GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Thunder ended 2017 on a high note, shutting out the Reading Royals 3-0 in front of their largest crowd of the season (4,869) at the Cool Insuring Arena on Sunday evening. The Thunder had previously been 1-6-1 against the Royals this season, with the first victory just two weeks earlier, a 6-2 rout in Reading on December 17.
The two teams had faced off the night before in Reading, a penalty-filled 5-3 victory for the Royals. That game saw Thunder captain Mike Bergin ejected for elbowing 6:15 into the second period. There was an altercation before the puck dropped at 12:28 of the third, with both Adirondack’s Tim Harrison and Reading’s Jimmy DeVito taking two-minute delay-of-game penalties. Once the two players stepped back onto the ice after serving their penalties, they dropped the gloves. Seconds later Thunder defenseman Vytal Cote squared off with Royals forward Ryan Penny, while Ty Loney and Scott Tanski had their own tussle. Saturday’s game saw a combined 65 penalty minutes between the two teams. The New Year’s Eve game seemed destined for fireworks.
Sunday’s game started out as expected, with a fight right off the opening faceoff, with Tanski taking on Mike Bergin only one second into the game. That would be the only fight of the game, however. The Thunder did all of their fighting in the net, with goaltender Drew Fielding getting his first shutout of the season, earning himself first star honors and making 29 saves along the way. Shane Conacher helped the Thunder get on the board early, scoring his fifth of the season only 1:46 into the game. That early goal would end up being the game-winner, with Adirondack’s alternate captains Mathieu Brodeur and James Henry adding goals in the second and third periods respectively. Brodeur finished the night with two points as the second star of the game, picking up an assist on Conacher’s goal as well. Forward Troy Bourke picked up two assists and was named the third star.
The Thunder hope to begin 2018 the same way they ended 2017. Their first game of the new year is tonight at home against divisional foe the Manchester Monarchs. The Monarchs currently lead the North division with 44 points, with Adirondack now in sole possession of second place with 36 points.
Heading into the contest, Pierre-Luc Mercier is second among rookies with five power-play goals on the season and the Thunder are 7-3-2 in one-goal contests.
In just four games played so far this season, the Thunder are 3-1-0 against Manchester this season, but the two teams will play nine more times between now and the end of the regular season.
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