GLENS FALLS, NY – Brian Ward recorded his first two goals since re-joining the Thunder roster, Alex Sakellaropoulos won his fifth consecutive start in net and the Adirondack Thunder buried the Wheeling Nailers by a 6-2 final Friday night in Glens Falls.
After Wheeling tallied in the game’s first five minutes, it was all Thunder after that. James Henry started the Adirondack scoring barrage with the first of four power-play markers to tie the game at one goal apiece. Brian Ward started the play from the goal line, shifting a pass to Desmond Bergin at the left point. The defenseman put a soft shot on net looking for a deflection and got one from the Thunder captain, his tenth score of the season.
Adirondack took a lead into the first intermission after Matt Salhany scored in the final three minutes of the opening frame. John Edwardh fed Pete MacArthur cross-ice at the top of the right faceoff circle. The savvy veteran saw a streaking Salhany and put his pass on the tape for an easy redirection goal, Salhany’s ninth tally of the season. The assist was the first of three on the night for MacArthur.
The floodgates opened in the middle period for the Thunder as they notched a home season-high four goals in a single stanza. Cullen Bradshaw started the big period after finishing a feed in front off a pass from Salhany. The Alabama-Huntsville product led a 2-on-1 charge down the right wing, sauced a pass in front to a streaking Bradshaw who finished top-shelf for his seventh score of the season.
The Thunder’s next trio of goals all came on the power play after Cedric Lacroix took a major penalty for butt-ending Alex Carrier in the mid-section. After Edwardh rang a shot off the post earlier on the man advantage, he made his second chance count when he buried a wrister from the left faceoff circle while Salhany had John Muse screened in front.
Ward added the next pair of goals for Adirondack, both in similar fashion. First, Mike Szmatula fed Ward alone in the slot where he turned, deked and flipped a wrist-shot by Muse to make it a 5-1 game. Less than a minute later, Ward potted his second of the night when he took a pass from Jake Linhart in the far-slot and stepped into a wrister that beat Muse far-glove side for the Thunder’s sixth score of the night. The goals were Ward’s first since being re-assigned from the AHL’s Binghamton Devils earlier this week.
Yushiroh Hirano scored the last goal of the night, Wheeling’s second power-play goal, midway through the third period for the 6-2 final.
Alex Sakellaropoulos started his second straight game since re-joining the Thunder this week, collecting his fifth consecutive win for Adirondack with a 23-save performance.
The Thunder have one more game before the ECHL All-Star Break as they host the Brampton Beast tomorrow evening. It is the Thunder’s first ever “Family Fun Night” with a carnival inside Heritage Hall prior to the game. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for all fans! For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ECHLThunder.
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