GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Thunder and Manchester Monarchs faced off in game two of the North Division semifinal Saturday night. The Thunder were looking to tie up the series at home, while the Monarchs wanted to take a 2-0 series lead before the series shifts to their home ice.
The Thunder started off on the right foot, getting in front of Manchester goaltender Charles Williams in an attempt to screen shots, executing their passes, helping out goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos, and jumping on Williams’ rebounds. It was one of those rebounds that gave the Thunder the early lead Saturday night. Rookie forward John Edwardh capitalized on a rebound from Williams at 4:48 of the first period and the Thunder gained the upper hand.
Adirondack held the lead until late in the opening frame, when Tony Cameranesi received a beautiful pass from Pavel Jenys and put the puck into the open net. Sakellaropoulos appeared to be fooled on the play, committing to Jenys’s faked shot, leaving the other side of the net wide open for Cameranesi. The first period ended in a 1-1 tie.
Forward Nic Pierog gave the Monarchs the lead 2:27 into the second period, and it was all downhill from there for the Thunder. With forwards Conor Riley and Brian Ward both in the penalty box, the Monarchs had 33 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage. They capitalized with only seven seconds remaining on Riley’s slashing minor when Kevin Dufour deflected in a shot from David Kolomatis. Bokondji Imama added another later in the period to give Manchester the 4-1 lead.
The scoring barrage continued into the final frame, with Michael Doherty and Jenys adding two more in the latter half of the third period. The final buzzer mercifully ended the night for the Thunder, who gave up six straight goals in the loss.
Alternate captain Peter MacArthur and head coach Alex Loh had nearly identical statements on Adirondack’s shortcomings.
Macarthur: “they’re capitalizing on their opportunities, which we know that’s how they can be dangerous, and we’re not capitalizing on ours.”
Loh: “The difference right now is they’re burying their chances and we aren’t.”
The Thunder will need to win Wednesday in Manchester to avoid a detrimental three-game deficit. MacArthur says, “The mental brainfarts definitely need to be cut down to a minimum,” but remains positive that his team can dig its way out of the hole it’s in.
“we’re in the hole right now, we’re not in the crater. we’re in a hole and we need to dig out on Wednesday.”
The best-of-seven series shifts to New Hampshire for games Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (if needed). Of the five games played in Manchester during the regular season, the Thunder had a slight edge, going 3-2-0-0. They did have a couple of blowout victories, 6-0 on January 30 and 8-1 on March 2, and outscored the Monarchs in the SNHU Arena 23-13.