay for his team and notch another goal for the Thunder, bringing the score to 4-2.

Adirondack picked up another goal to make it a 4-3 game as rookie defenseman Stepan Falkovsky won the Hardest Shot competition, as he notched 99 miles per hour on the radar gun with his first attempt to clinch a skills competition victory for the Thunder. ECHL All Star Steven McParland was victorious in the final event, the fastest Faster Skater Competition with a lap of 13.62 seconds to give the All Stars their fifth goal of the night and their only skills victory.

The All Stars kicked off the second half scoring just 1:39 in as David Vallorani intercepted an errant pass and walked the puck in for a backhanded goal, his second of the night. Just over a minute later, however, Adirondack answered as they found the back of the net twice in four minutes to cut their deficit to 6-5. First, Conor Riley sent a backhanded pass from the boards that found Brian Ward in the slot, who finished with a quick one-timer. At the 6:36 mark Adirondack scored again, this time from forward James Henry who tapped home a pass from rookie forward Brett Pollock.

The scoring continued at the 11:12 mark as Justin Agosta connected with Garbowsky, who rocketed a one-timer into the top shelf of the net to put the All Stars back on top by two goals. It was Garbowsky’s fourth point of the event and Agosta’s first helper of the game.

Adirondack scored the lone goal during the 4-on-4 portion of the competition with a goal from Pollock, who received a pass from Cullen Bradshaw and exploded from the point to beat All-Star netminder C.J. Motte with a shot just past the glove hand for Pollock’s second point of the evening.

With just 2:55 remaining in regulation and the game into a 3-on-3 format, All-Star Captain Shawn Szydlowski scored his first goal of the night with a forehand-to-backhand move on a breakaway, with the assist coming from Chad Costello. The Thunder were able to pull within one with a late goal from forward Dana Fraser, which concluded the scoring for the evening. The game’s final goal came unassisted with 11 seconds remaining in the second half.

Garbowsky was named as the game’s most valuable player with two goals and two assists. Wideman contributed two goals and an assists for the All Stars, while Vallorani added a pair of goals. Pollock was the lone Thunder player with multiple points with a goal and an assist, while the Thunder also claimed a pair of goals from the skills competition.

The Thunder are back in action this weekend as they return to their regular season schedule with a visit to the Reading Royals on Friday evening, followed by a trip to Norfolk to take on the Admirals on Saturday evening. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m on Friday at Santander Arena.

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