GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Thunder returned home Wednesday for game four in the best-of-seven series against the Worcester Railers. During the regular season, the Thunder had only managed to win two games against the Railers during regulation. The postseason has been much more successful for Adirondack, with the Thunder picking up two victories in the first weekend of playoffs. They managed to surpass that number Wednesday night, improving to 3-1 against Worcester in the postseason.
During this entire series, the team who has scored first went on to win each game. Adirondack’s Ryan Schmelzer was the first to be credited with a goal Wednesday night. Schmelzer threw the puck across the ice in front of goaltender Eamon McAdam. In an odd string of events, Worcester forward Matt Gaudreau was right in front of his netminder and tapped the puck with his skate. The puck went between McAdam’s legs and into the net for a Thunder goal. Schmelzer had been the last Adirondack player to touch the puck and was therefore credited with the goal at 8:07 of the first period.
The Thunder were given a bit of a scare in the second period when Kellen Jones set up Barry Almeida to tie it at 1-1. Gaudreau somewhat redeemed himself and picked up an assist as well.
It only took 1:32 for the Thunder to regain the lead. Mathieu Brodeur fed the puck across the blue line to defensive partner Mike Bergin, whose shot deflected off Brian Ward on the way to the net.
After the second period goal at 11:12, the Railers were unable to get anything else past Thunder goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood. Adirondack had a 5-on-3 for 1:42 in the third period but couldn’t capitalize. The game ended with a 2-1 Thunder victory.
Several Adirondack players have had a strong series thus far. Ward leads the way with four points (three goals, one assist). Schmelzer (two goals, one assist) and Dylan Olsen (three assists) follow with three points apiece. Paul Rodrigues tallied a goal and assist, and Mike Bergin picked up two assists in Wednesday’s game. Rookies Tim Harrison and Mike Szmatula have each registered a goal. Blackwood been unbeatable, making 108 saves on 111 shots faced, good for a 0.75 goals-against average and .973 save percentage.
For Worcester, Almeida has notched two goals, while Woody Hudson and Jeff Kubiak each have one.
The two teams next face off Saturday night for game five in Glens Falls. The Thunder will advance to the North Division finals with a win. If the Railers are victorious, the series will shift back to Massachusetts for game six Monday. If necessary, game seven would return to Glens Falls Wednesday, April 25.
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