GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Thunder put 52 shots on goaltender Charles Williams, but only got two goals to show for their efforts in a 4-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs in Game 1 of the North Division Semifinals at Cool Insuring Arena.
Former Thunder forward Pierre-Luc Mercier notched the game’s first tally just 2:34 into the opening period. After a Thunder defensive-zone turnover, Boko Imama controlled the puck on the left wing and centered a feed for Mercier. The Bowling Green State University product controlled the pass and fired a wrister that beat Evan Cormier on his blocker side for a 1-0 Monarchs lead.
Brian Ward tied the game nearly ten minutes later off a nice set-play from Adirondack. Matt Salhany circled behind the Manchester cage and bounced a pass off the boards to Blake Thompson at the left point. The Thunder defenseman one-timed his shot that Ward deflected in front of Williams for his first goal of the postseason.
James Henry gave the Thunder their only lead of the night to make it 2-1 late in the first frame. With Adirondack on the man advantage, John Edwardh sauced a pass to Peter MacArthur at the right point. The savvy veteran centered a firm pass in front looking for a redirection and found one off the skate of the Thunder captain and by Williams for a 2-1 Thunder lead.
In the final 90 seconds of the second period, Manchester’s Daniil Miromanov tied the game once again with a tremendous individual effort. The defenseman walked through the Thunder blue-line, split the defense and drilled a wrist-shot over the shoulder of Cormier to knot the game at twos.
Nic Pierog, the Monarchs’ leading scorer in the regular season, gave Manchester the final lead of the night at the 4:40 mark of the final period. After the Thunder had difficulty clearing their zone, Pierog saw the loose puck sitting at the right faceoff circle. The ECHL’s leading rookie goal-scorer went down to a knee and rifled his shot in the top corner for a 3-2 lead.
Miromanov grabbed his second of the night less than five minutes later for the 4-2 final score. With Manchester on the power play, Stepan Falkovsky set up a fellow large blueliner at the center-point for a one-timer that found the back of the net. Falkovsky and Pavel Jenys picked up the helpers on the score.
The series resumes with Game 2 tomorrow night at Cool Insuring Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. in Glens Falls. Tickets are available with the Stewart’s Four Pack! For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
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