Gameday: Adirondack at Manchester
TONIGHT'S MATCHUP: Tonight's matchup is Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Manchester Monarchs and the Adirondack Thunder. The Thunder lead the best of seven series 1-0, courtesy of a 3-2 win on Wednesday. The Thunder and Monarchs are familiar foes, after the two teams faced off 15 times during the regular season.
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLFE: Thunder forward Greg Wolfe picked up right where he left off at the end of the regular season, as he powered his team to a Game 1 win with a three-point effort on Wednesday. Wolfe collected two goals and an assist, his first career ECHL playoff points. including the game winning goal with just 1:33 to play in the game. Wolfe's scoring spree continues off a hot month of April, where he scored six goals in six games, including his first professional hat trick on April 1 against Norfolk.
LIKE MIKE: Dating back to the regular season, Thunder forward Michael Kirkpatrick has collected multiple points in four straight games, extended with a two-point effort in the series opening victory. Kirkpatrick opened the Kelly Cup Playoffs with a goal just 43 seconds into the game and also picked up an assist on the game-winning goal. Playoff scoring is nothing new for Kirkpatrick, who previously led the QMJHL with 31 points in 21 playoff games during the 2010 season.
APPLE PICKING: Thunder netminder Ken Appleby made his professional postseason debut on Wednesday and collected the win with a strong 25-save effort on 27 shots. No stranger to postseason play, Appleby led the Oshawa Generals to a Memorial Cup victory a season ago and he earned the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy for Top Goaltender, as well as a place on the All-Tournament Team. Appleby posted a perfect 4-0 record with a 2.08 GAA and a .915 SV% in four tournament games.
POWER TRIP: The Thunder capitalized on the power play for the first time in the postseason with Wolfe's first goal of the game late in the second period. The Thunder's power play has been efficient all season away from home, as it ranked fourth in the ECHL this season at 21.7 percent in games played on the road.
BACK WHERE WE BELONG: The Thunder's playoff berth marks the first time since 2006 that an Adirondack team will play in the postseason, with the UHL's Adirondack Frostbite the last to see playoff action. The Thunder will now look to become the first Adirondack team since 1994 to win a playoff series and the first since 1992 to win a championship, dating back to the Adirondack Red Wings days.
A LOOK AHEAD: Following tonight's Game 2, the series shifts to Glens Falls for games 3 and 4, beginning Saturday evening at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m. for Game 3 and 7:00 p.m. for Game 4.
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