Kalamazoo, MI – The Adirondack Thunder skated to their third straight victory as they defeated the Kalamazoo Wings 5-2 on Saturday evening at Wings Events Center.
The combination of James Henry and Pierre-Luc Mercier combined for a pair of first-period goals to put Adirondack ahead 2-0. First, with the Thunder shorthanded, Henry’s shot form the right wing was kicked aside by the right pad of Kalamazoo netminder Joel Martin but the rebound fell to Mercier in the low slot, where he buried it for his second goal of the season. The pair struck again at the 12:23 mark of the first as Mercier sprang Henry on a breakaway feed and the Thunder alternate captain went top glove for the finish, his sixth goal of the season.
Kalamazoo came back with a goal of its own just 1:37 from the end of the first period to cut the Adirondack advantage to a single goal at the intermission. Forward Eric Kattelus skated into his team’s offensive zone and drew two defenseman to himself to free up an uncovered Anton Cederholm in the slot, who beat Adirondack netminder Connor Ingram for his first goal of the season. Kattelus and defenseman Mackenze Stewart collected the assists on the play for the Wings.
The Wings capitalized on a fortunate bounce and struck again early in the second period to knot the score at two. Forward Tyler Heinonen fired a shot from the top of the left-hand circle that deflected off the leg of teammate Brendan Bradley and directly to forward Josh Pitt, who beat Ingram on the glove side for the game-tying goal. Bradley and Heinonen picked up the assists on the play, Heinonen's first of the season.
The Thunder quickly regained their two-goal lead, however, as forward Austin Orszulak scored twice in a span of five minutes and two seconds to put his team ahead 4-2. First, at the 6:27 mark of the middle stanza, Orszulak gathered a loose puck in the slot and beat Martin on the blocker side for an unassisted goal. The 5-9 winger then fired home a deflected Paul Rodrigues shot from the bottom of the left circle 5:02 later to put the Thunder back on top by two, with Rodrigues and forward Terrence Wallin collecting assists on the play.
Adirondack took just 34 seconds into the third period to add its fifth tally of the evening as Ty Loney scored for the fourth straight game to open up a 5-2 lead. With the Thunder on the man advantage, forward Shane Conacher, stationed at the half wall, fed Loney in front where the 6-4 winger fired past the glove of Martin for his eighth tally of the season. Conacher and defenseman Kevin Lough collected the assists on the play, the third straight game with a point for Lough.
The Thunder now travel to Brampton, ONT to conclude their weekend against the Beast tomorrow afternoon, with puck drop slated for 2:00 p.m. The Thunder are next home on Saturday, November 25 at 7:00 p.m., which begins a seven-game homestand at Cool Insuring Arena.
Adirondack Thunder Hockey – This Is Our Team