CINCINNATI, OH – Mike Szmatula scored twice and John Edwardh chipped in three assists but the Adirondack Thunder fell by a 5-4 (OT) final Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.
Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz completed the comeback in overtime for Cincinnati, which trailed by a pair of goals in the game’s final minutes. Arvin Atwal and Eric Knodel recorded regulation tallies, the latter coming as Cincinnati was shorthanded and had their goaltender pulled, before Schultz’ overtime tally won it for the Cyclones.
After Mitch Jones opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game, Szmatula tied the game with a goal at 8:23 of the opening period. Blake Thompson fed a pass for Edwardh along the right-side boards where the forward fired a cross-ice pass for an easy back-door tap-in for Szmatula. The assist extended Edwardh’s point streak to 12 consecutive games.
Brian Ward gave Adirondack its first lead with a power-play goal near the midway point of the game. Edwardh carried the puck at the left wing and centered a feed for Ward at the left hashmarks where he one-timed it past Cyclones goalie Jonas Johansson for a 2-1 Thunder lead.
Brady Vail tied the game on a rebound goal with just 69 seconds left in the second period. Thunder goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos made the initial save on Alex Wideman’s shot but Vail was there for the follow to tie the game at two.
That score held until late in the third when Blake Thompson’s fourth of the season gave Adirondack a lead with less than five minutes to play in regulation. Dylan Walchuk left the puck for Thompson who cut towards the net. The Thunder defenseman hesitated and carried the puck with him to the opposite side of the net where his shot trickled past Johansson for a 3-2 lead.
Szmatula knotted his second of the night on a carbon copy of his first score with 3:18 remaining in the third period. Edwardh had a fantastic cross-ice set-up for the ECHL’s leading rookie goal scorer who had another easy tap-in for his 24th tally and a 4-2 Thunder lead.
Atwal scored 35 seconds later with a shot from the right point before Knodel tied it after an offensive-zone faceoff win for Cincinnati with under a minute remaining. Schultz collected his 15th of the season to win it on the power play in overtime after Brian Ward was called for a hook 13 seconds into the extra period.
Adirondack finished its seven-game road trip with seven points, going 3-3-1-0 in five different cities. The Thunder return home for a pair of games next weekend at Cool Insuring Arena. For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ECHLThunder.
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