GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Thunder have dominated the Manchester Monarchs for much of the 2017-18 season. That hasn’t changed in the playoffs.
After dropping game one 5-3, the Thunder rebounded in game two to tie the series, and went ahead 2-1 with Tuesday’s win. For the second game in a row, the Thunder scored five goals on the way to victory. More important than the number of goals scored is who has scored them. Like game two, game three featured some unlikely goal-scorers.
After an unproductive first period that saw a combined 12 shots on goal, both teams stepped it up in the second, peppering the goaltenders with a combined 31 shots. Five of Adirondack’s 15 second period shots made it past Manchester goaltender Charles Williams.
Adirondack’s first goal of the night was scored by rookie Ryan Schmelzer, who joined the team in March after his collegiate career had ended. Defenseman Desmond Bergin sent a backhand pass to a streaking Schmelzer, who put the puck past Williams.
Less than two minutes later, defenseman Rob Hamilton tied the game. Hamilton received a pass from Alexx Privitera and was able to beat Adirondack netminder Drew Fielding.
Thunder defenseman Colton White scored exactly two minutes later at 6:18 to regain the lead. It was the 20-year-old’s first pro playoff goal. Desmond Bergin once again picked up the primary assist with another timely pass.
Conor Riley made it 3-1 with his shorthanded breakaway goal at 14:41, his first pro playoff goal. Riley recently transitioned from a defenseman to the forward position and has thrived in the new role, putting up three points in this series alone.
Tony Turgeon scored off a faceoff just 28 seconds later to bring his team to within one. Kevin Morris won the faceoff for the Monarchs, and Turgeon was able to beat Fielding. It was the first pro playoff goal for the five-year pro, who is known more for his penalties than for his goals.
Austin Orszulak, used sparingly this season, netted his second goal of the series at the 16:46 mark to put Adirondack up 4-2.
Only 20 seconds later, Terrence Wallin tallied his third goal of the series. Wallin received a pass from James Henry from behind the net and put the puck past Williams for a 5-2 lead. That goal chased the Manchester goaltender, who was replaced by Evan Cowley.
Adirondack’s five second period goals were a franchise record for goals scored in a single period.
The Monarchs heavily outshot the Thunder in the third period (17-4) and were able to score one more goal. Morris deflected a David Kolomatis shot past Fielding to make the final score 5-3.
Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman, a Thunder killer during the regular season, has been held without a point in this series.
The teams meet again Thursday in Glens Falls for game four before heading to Manchester for game five Sunday. If needed, game six will be Monday, May 7 in Manchester. Game seven, if necessary, will be Wednesday, May 9 in Glens Falls.