MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Adirondack Thunder traveled to New Hampshire to take on the first-place Manchester Monarchs for the first of two games between the teams this weekend. The Monarchs entered the night on a three-game winless streak, while the Thunder had earned at least a point in each of their last five games. Both streaks were extended Friday with Adirondack’s 6-1 victory.
The Thunder got on the board early in the game when Troy Bourke skated in alone and backhanded the puck over the shoulder of Monarchs’ goaltender Evan Cowley. It would take almost 10 minutes for the next goal. Terrence Wallin extended Adirondack’s lead when he tapped Bourke’s pass into a wide-open net. The Thunder ended the first period with a 2-0 lead.
Manchester cut the lead in half early in the middle frame when Matt Schmalz beat Adirondack goaltender Drew Fielding. That would be the Monarchs’ only goal. The Thunder regained their two-goal lead at the 14:52 mark when James Henry poked the puck past Cowley. Shane Conacher had taken the initial shot, which bounced off Wallin in front of the net, and right to Henry. The second period ended with Adirondack leading 3-1.
The Thunder were not done just yet, doubling their score in the final frame. After assisting on each of his linemates’ goals earlier in the game, Conacher picked up a goal of his own at 15:01. Tim Harrison added another when his shot beat Cowley at the 17:20 mark. After scoring the first goal of the game, Bourke also scored the last. His goal at 17:48 of the third period gave Adirondack a 6-1 victory.
During Friday’s game, Adirondack’s top line of Bourke, Wallin, and Conacher combined for an astonishing 13 points. Bourke (two goals, two assists) and Wallin (one goal, three assists) each had four points. Conacher picked up five points (one goal, four assists).
The two teams meet again Saturday in Manchester. The Monarchs currently lead the North Division with 71 points; Adirondack has 70. With a regulation win, the Thunder will move into sole possession of first place in the division.