MANCHESTER, NH – The Adirondack Thunder and Manchester Monarchs faced off in game four of the North Division semifinal Friday night. With the Monarchs leading 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, the game was a must-win for the Thunder.
The Monarchs got on the board first when defenseman Chris Carlisle beat Thunder goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos on a shot which took a weird bounce in front of the net. Forward Kevin Dufour added another on a rebound, and the Monarchs closed out the opening frame with a 2-0 lead.
Adirondack got on the board 8:31 into the second period when Brian Ward picked up James Henry‘s drop pass and blasted the puck past Manchester goaltender Charles Williams.
Nic Pierog regained the two-goal lead for the Monarchs at the 13:00 mark. Sakellaropoulos tried to pass the puck along the boards to defenseman Desmond Bergin, but the puck was misplayed and ended up on the stick of Manchester forward Pierre-Luc Mercier who passed to Pierog in front of the net. The Adirondack goaltender scrambled to get back in time, but was unable to stop Pierog.
The Thunder played well in the middle frame and were able to pepper Williams with 18 shots on goal, but still trailed the Monarchs by two goals.
Salhany: “I think the second was a real turn of events. obviously we weren’t getting our bounces, but I think we were just sticking to the game plan and plugging along.”
Forward Matt Salhany brought the Thunder to within one again early in the third when he tipped in a shot from John Edwardh. Henry tied it up less than two minutes later when he knocked in Peter MacArthur‘s shot from the blue line. Salhany completed the comeback when he deflected in a shot from Mike Szmatula.
salhany on williams: “We knew that his horseshoe would maybe fall out sooner or later.”
“Just getting more than one or two goals and really getting some pressure on him and making him think. I think that’s a weight off our shoulders for sure.”
The two teams face off in game five Saturday, once again in Manchester, and once again a must-win for Adirondack. If the Thunder win, the series shifts back to Glens Falls for game six Tuesday and if needed, game seven Wednesday. If the Monarchs win, the season ends for the Thunder.