GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Thunder had not won two or more consecutive games since February 23-24. In fact, they entered the weekend on a four-game losing streak. With the Maine Mariners and Manchester Monarchs right on their heels, and the Brampton Beast and Worcester Railers not too far behind, the Thunder needed a strong weekend. It wouldn’t be an easy task, with two of the three games coming against the North Division’s top team, the Newfoundland Growlers.
Adirondack wasted no time getting on the board Friday night. Forward Conor Riley netted his 18th goal of the season just 2:10 into the game. Captain James Henry added another later in the first to take a 2-0 lead into the middle frame. Newfoundland’s Josh Kestner scored early in the second, but Adirondack’s Peter MacArthur answered back later in the period to take a two-goal lead into the final frame. Brian Ward added another goal in the third to seal the Thunder victory, 4-1. Rookie goaltender Logan Thompson picked up the win, making 30 saves in the process.
The two teams faced off again Saturday, in what would become a rather exciting game. This time, it was the Growlers’ turn to net an early goal. Zach O’Brien opened the scoring at 1:55 of the opening period. Later in the period, Growlers goaltender Michael Garteig slashed Riley in the knee as Riley skated past him. Riley left the ice in pain, but came back with a vengeance in the second, “a little bit of karma” as he called it. He set up rookie defenseman Kelly Summers‘ goal, then scored one of his own in the middle frame. He then went on to score twice more in the third, for his first hat trick. Ward also picked up two goals in the 6-4 Thunder victory. Adirondack closed out the season series undefeated at home.
The Thunder closed out the weekend against the Reading Royals. With goaltender Thompson injured the previous night, Adirondack’s AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Devils, sent Cam Johnson down for the game. Former Adirondack Phantom Kevin Goumas opened the scoring for the Royals, the lone goal of the first period. Summers and newcomer Hans Gorowsky gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead in the middle of the second, but Reading answered back with goals from Josh MacDonald and Chris McCarthy. Down by a goal heading into the third period, Adirondack thundered back with four goals in the final minutes. Gorowsky picked up his second of the game to start the barrage. Dylan Walchuk netted the game-winner less than 30 seconds later. Michael Sdao and Mike Szmatula also added goals to bring the final score to 6-3.
Gorowsky’s two goals on Sunday were the first two of his pro career. He described it as “super, super exciting, and a great opportunity.”
Head coach Alex Loh on Gorowsky: “He stepped up big here tonight. You always want to see the guys who come in and work hard, do well. And he worked hard all week in practice, he came in, and obviously contributed well, so guys get really excited about that.”
The Thunder next head to Brampton to take on the Beast Saturday and Sunday. Adirondack is 1-2-0-0 in Brampton and 2-4-1-0 overall against the Beast.