GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Thunder began their longest road trip of the season on November 1 when their bus departed the Cool Insuring Arena en route to their first destination, Fort Wayne, Indiana for a game against the Komets November 3. The Thunder would play nine games in eight different cities, while encountering several obstacles along the way, but there is light at the end of the tunnel…the marathon 11-game roadie ends this week.
The Thunder were met with several off-ice issues during the long road trip. For starters, much of the trip was spent in an uncomfortable, cramped sleeper bus. The bus had its issues, including power failure and a broken wheel on the equipment trailer. Because it was being used in so many different states in such a short amount of time, the team credit card was shut down for fraud protection. There were several roster moves, including two trades (defenseman Ryan Segalla to the Norfolk Admirals in exchange for forward Ben Murphy, and forward J.C. Campagna to the Orlando Solar Bears in exchange for forward Andrew Radjenovic). Also, the Tampa Bay Lightning sent goaltender Nick Riopel to the Syracuse Crunch and defenseman Matthew Spencer and rookie goaltender Connor Ingram to Adirondack. Tampa Bay reversed this move only four days later. To top it all off, on the final night of the trip, when the Thunder were finally supposed to come home, the bus driver took them to Worcester, Massachusetts, keeping the team on the road an extra two hours.
Despite all the obstacles, Adirondack was still able to finish the road trip with a 6-2-0-1 record, outscoring their opponents 31-22. The Thunder defeated the Fort Wayne Komets 4-2, Quad City Mallards 4-1, Kalamazoo Wings 4-1 and 5-2, Norfolk Admirals 3-2, and Manchester Monarchs 5-4. The only teams to defeat the Thunder in regulation were the Cincinnati Cyclones and Wheeling Nailers, by scores of 2-1 and 6-4 respectively; the Brampton Beast needed a shootout to edge the Thunder 2-1.
The Thunder ended the road trip on a high note in Manchester, New Hampshire with a nail-biting 5-4 win over the rival Monarchs. The Thunder got on the board first, with a goal from defenseman Desmond Bergin 45 seconds into the middle frame. The Monarchs then scored two, from forwards Zac Lynch and Tommy Kelley, to put the home team up 2-1. The Thunder answered back with two of their own, both coming on the power play, from defensemen Kevin Lough and Dylan Olsen. Forward Ty Loney scored his eleventh goal of the season 32 seconds into the third period to put Adirondack up 4-2. Manchester’s Matt Schmalz and Joel Lowry scored to tie it up. The game-winner came at the 13:08 mark of the final frame when Thunder forward Brian Ward scored his fifth goal of the season.
Adirondack goes back on the road Tuesday and Friday, continuing their stretch of 12 straight on the road when they take on the Reading Royals. On Saturday, the Thunder will play at home for the first time since October 28, with Reading the opponent that night as well. Saturday’s game will feature a superhero theme, with specialty jerseys available for auction online.