Three-Goal Third Sinks Mariners in 4-2 Thunder Victory
GLENS FALLS, NY - The Adirondack Thunder used four unanswered goals, three in the third period, to come from behind and sink the Maine Mariners by a 4-2 final in front of 4,114 at Cool Insuring Arena Saturday night.
The Mariners jumped out to a two-goal first-period lead behind scores from Nick Master and Zeb Knutson. Master notched his first professional score on a nice redirection goal on the power play while Knutson doubled the Maine advantage with an easy tap-in on a rebound opportunity before the close of the first period.
For the final 40 minutes, the game belonged to the Thunder. John Edwardh got Adirondack on the board for the second consecutive night when he converted on a rebound at 16:20 of the middle frame. Desmond Bergin led the offensive charge down the right wing and the lefty shot re-angled his body to get an attempt on the Maine cage. Francois Brassard, making his first professional start, made the initial stop by Edwardh collected the rebound, spun and put his shot top-shelf over the shoulder of Brassard to make it a 2-1 game.
Cullen Bradshaw started the third-period charge when he knotted his 13th score of the season less than two minutes in. Again it was Bergin who led the rush and drew a penalty, but on the delayed call he tossed a backhand pass in front of the net that one-touched off the stick of Henry and right to Bradshaw on the door-step for an easy tap-in tally to tie the game.
Henry set up Adirondack's leading goal-scorer Mike Szmatula to give the Thunder their first lead ten minutes later. After an impressive effort to keep the puck in the offensive zone, Henry drove towards the net before sliding a pass to Szmatula at the bottom of the right faceoff circle. The University of Minnesota product went bombs away on a one-timer from the sharp angle for a 3-2 Thunder lead.
Defenseman Blake Thompson cleaned up the game's scoring with a length of the ice shot after Maine pulled Brassard for an extra attacker. James Henry won the defensive-zone draw to the blueliner who lofted a clearing attempt down the ice. The puck seemingly trickled in slow motion until finally coming to rest in the Mariners' cage for a 4-2 final score. The assist was Henry's fourth of the night and gave him 54 on the year, extending his single-season Thunder franchise record.
Art Brey won for the second consecutive night in net for the Thunder as he turned aside 20 of 22 Maine shot attempts.
The two teams will bus back to Portland, ME tonight to finish the home-and-home set tomorrow afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. from Cross Insurance Arena. For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
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Mike Szmatula of the Adirondack Thunder battles the Maine Mariners
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