MANCHESTER, N.H. — After an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Manchester Monarchs Friday night, the Adirondack Thunder needed to get back into the win column. The Thunder did just that Saturday night with a decisive 5-3 win over the Monarchs. The fans in attendance got their money’s worth, as the game featured a little bit of everything. There was scoring from the usual suspects, a few milestones, and a lot of penalties, including fights.
The game got off to a slow start, but the pace began to quicken at the 16:45 mark of the first period. Thunder forward Troy Bourke hit a Monarch along the boards, and Kevin Morris took exception. The two fought, and Morris took an extra two minutes for instigating. With 23 seconds left on the penalty, Adirondack’s Ryan Schmelzer netted his first professional goal. Mike Szmatula picked up an assist for his first pro point.
The physical stuff didn’t end there. Shortly after the goal, there was a wrestling match in front of the Adirondack net. Martin Nemcik dove in on top of the pile and gave the Thunder another power play, but they were not able to capitalize.
The second period was the most exciting for the fans with five goals scored and several more scraps. Adirondack’s Kenton Miller put the Thunder up 2-0 three minutes into the middle frame. Just over two minutes later, Manchester’s Ashton Rome cut the deficit in half. That’s the closest the Monarchs would get. Later in the period, Shane Conacher scored two goals, and Bourke picked up one as well.
The second period saw 46 minutes of penalty time, with 30 coming at the 3:29 mark. That melee resulted in six players penalized, three from each team. Thunder captain Mike Bergin ended up with a game misconduct. There was still one more fight to be had, between Pierre-Luc Mercier and Alexx Privitera, at 6:01. Things calmed down after that, with only four minor penalties being taken the rest of the game.
The third period belonged to Manchester, with the Monarchs netting the only two goals scored in that frame. Jared Kolquist picked up his first as a pro at 6:49. Michael Doherty scored the other with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Conacher and Bourke each picked up three points on the night. Conacher had two goals and an assist, while Bourke had a goal and two assists. Adirondack defenseman Conor Riley also had a solid game. He picked up an assist on Miller’s goal and made several smart defensive plays throughout the game.
Thunder defenseman Mathieu Brodeur played in his 500th pro regular season game. Monarchs equipment manager Zac Guercia was also working his 500th game.
With the victory, Adirondack remained within easy reach of first place in the North Division, trailing Manchester by two points. On Wednesday, the Thunder rolls on to the DCU Center for a 7:05 pm ET tilt with the Worcester Railers.