GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Thunder were a resilient team during the 2018-19 regular season and continued to be into the playoffs. The Thunder had not lost two consecutive games since February. The streak ended Friday night against the Florida Everblades in their best-of-seven ECHL Eastern Conference Final series. After Wednesday’s 3-2 loss in game three, Adirondack fell again in game four, this time by a much larger margin.
During much of the postseason, the team to score first goes on to win the game. The only exceptions for either team have been decided in overtime. Friday was no exception.
With teammate Logan Roe in the penalty box for hooking, Florida’s Stephen MacAulay picked up the game’s crucial first goal at 14:57 of the first period.
Zack Kamrass put the Everblades up 2-0 with 43 seconds remaining in the period. His shot was deflected by Thunder defender Blake Thompson to fool goaltender Drew Fielding. The goal came on the power play, with Adirondack’s Colton White in the box for tripping.
The Thunder were able to pull within one at 5:41 of the second period, on a strange goal originally credited to Terrence Wallin. Ryan Schmelzer‘s shot was stopped by Florida netminder Martin Ouellette, but the rebound was put in. Because Wallin was in the vicinity, the puck was assumed to have been deflected in by him. Upon further review, it was determined the puck actually hit Everblades defender Roe. Schmelzer was the last Adirondack player to touch the puck, he was credited with the goal.
That was as close as the Thunder would get. Florida’s David Dziurzynski and Sam Warning both scored power play goals in the middle frame to extend the Everblades’ lead to 4-1. Warning’s goal ended the night for Fielding, who was replaced by Olivier Mantha.
The Everblades’ Mitchell Heard and Steven Lorentz added two more goals in a span of 1:09 early in the third period to bring the score to 6-1.
The Thunder did not give up, scoring two more goals in less than three minutes. Troy Bourke picked up a power play goal at 11:52. James Henry closed out the scoring for the home team with 5:10 remaining in the final frame.
Florida’s Brett Bulmer, ending any hope for a miracle finish by the Thunder, added an empty net goal to bring the final score to 7-3.
The two teams meet again Saturday night in Glens Falls for game five in the best-of-seven series. If the Everblades win, they advance to the Kelly Cup Final. If the Thunder win, the series shifts back to Florida. Adirondack will need to win the final three games of the series to continue their season. The final two games will be in Florida, where the Everblades have gone 5-1 in the postseason. The lone loss was to the Thunder in game two of this series.