Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Thunder were unable to hold onto a two-goal advantage as they fell 5-4 to the Manchester Monarchs on Friday evening at Cool Insuring Arena.
Forward Brian Ward led the Thunder with two goals, while forwards Troy Bourke and Paul Rodrigues also tallied for Adirondack. Goaltender Olivier Mantha made 26 saves in defeat, his first start on home ice as a member of the Thunder.
Adirondack opened up a 2-0 lead in the game’s first ten minutes as Ward tallied a pair of early goals. First, at the 5:07 mark of the first period, Ward took a cross-ice feed from forward Paul Rodrigues and fired past Manchester netminder Charles Williams for the game’s first goal. Ward struck again less than four minutes later, this a power-play goal. Defenseman Dylan Olsen fed Ward in the high slot, where he shot past Williams on the blocker side for his 24th tally of the season. Olsen and defenseman Mathieu Brodeur collected the assists on the play, Brodeur’s 21st of the season.
Manchester cut the Adirondack advantage to a single goal at the 12:26 mark of the opening period, courtesy of Michael Doherty’s 14th goal of the season. An Alexx Privitera feed eluded the Adirondack defense to spring Doherty on a breakaway and he beat Mantha low on the glove side for his team’s first goal. Privitera collected the lone assist on the play, his 13th helper of the season.
The Thunder regained their two-goal advantage with 4:49 remaining in the first period as Troy Bourke scored on a dazzling individual effort for his seventh goal of the season. Bourke took a feed from forward Shane Conacher, jumped around a Manchester defenseman and slid the puck through Williams’ five hole for the goal. Conacher and defenseman Desmond Bergin collected the assists on the play, Conacher’s team-leading 37th of the season.
Manchester pulled back to within a goal early in the second period as it scored shorthanded to cut the Adirondack advantage to 3-2. The Monarchs forced a turnover as the hosts attempted to enter the offensive zone and went the other way 2-on-1, before Leitner fed Schmaltz for the tap-in goal. Schmaltz’s tally was his 19th of the season while Leitner collected the lone assist on the play, his 27th.
The hosts struck next in the see-saw battle as forward Paul Rodrigues scored his tenth goal of the season 11 seconds into a Thunder power play to push his team ahead by a pair. Brodeur carried the puck deep in to the Adirondack offensive zone and the puck deflected to Rodrigues, where he smacked it home on the backhand. Brodeur and Olsen collected the assists on the play, the second of the game for both defensemen.
The Monarchs returned fire just 27 seconds later as defenseman Rob Hamilton scored a power-play goal of his own to bring the guests back to within a goal. Stationed at the center point, Hamilton sent a seeing-eye shot through heavy traffic in the slot that evaded Mantha for the defenseman’s fourth tally of the season. Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman and Craig Wyszomirski collected the assists on the play, LaVallee-Smotherman’s 33rd of the season.
The visitors scored a pair of third period goals to secure the victory, beginning with Cory Ward’s sixth tally of the season 6:34 into the final stanza. After a Manchester point shot redirected off of an Adirondack skate and popped into the air, Ward found it in the slot and beat Mantha to tie the game. Manchester took its first lead of the evening with 7:39 remaining in regulation as Schmaltz tallied for the second time on the evening. After he took a feed from Leitner, Hamilton’s shot from the high slot was redirected home by Schmaltz as he reached the 20-goal plateau on the season.
The Thunder are back in action tomorrow evening as they host the Norfolk Admirals on Law Enforcement Appreciation Night at 7:00 p.m. Visit ECHLThunder.com or call 518-480-3355 x1 to get tickets for tomorrow or any upcoming Thunder home game.
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