Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Thunder got their third straight hat trick on home ice, courtesy of Brian Ward’s three-goal effort, but fell 9-7 to the Brampton Beast on Sunday afternoon at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Beast were first to strike just 1:57 into the game as Jordan Henry scored his 12th goal this season. Brandon MacLean’s initial shot was denied by Adirondack netminder Drew Fielding but Henry was waiting for the rebound on the weak side and poked it into the net to open the scoring. David Ling and MacLean picked up assists on the goal, MacLean’s 27th on the season.
Adirondack responded less than three minutes later with a power-play goal off the stick of forward Brock Montgomery, his third goal in as many games. Forward James Henry sent a wrist shot on net from the point, collected his own rebound and sent it towards the front of the net where Montgomery slid the puck just inside of the post for the goal. Henry and Dennis Kravchenko collected assists on the play as Kravchenko extended his point streak to five games.
The Thunder surged in front with a pair of Brian Ward goals less than two minutes apart in the first period. First, Adirondack got a fortunate bounce as Ward's dump from center ice hit a stanchion on the glass and redirected into a gaping net with Brampton netminder Zach Fucale behind the goal line waiting for the wrap around. Ward then struck again with a slap shot from the high slot at the 13:22 mark of the first to put his team up by two. Thunder captain Peter MacArthur notched the lone assist on the play, his 33rd of the season.
3:03 into the second period, Adirondack capitalized on another power-play goal, this one from Henry, his second point of the night and his 17th goal of the season. After an initial shot from the point was denied, but Montgomery kept the play alive in the crease long enough for Henry to crash the net and slap in Montgomery’s rebound for the goal. Montgomery and MacArthur tallied assists on the play, the second point of the game for both players.
Less than two minutes later, Brampton responded with a goal of their own from defenseman Tim Billingsley at the 4:47 mark of the second period, his fifth tally of the season. Former Adirondack Phantom, forward Luke Pither, collected the puck off the boards before he swung it to the point, where Billingsley fired home to cut the score to 4-2. Pither and David Vallorani were awarded assists on the play, Vallorani’s 44th helper of the season.
Henry scored his second goal of the evening at the 6:51 mark to give Adirondack a three-goal lead with his 18th tally of the season. The Adirondack defensemen worked the puck along the top of the point before Alex Wall put a shot on net and with his back to the net, Henry used his backhand to shovel the rebound over the leg of Fucale for the point. Wall and Patch Alber notched the helpers on the play, Alber’s fourth assist in three games. The goal marked the end of the game for Fucale, with Andrew D’Agostini taking over between the pipes for Brampton.
The three-goal lead was short lived, however, as Brampton got one back just shy of the halfway point of the second period. Connor Crisp won the foot race to the boards before he sent the puck to the slot, where it deflected off multiple sticks, touching Pacan’s last before finding the back of the net. The goal was Pacan’s 35th this season which leads the ECHL to date.
The Beast then scored a pair of goals in a 44 second span to tie the score at five heading into the second intermission. First, defenseman Reggie Traccitto found the back of the net for the fourth time this season with a shot that deflected off of a Thunder player and past Fielding for the goal. Brampton then tied the game at five just 65 seconds from the end of the second period as Pither scored for the visitors. Off the face-off dot in the offensive zone, David Vallorani connected with Pither in the slot, who finished with a wrist shot into the upper left corner of the net. Vallorani and Chris Leveille collected assists on the play, Vallorani’s second of the game and 45th of the season.
The Beast scored their fourth consecutive goal just 40 seconds into the third period as Henry struck again with his second goal of the game. With heavy traffic in front of the Adirondack net, Henry fired a shot from the right point that snuck through the sea of bodies and into the back of the net. Henry's goal was his 13th of the season, while Willie Corran and Pacan picked up assists on the play, Corrin's 12th of the season.
Adirondack came right back to tie the game as six, however, as Gunnar Hughes collected his 10th goal of the season at the 3:14 mark of the third period. With the Thunder on the offensive rush, Hughes threw the puck towards the net and it deflected off of a Beast player and past the new Beast netminder D’Agostini for the goal. Cullen Bradshaw and Keegan Kanzig collected the assists on the play, Kanzig's second point in as many nights.
With the score tied at six, Brampton scored the next two goals to open up their first two-goal advantage of the evening. First, Pither secured the puck at the top of the point and sent a cross-ice pass that Chris Leveille deflected past Fielding for his team’s seventh goal. The visitors then capitalized on a 2-on-1 rush at the 16:09 mark of the third to increase their lead to two. After Adirondack was unable to hold the puck in their offensive zone, Vallorani carried the puck down the left wing and sent a pass to a streaking Brandon Marino, who finished past Fielding from the right-hand circle to open the 8-6 lead.
Less than a minute later, however, a goal from Ward put the Thunder within one as the St. Lawrence graduate collected the first hat trick of his professional career. With Fielding on the bench and Adirondack on a 6-on-5 advantage, Alber’s slap shot from the point was deflected to Ward, who one-timed the loose puck to the far side of the net for the goal. Ward’s goal pushed his total on the season to 20, the third Thunder player of the season to reach the 20 goal plateau.
The late surge by Adirondack fell just short as Brampton scored with 20.7 seconds left on an empty Adirondack net to give themselves a two goal advantage for the 9-7 victory over the Thunder, with Corrin getting the goal for the Beast.
With the loss, Adirondack falls to 31-19-6-4 on the season, good for 72 points. The Thunder sit in the fourth and final playoff position in the North Division standings, one point shy of the Manchester Monarchs for third place.
The Thunder are back in action with a three-in-three set next weekend, beginning with a pair of games against Wheeling on Friday and Saturday at the GFCC. Adirondack Thunder individual and group ticket packages are also available for just $13 per t¬icket 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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