GLENS FALLS, NY – Matias Cleland scored a goal against his former squad to move into a tie for first place in points among Thunder defenseman, but that’s all Adirondack could muster in a 4-1 loss to Reading on Friday night in Glens Falls, NY.
Reading jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the opening frame courtesy of goals from Jacob Graves and Chris McCarthy. The defenseman notched the game’s first goal with a shot from the point just over three minutes into the game. Graves collected a pass from Alex Roos who was circling behind the net and took a half slap-shot that went off the inside pad of Alex Sakellaropoulos and in for a 1-0 Royals lead.
McCarthy doubled the Reading lead at 12:09 of the first with a quick wrister down the left wing. Josh MacDonald sprung him with a pass off the boards and the 2nd Team All-ECHL forward potted his quick wrister by Sakellaropoulos.
Cleland got Adirondack back to within a goal with his fifth score of the season at 16:54 of the second period. After Mike Szmatula won the offensive-zone draw back to the defenseman, Cleland put a shot on net that went off the stick of Graves and into the cage to make it a 2-1 game.
Tyler Brown restored the two-goal advantage with less than a minute remaining in the frame. With traffic around him, the former Adirondack Phantom tossed a backhand on net that beat a screened Sakellaropoulos to let Reading take a 3-1 lead into the final 20 minutes.
Nick Luukko scored the only goal of the third period during 4-on-4 action. Michael Huntebrinker’s lead pass put the defenseman on a breakaway and a quick wrister over the goaltender’s shoulder made it a 4-1 final.
Sakellaropoulos played in his first game since being released from his PTO with the Springfield Thunderbirds and made 32 saves in his return to the Thunder lineup.
The two teams complete the home-and-home set tomorrow evening at Santander Arena in Reading. For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
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