GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – After the Adirondack Thunder and Florida Everblades split games one and two in Florida, the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final series shifted to Glens Falls for game three Wednesday night. After Saturday’s thrilling overtime victory, the Thunder were expected to return home with all the momentum.
After controlling the pace for the first five minutes, the Thunder seemed to fall apart quickly. At 4:40 of the first period, Adirondack’s Tim Harrison was sent to the penalty box for elbowing. Florida couldn’t put a shot on net until the 5:28 mark, but once they got started, the Everblades controlled the play for the rest of the opening frame.
With Harrison in the box, Florida scored the crucial first goal at 6:05 of the first period. Sam Warning passed the puck to Gus Young at the blue line. Young fired it through traffic in front of the net to beat Adirondack goaltender Drew Fielding.
At 7:47, Logan Roe‘s shot from the blue line got through traffic to beat Fielding and put Florida up 2-0.
The Thunder were able to regroup for the second period, outshooting the Everblades 14-9, and getting two goals past goaltender Martin Ouellette.
The first of Adirondack’s two goals came less than a minute into the middle frame. Ryan Schmelzer battled for the puck in the offensive zone corner and got it up to Terrence Wallin, who blasted it past Ouellette to bring the Thunder to within one.
Schmelzer picked up a goal of his own at 4:36 of the second. After fighting his way past Roe to get to the net, Schmelzer was able to sneak the puck past Ouellette. The game was tied heading into the third period.
After such a strong second period, the Thunder fell apart again in the third. Florida regained the lead less than two minutes in, and Adirondack wasn’t able to recover.
Zack Kamrass sent a pass to John McCarron from the blue line. McCarron fed the puck across the crease to Warning, whose shot was stopped by Fielding. McCarron picked up the rebound and easily tossed it into an open net.
That final Florida goal was enough to shake the Thunder. Passes weren’t connecting; the Thunder were unable to clear their own zone; and when they did, it wasn’t for long. The game ended with a 3-2 Everblades victory.
The two teams play game four of the best-of-seven series tonight in Glens Falls. Game five will again be in Glens Falls Saturday night. If the Thunder wins at least one of those games, the series will shift back to Florida.
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