Thunder Fly Past Monarchs by 4-2 Final
GLENS FALLS, NY - Conor Riley and Matt Salhany registered multi-point nights, Alex Sakellaropoulos made 33 saves in net and the Adirondack Thunder topped the Manchester Monarchs by a 4-2 final Friday night at Cool Insuring Arena.
Mike Szmatula opened the game's scoring at 7:35 of the opening period when he redirected a Salhany shot from the point by Chris Driedger for a 1-0 Thunder lead. Salhany had a second opportunity from the left point after the first was blocked, and his slap-shot was deflected in front by Szmatula for a 1-0 Thunder lead. The goal was Szmatula's 12th on the season in his first game back from the AHL and extended his home scoring streak to five games.
Kevin Lough doubled the Adirondack advantage midway through the middle frame when he potted his first goal of the season. Lough led the offensive charge down the left wing and centered a pass for Jake Linhart in the slot. Driedger made the initial save but Lough cleaned up the rebound and flipped one over the shoulder of the screened Manchester netminder for a 2-0 Thunder lead.
Kelly Summers scored the eventual game-winning goal just 89 seconds into the third period when he finished a nifty deke between the legs of Driedger. Summers played the puck to himself from the neutral zone and was in alone on a breakaway. The Clarkson University product put a forehand-backhand-five-hole move on Driedger for a 3-0 lead and his second tally of the season.
Manchester went on to close the lead to one goal off of a pair of Pavel Jenys power-play goals, in extremely similar fashion. In both instances, Jenys was positioned at the top of the right faceoff circle and teed off one-timers that beat Sakellaropoulos on the far side. The scores were the eighth and ninth of the season for Jenys.
Conor Riley added an empty-net goal in the game's final minute to seal the Adirondack victory and extend the Thunder's winning streak to three games.
Sakellaropoulos made 33 saves for the Thunder, one day after returning from the AHL's Binghamton Devils. The 24-year-old netminder made his tenth consecutive start between the pipes for Adirondack.
The two teams square off again tomorrow evening - same place, same time. Adirondack will then host the Newfoundland Growlers on Monday evening for the annual New Year's Eve game. Tickets are 2 For $20.19 and can be purchased at the Thunder office all weekend or online at ECHLThunder.com. For the latest Thunder news, be sure to follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ECHLThunder.
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Mike Szmatula of the Adirondack celebrates a goal against the Manchester Monarchs
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