Reading, PA - The Adirondack Thunder earned their first victory of 2017 as the downed the Reading Royals by a 4-2 final on Friday evening at Santander Arena.
It was the Royals that struck first, however, just 19 seconds into the game. As they turned from defense to offense, forward Matt Willows carried the puck on a 2-on-1 rush down the left wing. Willows then hit a streaking Steven Swavely through the slot where the Reading, PA native collected and buried into the top of the net for the goal. The tally for Swavely was his seventh of the season, while Willows picked up his 12th helper of the season, the lone assist on the play.
Adirondack dominated the remainder of the first period, as it finished the opening stanza with a 19-5 shots on goal advantage and capitalized with the game-tying goal with 1:12 left in the first. Thunder center Dana Fraser sprung Nick Bligh on a breakaway down the right wing and the Dartmouth graduate capitalized with his first career professional goal to tie the game at one. Bligh’s goal comes in his Thunder debut and Fraser’s assist was his first of the season.
Reading regained its one goal advantage midway through the second period. After the Thunder lost control of the puck in their defensive end, Reading forward Ryan Penny saw his shot denied by Adirondack netminder J.P. Anderson, but Chris McCarthy drove the net to poke home the rebound for his 15th tally of the season. Penny was given the lone assist on the play, his 16th of the season.
The Thunder once again came from behind the tie the score late in a period as they scored just 2:35 from the end of the middle frame to knot the score at two. Dennis Kravchenko hit a streaking Alex Wall at the back post, who saw his shot denied, but Ty Loney followed up for the rebound and buried it from close range to extend his team lead in goals to 14. Wall and Kravchenko collected the helpers on the play, Wall’s team-leading 17th helper of the 2016-17 campaign.
The visitors then took their first lead of the evening 6:56 into the third period. After a tenacious forecheck from the Thunder below the Reading defensive goal line, the puck found its way to the left point, where Wall sent a bullet over the glove of Reading goaltender Martin Ouelette for the go-ahead goal. Wall’s tally, his third of the season, was assisted on by Loney and defenseman Kevin Lough, giving Loney his ninth multi-point game of the season.
The Thunder added an insurance goal late in the third period as Dennis Kravchenko fired into the empty net with less than two minutes to play for his sixth goal of the season. Roman Dyukov and Conor Riley collected the assists on the play, the first point of Riley’s professional career.
The Thunder return to action tomorrow evening as they take on the Royals once again in Reading at 7:00 p.m. Adirondack Thunder individual and group ticket packages are also 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.
Adirondack Thunder Hockey - This Is Our Team