GLENS FALLS, NY – After Friday night’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Manchester Monarchs, the Adirondack Thunder returned home to take on the Reading Royals for Military Appreciation Night.The sellout crowd of 5,445 got their money’s worth in a game that featured 72 shots on goal, spectacular saves from goaltenders Drew Fielding and Mark Dekanich, an exciting overtime goal, and the return of injury-plagued Troy Bourke.
Saturday’s game started out in Adirondack’s favor, with the home team getting the chances for most of the first period. In the first half of the period, the Thunder had already put 11 shots on net, while the Royals had managed only two. By the end of the period, the Thunder were leading 18-7 in shots on goal, many of them quality chances. Reading’s goaltender Dekanich stopped each of them, and the game remained scoreless through the first 20 minutes.
Adirondack got on the board first at 1:47 of the second period when Paul Rodrigues set up defenseman Desmond Bergin for his 12th goal of the season. Reading’s Chris McCarthy tied it up less than five minutes later with a power-play goal. The Thunder regained their lead at 11:33 when Shane Conacher fed Bourke behind the net. Bourke, in his first game since January 5, scored his fourth of the season on a wraparound that deflected off a Reading defender parked in front of the net. The talented forward has missed most of the season with injuries but is still averaging almost two points per game for the Thunder (13 points in seven games). The Thunder took a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame.
At 2:32 of the third period, Reading’s Scott Tanski took advantage of an Adirondack defensive lapse and tied the game. Both goaltenders continued to make big saves, and neither team was able to score again in regulation.
Adirondack’s James Henry gave his team the extra standings point with his breakaway goal at 2:26 of the overtime session.
The Thunder conclude the weekend with a home game Sunday afternoon, versus another North Division opponent, the Wheeling Nailers. Adirondack is currently in second place in the division’s playoff race, five points ahead of fourth-place Wheeling.