Thunder Knock off Royals in Overtime, 3-2
GLENS FALLS, NY - The Adirondack Thunder kicked off their preseason home-and-home with the Reading Royals with a 3-2 overtime win at Santander Arena in Reading, PA.
Ara Nazarian picked up a goal and an assist in the victory and Hayden Verbeek added two helpers. The Thunder started goaltender Eamon McAdam, who stopped 36 of 38 shots, against Royals netminder Kirill Ustimenko, who made 28 saves on 31 shots.
Adirondack was outshot by Reading 38-31 and went 0-for-5 on their powerplay opportunities. The Royals ended up cashing in on one of their three man-advantages.
Eric Knodel scored on the powerplay for the Royals after Thunder forward Antoine Waked went to the box. Knodel's blast from the right point beat McAdam through traffic to start the scoring. The lone assist belonged to Garrett Cockerill at 7:34.
The Thunder evened it up on a wild bounce that trickled on top of the net, off of the back of goaltender Kirill Ustimenko and into the net. The goal was credited to Craig Martin and assists belonged to Antoine Waked and Hayden Verbeek at 18:05.
The Royals quickly answered back 1:15 later when a quick pass in front found Ralph Cuddemi who beat McAdam five-hole to put Reading back in front 2-1. Steven Swavely and Corey Mackin assisted on the tally at 19:20.
The Thunder would tie the game at two after Ara Nazarian led the rush into the offensive zone and found Nikita Popugaev on the backdoor. Nazarian got the lone assist at 5:10
Hayden Verbeek led the charge in overtime on a partial breakaway that was stopped by Ustimenko, but Nazarian followed up on the rebound to seal the victory for the Thunder 4:47 into the seven-minute overtime period.
Other Key Plays
The Thunder were a physical bunch on Friday night. Some big hits from defensemen Gabriel Verpaelst and Tommy Parran set the tone in a scoreless second period.
Adirondack fell behind in the shots on goal column 8-0, but found their stride in the second. They finished leading that category 30-25.
A line brawl in the latter part of the third period added to a total of a combined 83 penalty minutes.
This was the Thunder's first win against the Royals in preseason play.
Eamon McAdam was tested early on against the Royals and made some key saves in overtime to keep his team alive.
The Thunder battle the Royals again tomorrow night, only this time in Glens Falls, NY. The final preseason game will be FREE and doors open at Cool Insuring Arena at 6:00 p.m. for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop.
Images from this story
Adirondack Thunder defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst (left) vs. the Reading Royals
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