WORCESTER, MA – Michael Sdao collected a pass from his left and fired a wrist shot by Mitch Gillam to break a 3-3 standstill late in the third period and the Adirondack Thunder went on to top the Worcester Railers 5-3 on Friday Night at DCU Center in Worcester.
After a 3-3 tie held for more than 25 minutes of game time, James Henry brought the puck into the offensive zone before dropping a pass for Matt Salhany. The second-year forward spotted Sdao on the far side and moved a puck to him quickly. The 6-foot-4 defenseman gathered and ripped a wrist shot by Mitch Gillam to give him his second goal of the year and give Adirondack a lead it would not relinquish.
Jakob Reichert picked up the night’s first tally in his return from injury. Shane Conacher moved the puck from left to right to set up a great chance for Dennis Kravchenko at the top of the right faceoff circle. Kravchenko fired on net where Gillam made the original stop, but the puck bounced up and hit Reichert in the chest before trickling into the Railers’ cage for a 1-0 Thunder lead.
Tyler Barnes tied the game up before the first intermission when he deflected a rebound opportunity up and over the shoulder of Adirondack netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos with 40 seconds left in the first.
The Thunder collected the first two goals of the middle frame when two skaters picked up their first goals in Adirondack sweaters. First it was Dylan Walchuk, playing in his first game for the Thunder after being acquired from the Jacksonville Icemen earlier this week. Cullen Bradshaw fed the newcomer who was positioned in front of the net. Gillam would once again make the initial stop, but Walchuk kept jamming at the rebound until it went in for a 2-1 Thunder lead.
About five minutes later Matias Cleland collected his first score of the season for the Thunder with a wicked shot from the left slot. Desmond Bergin found a streaking Cleland who glided into a wrister that he deposited top-shelf for a 3-1 Thunder advantage.
Worcester got themselves right back in the game when Matt Schmalz and Ivan Kosorenkov scored under a minute apart to tie the game at three goals apiece. Kosorenkov set up Schmalz on a wide two-on-one rush after a Thunder turnover and the former Manchester Monarch converted for his third score. Kosorenkov got in the goal column himself after another odd-man rush for Worcester. Ryan MacKinnon found the Russian forward in the slot and his attempt tied the game.
The 3-3 tie remained until Sdao won it for the Thunder in the game’s final minutes. Peter MacArthur tacked on an empty-net goal for the 5-3 final score.
Alex Sakellaropoulos made 29 saves to get himself back into the win column. He has started the past eight games in net for Adirondack.
The Thunder return home tomorrow night to take on the Brampton Beast at Cool Insuring Arena in the team’s final game before the Christmas break. Tickets are still available for the game which starts at 7:00 p.m. in Glens Falls. For the latest Thunder news, be sure to follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ECHLThunder.
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