St. John’s, NL – Matt Salhany scored two goals in his first game action of the season, Shane Conacher added another pair and the Adirondack Thunder bested the Growlers by a 6-4 final Wednesday night in St. John’s.
Salhany got the scoring started when he converted on a 2-on-1 opportunity with Shane Eiserman at the at 4:27 of the first period. Eiserman led the charge down the left wing and found Salhany on the other side who ripped a wrist shot in the top corner past Growlers goalie Michael Garteig. It was Salhany’s first score of the season and Eiserman’s first career professional point.
Ryan Moore evened the score when he took a pass from Scott Pooley behind the net and slid it by Alex Sakellaropoulos on the far side of the net. It was Moore’s second goal in two nights.
Salhany’s second of the game was the Thunder’s first shorthanded tally of the year. This time it was the second-year pro leading the 2-on-1 charge with Conor Riley. Salhany faked a pass to Riley, squared himself to the net and put his shot in the short side top corner to give Adirondack a 2-1 advantage.
Matt Bradley tied the game when he found a loose puck in front of the Thunder cage, circled around in the slot and found the back of the net for his second score of the year.
Conacher restored the Thunder lead for good when he beat Garteig five-hole on an odd-man rush at 12:47 of the middle frame. Conacher was running the break with Cullen Bradshaw but took this one on his own to notch his third goal in three games.
Conor Riley and Eiserman tacked on goals for the Thunder before the end of the period. Less than a minute after Conacher’s score, Riley banked in a bad-angle shot from behind the goal line off Garteig’s back and into his own goal. Eiserman added his first professional goal, a power-play score, after finishing a pass from a nice set-up by Jake Linhart. The rookie from Wisconsin took the puck coast to coast on the man advantage, around a Growlers defender and slid a pass to Eiserman who was camped in front of the Newfoundland net.
Brady Ferguson and Zach O’Brien added scores for the Growlers in the game’s final five minutes to cut the Thunder lead to one goal at 5-4. Ferguson converted off a nice pass from O’Brien which left him with a mostly open net. O’Brien created his own chance with 25 seconds left in the game, circling from behind the net and beating a screened Thunder netminder.
Conacher put the game away with an empty net goal with two seconds remaining for the 6-4 final.
Sakellaropoulos made his first start for the Thunder season, collecting the win as he compiled 27 saves.
Adirondack will head back to Glens Falls as it gets set to play the Brampton Beast on Saturday night for the team’s home opener. Tickets are still available for the game with the Stewart’s Four Pack. For the latest Thunder news, be sure to follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.
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