ST. JOHN’S – Vinnie Purpura made 37 saves in his professional debut as the Adirondack Thunder defeated the Newfoundland Growlers on Friday night, 6-2, from inside Mary Brown’s Center.
Adirondack scored twice in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Xavier Parent returned to the lineup and beat goaltender Keith Petruzzelli just 3:28 into the game for the lead. The goal was Parent’s 23rd of the year with assists from Matt Jennings and Shane Harper.
Brady Fleurent added to the lead at 15:02 of the first to give the Thunder a two-goal advantage. Fleurent took a pass from below the goal line and lifted the puck just under the cross bar for his sixth of the year from Ryan Orgel and Nick Rivera.
Newfoundland got on the board shortly after as Jack Badini pushed in a rebound chance at the top of the crease for his eighth of the season. Keenan Suthers and Brandon Kruse were credited with the helpers and the Thunder took a 2-1 lead into the second period.
Wayne Letourneau cashed in on a power play to give Adirondack a 3-1 lead. Letourneau took a return pass from Grant Jozefek and sent a wrister into the net for his second of the year. The goal came at 10:14 of the second period with assists from Jozefek and Kyle Hallbauer.
Sebastian Vidmar set up Shane Harper for his 17th of the year to give the Thunder a 4-1 lead just over one minute later. Vidmar gathered the puck and sent it to the side of the crease for Harper to tap into the net. The goal came at 11:34 of the second with the lone assist going to Vidmar.
The Growlers got one back on the power play shortly after in the second as Pavel Gogolev scored his 25th of the year to decrease the Thunder lead to two, 4-2. Assists were credited to Todd Skirving and Nolan Walker at 13:03 of the middle frame.
Shane Harper scored his second of the game on a tip in front of the net to give the Thunder a 5-2 lead. Sebastian Vidmar and Wayne Letourneau were given the assists with 1:57 left in the second.
Ryan Smith added to the lead in the third period with his 13th of the year to seal the 6-2 win. Vinnie Purpura collected his first professional win with 37 saves.
After a week on the road in Newfoundland, the Thunder host Stick it to Cancer Weekend on March 24 and 25 against Worcester. Paint the Ice Night is after the game on March 24 and specialty jerseys all weekend! Get your tickets by visiting the Thunder front office or by calling 518-480-3355.
For more information on ticket packages, call the front office at 518-480-3355 or visit www.ECHLThunder.com/tickets. For all the latest Adirondack Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.