Thunder Use Five First-Period Goals to Blast Komets 8-2
FORT WAYNE, IN - The Adirondack Thunder saw eight goals from seven different skaters, Alex Sakellaropoulos won for the 11th time in his past 12 starts and the Thunder blasted the Fort Wayne Komets by an 8-1 final Friday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Jason Binkley scored a shorthanded goal three minutes into the game to give Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead. The Adirondack Thunder dominated the remainder.
Brian Ward scored his fourth goal in three games just 22 seconds after Binkley and the Thunder never stopped after that. The Thunder's all-time leading goal scorer potted his 12th of the season off a redirection on the power play. Matias Cleland and Pete MacArthur, playing in his first game back from injury in nearly a month, picked up the helpers on the score.
John Edwardh extended his point streak to ten consecutive games to give Adirondack a 2-1 lead just over five minutes into the opening period. The score was Edwardh's 18th of the year and gave him 19 points in his last 13 games. Defenseman Sean Federow picked up an assist on the play, his first point as a member of the Thunder.
Cullen Bradshaw doubled the Thunder lead to 3-1 when he finished an original Blake Thompson shot from the left wing. MacArthur and Thompson were credited with the assists on the score.
Cleland made it a quartet of goals in the first half of the first period when he tallied a power-play goal at 10:09 of the first, his third score of the season. MacArthur collected his third assist of the night on the goal that made it 4-1.
Dylan Walchuk tied a Thunder season-high when he notched Adirondack's fifth goal of the opening period. James Henry won an offensive-zone draw back to Jake Linhart who carried the puck along the boards behind the net. Before crossing the cage, he slid a pass to Walchuk in front where he carried it on his forehand before finishing on the other side of the net for his ninth goal of the year.
Mike Szmatula joined the scoring frenzy when he finished a Desmond Bergin feed for Adirondack's third power-play score of the night. Bergin led the charge down the right wing and backhanded a centering feed for Szmatula on the opposite side of the ice. The rookie collected and fired past Zach Fucale to make it a 6-1 game.
Matt Salhany grabbed a seventh goal for Adirondack seconds before the close of the second period. The University of Alabama-Huntsville product found a loose puck at center ice and raced into the offensive zone before he finished with a forehand-backhand move for his 12th goal of the season.
Edwardh became the first Thunder skater to record a multi-goal game when he scored just over four minutes into the final stanza. Salhany led a 2-on-1 breakout and took the initial shot that was saved by Fucale. With the puck sitting on the goal-line, Edwardh whacked it in for his 19th of the year.
Mason Baptista stopped the bleeding for Fort Wayne with a goal at 6:25 of the 3rd to make it 8-2.
Alex Sakellaropoulos was not tested often in net for Adirondack, but made 15 saves to win for the 11th time in his past 12 starts.
The Thunder continue their road trip tomorrow evening in Kalamazoo before finishing the weekend with a Sunday matinee in Cincinnati. For the latest Thunder news, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ECHLThunder.
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