GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Thunder are entering their third season in the ECHL. A new affiliation with the New Jersey Devils (NHL) and Binghamton Devils (AHL) was announced in the off-season, along with an unofficial “handshake agreement” with the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) and Syracuse Crunch (AHL).
Head Coach: Brad Tapper will take over behind the bench after the departure of Cail MacLean, who accepted an Assistant Coaching role with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. Alex Loh will continue as Assistant Coach.
Last Season: With a 41-20-7-4 record, Adirondack finished the regular season first in the North Division, second in the Eastern Conference, and tied for sixth in the league. The Thunder fell to rival Manchester in the first round of the playoffs.
2016-17 was a season of call-ups for the Thunder with 15 players dressing for at least one AHL game during the regular season. Last season’s affiliates, the Calgary Flames and Stockton Heat, supplied Adirondack with nine players over the course of the season. There were also several injuries to key players, leading to additional signings and call-ups from the SPHL. Despite the constant roster changes, Adirondack still managed to cruise to a .646 winning percentage and a first place finish in their division. Their regular season success did not carry over into the playoffs, and the Thunder fell in the first round to the Manchester Monarchs.
- Affiliation changes: Formerly affiliated with Calgary/Stockton, with a “handshake agreement” (unofficial affiliation) with New Jersey/Albany. Main affiliation is now with New Jersey/Binghamton Devils; “handshake agreement” with Tampa Bay/Syracuse.
- Goaltending: The Devils and Lightning are each providing a goaltender. Ken Appleby was popular with Adirondack fans after an impressive rookie season with the team in 2015-16. Former Adirondack Phantom Nick Riopel makes his return to Glens Falls and will bring experience and maturity to the position.
- Berginsanity: The Thunder will have two Bergins on the team this season (Mike and Desmond), and both are defenseman. Will we see a Bergin-Bergin defensive pairing this season?
- The Massachusetts connection: The Thunder currently have eight players who are from Massachusetts or who have played there.
- Ty Loney: Last season, Loney had 40 points in 36 games for the Thunder before being called up to the Chicago Wolves (AHL) for the remainder of the season. Will be in the top three on the team in scoring.
- Brian Ward: Had a point-per-game rookie season cut short by injury. If he can avoid the sophomore slump, he will be neck-and-neck with Loney for the team lead in points.
- J.C. Campagna: Joined the team late in the 2016-17 season, and only played in 16 games, but still registered ten points. Campagna was one of the few bright spots in the Thunder’s two preseason games, and should put up decent numbers if he can continue his offensive spark.
- Kevin Lough: Developed his game throughout last season and has become one of Adirondack’s best defensemen in my opinion. Makes the tough plays at the blue line. Speedy, as showcased in the 2017 All-Star skills competition.
Blocked and Reported
- Peter MacArthur (to ECHL’s Allen Americans): The team captain for much of his stay in Glens Falls, the Clifton Park, NY native will be missed both on and off the ice, by players and fans alike. He brought passion and dedication, in addition to his 99 regular season points for the Thunder.
- Greg Wolfe (to Norway’s Sparta Sarpsborg): Wolfe racked up 76 points in his two regular seasons with the Thunder. The popular forward will be sorely missed by fans as well as he had become an active member of the community, spending summers in the area and participating at the local YMCA.
- Stepan Falkovsky (to AHL’s Ontario Reign): The 6-7 rookie defenseman had a blistering slapshot and took advantage of it with 124 shots on goal and 21 of them going in the net. “Falko” impressed at the 2017 ECHL All-Star Classic with his 99 mph shot, the hardest in the competition.
Thunder won round one in 2016, Manchester took round one in 2017, 2018 is Adirondack’s turn again. #ADKvsMAN