Thunder Can't Hold Lead in 5-3 Loss to Reading
READING, PA - Brian Ward recorded a three-point night including pair of goals and Dylan Walchuk collected his second multi-point effort in three games, but the Thunder let a third-period lead slip away in a 5-3 loss to Reading Saturday night.
Ward got the Thunder out to a 2-0 lead with his 19th and 20th goals of the season in the first half of the opening period. At the 7:34 mark, Ward cleaned up a rebound in front off the initial shot from Tommy Parran to give Adirondack a 1-0 lead. The assist was Parran's first professional point in his second game since joining the Thunder from Ohio State University.
The Thunder's all-time leading goal scorer added another less than three minutes later with another second-chance opportunity. Ward left a pass for Dylan Walchuk in the offensive zone where the forward got a backhand shot on net. Royals goaltender Jamie Phillips made the first save, but Ward was in position for the rebound and flipped home for a 2-0 Thunder lead.
Michael Huntebrinker got Reading on the board at 16:34 of the first frame. Adam Schmidt took the first shot that deflected off Thunder defenseman Michael Sdao and right to Huntebrinker standing on the opposite side of the net. The forward, sent down from the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms earlier today, collected and fired into the cage to make it a 2-1 game.
Desmond Bergin restored the Adirondack two-goal advantage before the close of the first period. The Thunder defenseman took a pass from Ward at the right faceoff circle, steadied the puck and fired a wrist-shot where he cleanly beat Phillips to extend the lead to 3-1.
The final 40 minutes belonged to the Royals. Brayden Low scored the first of three Reading second-period goals just 18 seconds into the stanza. Low took the puck off a Thunder turnover and beat goaltender Logan Thompson with a soft shot from the left wing.
Steven Swavely tied the game right after a Reading power play expired as he put a wrist-shot between the five-hole of Thompson in his first game in Reading since December 16. Tyler Brown netted the game-winning goal when his wrister beat Thompson before the midway mark of the period.
Chris McCarthy scored the only goal in the final 20 minutes with an empty-netter to make it a 5-3 final.
While Reading's regular season is over, Adirondack will head home to finish theirs tomorrow afternoon against the Worcester Railers. Puck drop is slated for 3:00 p.m. from Cool Insuring Arena. For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
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