KALAMAZOO, MI – The Adirondack Thunder continued their nine-game road trip with two games in two nights in Kalamazoo, MI. The Thunder defeated the Kalamazoo Wings both Friday and Saturday nights to improve to 4-1-0-0 on the current road trip and 7-4-1-0 overall.
Friday’s game started out slowly, with no scoring for either team until 2:27 of the second period, when Adirondack’s James Henry scored on the power play with Kalamazoo’s Tyler Biggs off for slashing. The Wings tied it up at the 12:00 mark when former Adirondack Phantom Kyle Bushee scored on the power play with Brian Ward serving a high-sticking double-minor. It only took 36 seconds for the Thunder to regain their lead, with Pierre-Luc Mercier setting up J.C. Campagna for what would be the game-winner.
The Thunder didn’t let up, scoring twice more in the third period. Ty Loney added an insurance goal at 8:53, also a power play goal, with Kalamazoo’s Biggs in the penalty box once again. Terrence Wallin wrapped up the scoring at 11:33 to give the Thunder a 4-1 lead. Adirondack’s rookie goaltender Connor Ingram was stellar in his debut with the team, making 33 saves on 34 shots. In contrast, Kalamazoo’s veteran goaltender Joel Martin made 24 saves on 28 shots.
The Thunder still didn’t let up heading into Saturday’s game, with Henry setting up Mercier for a short-handed goal 6:45 into the game, with teammate Matthew Spencer in the box for slashing. At 12:23, Mercier returned the favor and set up Henry to put Adirondack up 2-0. Six minutes later, Kalamazoo began their comeback with a goal from Anton Cederholm. Josh Pitt tied things up at 4:50 of the second period. At 6:27, Adirondack’s Austin Orszulak began his own comeback, scoring an unassisted goal in his first game back from an injury that has kept him out since Oct. 20. Orszulak scored again at 11:29, this time assisted by Wallin and Paul Rodrigues. The Thunder headed into the third period with a 4-2 lead.
Loney extended Adirondack’s lead with a power play goal only 34 seconds into the third period. That would conclude the scoring for either team, giving the Thunder the 5-2 victory. Adirondack’s Ingram was once again the better goaltender, making 25 saves on 27 shots. Kalamazoo’s Martin made only 16 saves on 21 shots.
Several Thunder players had a strong weekend in Kalamazoo, most notably Ingram, making some spectacular saves and looking like a veteran goaltender at times. Henry, Loney, and Orszulak each had two goals. Rookie forward Mercier continued his strong play with a goal and two assists. Wallin added a goal and assist. Rodrigues and defenseman Kevin Lough contributed two assists apiece.
Adirondack currently sits in second place in the North Division, one point behind rival Manchester Monarchs. The Thunder finish up the weekend Sunday in Brampton for the sixth game of a nine-game road trip.
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