MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Adirondack Thunder used three third-period scores to stave off elimination and take Game 4 of the North Division Semifinals by a 4-3 final over the Manchester Monarchs Friday night at SNHU Arena.
Matt Salhany and James Henry scored a pair of goals 1:58 apart in the first six minutes of the third period to force a 3-3 tie. Salhany got Adirondack within a goal when he tapped in a back-door feed from John Edwardh early in the third. Desmond Bergin fed Edwardh as he entered the offensive-zone and the defenseman charged the net to screen Manchester goalie Charles Williams. Edwardh threw a loose puck on net that slid to Salhany who tapped in for his first of the postseason.
James Henry tied the game less than two minutes later with the Thunder’s first power-play goal of the night. Edwardh set up Pete MacArthur at the right point where the veteran forward steadied the puck. After surveying his options, the alternate captain put a pass towards the scrum in front that Henry got his stick on with a pretty redirection to tie the game.
Salhany gave Adirondack the only lead it needed on the night with a beautiful redirection goal of his own. With the Thunder again on the power play, Mike Szmatula wound up for a slap-pass from the left circle and Salhany, planted in front of Williams, got the deflection to veer right into the back of the cage to make it 4-3 with 9:17 remaining.
Chris Carlisle and Kevin Dufour scored the first two goals of the game for Manchester. Carlisle potted a wrist-shot from the left wing, while Dufour cleaned ripped a rebound opportunity by Alex Sakellaropoulos to give the Monarchs a 2-0 with less than 30 seconds to play in the first period.
Brian Ward notched his second tally of the postseason to make it 2-1 at 8:31 of the middle frame. Henry led the offensive-zone charge and left a drop-pass for Ward after taking both Manchester defensemen with him. Ward corralled, picked his spot and sniped a quick wrister by Williams to make it 2-1.
Nic Pierog restored the two-goal lead for Manchester with a shorthanded tally less than five minutes later. After Adirondack was buzzing on the power play, Pierog finished a 2-on-1 that was set up from former Thunder forward Pierre-Luc Mercier by finishing top shelf over the shoulder of Sakellaropoulos to make it a 3-1 contest.
That score held through the end of 40 minutes, but Adirondack’s third-period onslaught led them to victory. Sakellaropoulos finished the night with 21 saves on 24 Manchester shots.
Game 5 is now deemed necessary and will be played tomorrow evening in Manchester, NH. Puck drop is set for 6:00 p.m. from SNHU Arena. For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
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