Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Thunder posted a dominant effort in a 6-2 victory over Reading on Saturday evening in front of a sold out crowd at Cool Insuring Arena.
Forward Troy Bourke led the Thunder with four points while forwards Shane Conacher and Ryan Schmelzer each added three points in the victory. Goaltender Ken Appleby made 19 saves as he earned his first victory of the season as a member of the Thunder.
Reading opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game as forward Steven Swavely collected his 11th tally of the season. The 6-0 forward got behind the Adirondack defense before he took a feed from forward Adam Schmidt. Swavely moved in on Appleby and beat the Thunder netminder on the stick side for the game-opening goal. Schmidt and forward Ryan Penny tallied the assists on the play, Penny’s 15th helper of the season.
Adirondack knotted the score at one exactly six minutes into the first period as Schmelzer scored on the man advantage for his second tally of the season. Bourke skated behind the goal line and dropped the puck to an uncovered Schmelzer in front, where he buried past Reading netminder Mark Dekanich for his second goal in four games with the team. Bourke and forward James Henry collected the assists on the play, Bourke’s 20th of the season.
The Thunder struck twice in less than a minute to open up a two-goal advantage midway through the first period. First, Bourke collected his second point of the evening as he drove to the net and swatted home a Conacher rebound for his ninth tally of the season. Adirondack struck again just 48 seconds later as forward Brian Ward buried his team-leading 29th goal of the season with a rebound at the back post. Ward’s marker ties him for the single-season franchise record for goals in a single season, matching Michael Kirkpatrick’s mark from the 2015-16 season.
The hosts added their fourth goal of the first period with just 1.4 seconds remaining as defenseman Mathieu Brodeur tallied his fourth goal of the season. After a scramble in front, Brodeur crashed down from the right point and beat Dekanich on the short side to give the Thunder a three-goal advantage with a power-play goal. Defenseman Dylan Olsen and forward Mike Szmatula collected the assists on the play, Olsen’s second helper of the evening.
For the second straight period, the Royals scored first as defenseman Nolan Zajac picked up his 16th goal of the season 6:06 into the middle stanza to cut the Adirondack advantage to 4-2. Stationed at the left point, Reading forward Chris McCarthy hit a streaking Matt Willows down the right wing, where he fed Zajac at the back post for the tap-in goal. McCarthy and Willows tallied the assists on the play, the 39th of the season for Willows.
Adirondack extended its lead to four with a pair of Conacher goals in the second period. First, just eight seconds after Zajac scored for Reading, Schmelzer and Conacher moved in 2-on-1 into the attacking zone. Schmelzer fed Conacher through the slot and the 5-11 winger converted for his 18th goal of the season. Inside the final five minutes of the middle stanza, Conacher struck again as he one-timed a feed from Bourke past Dekanich for his second goal of the period. Bourke tallied the lone assist on the play, his fourth point of the evening.
Adirondack is back in action tomorrow evening as it hosts the Worcester Railers in an Easter Sunday showdown, with puck drop slated for 5:00 p.m. Visit ECHLThunder.com or call 518-480-3355 x1 to get tickets for all upcoming Thunder home games.
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