GLENS FALLS, NY – Conor Riley scored his third goal in two nights but the Thunder could not complete the comeback in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Reading Royals at Cool Insuring Arena.
Chris McCarthy got the scoring started off of a broken play at the 12:27 mark of the first period. Frank Hora put a shot on net from the right point, the puck deflected off of Riley’s stick and right to McCarthy sitting on the doorstep for a redirection into the net.
Adam Schmidt doubled the Reading lead a little more than five minutes later when he converted on a 2-on-1 rush from the right circle. Schmidt lead the break with Scott Dornbrock to his left, but decided to keep for himself and fired a wrister from the bottom of the right circle that beat Alex Sakellaropoulos top shelf for Schmidt’s fourth score of the season.
The 2-0 score held until the 5:09 mark of the third period when Conor Riley got the Thunder on the board. Riley dumped the puck in deep that was collected by Mike Szmatula behind the Royals’ cage. Szmatula stick-handled the puck and slid a pass back to Riley sitting in front who made no mistake about it for his third score in two nights and his team-leading 12th goal of the year.
Michael Huntebrinker took the air out of the crowd at Cool Insuring Arena when he restored the two-goal advantage for Reading at 14:46 of the third period. Adirondack seemed to have an easy clear of the defensive zone but Matias Cleland’s skate got caught in the ice and he fell to the ground. Josh MacDonald collected the loose puck and put a shot on net that Sakellaropoulos denied, but Huntebrinker put the rebound opportunity in for a 3-1 Reading lead.
Callum Booth was excellent in net for Reading in his first appearance since being assigned from the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers earlier in the day. The 21-year-old netminder turned aside 31 of 32 shots he saw including getting a pad on a Peter MacArthur rebound opportunity to keep the score 2-0 late in the second period.
Sakellaropoulos was steady for the Thunder playing in his second game in two nights. The Union College product made 25 saves and kept the Thunder in the game for its entirety.
Adirondack hits the ice again Wednesday night when the Maine Mariners come to town for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop. For the latest Thunder news, be sure to follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@ECHLThunder).
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