Thunder Find Sixth Sense in Win over Manchester
Manchester, NH - The Adirondack Thunder surged to within one point of the top spot in the North Division after a 6-1 victory over the Manchester Monarchs on Friday evening at SNHU Arena.
The Thunder were led by Shane Conacher, Terrence Wallin and Troy Bourke, as the forward trio combined for 13 points in the victory. Conacher led the way with a goal and four assists while Wallin and Bourke tallied four points apiece. Thunder netminder Drew Fielding earned his 14th victory of the season with 33 saves between the pipes.
Adirondack opened the scoring just 66 seconds into the game as Bourke extended his point streak to nine games with the game's first goal. After the Thunder forced a turnover in their own zone, Conacher hit Bourke on a stretch pass and the Thunder center went to the backhand to beat Manchester netminder Evan Cowley. Conacher and Wallin collected the assists on the play, Wallin's 40th point of the season.
The visitors struck again midway through the second period as Wallin doubled his team's advantage with his 19th goal of the season. After Conacher won the puck in the left-hand corner of the offensive zone, the puck came to Bourke, who fed Wallin with a pinpoint slap pass for the tap-in goal from close range. Bourke and Conacher collected the assists on the play, Conacher's team-leading 34th helper of the season.
Manchester scored 63 seconds into the middle stanza to cut the Thunder advantage in half. Forward Michael Doherty gathered the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the left wing into the offensive end and dropped a pass to forward Matt Schmaltz, whose wrist shot beat Fielding from the left-hand circle for the goal. Doherty and forward Matt Leitner collected the assists on the play, Doherty's 18th of the season.
The Thunder regained their two-goal lead as Henry scored a power-play goal, his 17th tally of the season, with just over five minutes to play in the second period. Conacher, stationed at the top of the right-hand circle, fired a shot that hit Wallin in the back of the skate and bounced to Henry, who beat Cowley at the back post for the goal. Wallin and Conacher collected the assists on the play, the second three-assist game of Conacher's ECHL career.
After more than 15 minutes of scoreless hockey in the third period, Conacher collected his fourth point of the evening with a goal with 4:59 remaining in regulation. With the two teams skating 4-on-4, Adirondack attacked on an odd-man rush, which culminated in a cross-ice feed from Bourke to Conacher for the goal, Conacher's 12th of the season. Bourke collected the lone helper on the play, his third point of the game.
Adirondack struck twice more in a 28 second span to open up a 6-1 lead late in the third period. First, with 2:40 left in regulation, forward Tim Harrison skated down the right wing, used teammate Pierre-Luc Mercier as a decoy and fired over Cowley's glove for his seventh tally of the season. The Thunder added their sixth on the evening 28 seconds later as Conacher fed Bourke in the high slot, where he fired top shelf for his second goal of the game. Conacher and Wallin picked up the assists on the play, Conacher's fifth point of the game.
The Thunder and Monarchs are back in action tomorrow evening with a rematch at SNHU Arena. Puck drop is set for 6:00 p.m. Visit ECHLThunder.com or call 518-480-3355 x1 to get tickets for all upcoming Thunder home games.
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