GLENS FALLS– The Adirondack Thunder kicked off the 2017-18 season in exciting fashion as they defeated the Brampton Beast by a 5-4 final in front of 4,021 fans on Saturday at Cool Insuring Arena.
The Thunder kicked off the scoring early as Troy Bourke capitalized with his team on the man advantage to open up a 1-0 lead. After he took possession of the puck from Ty Loney, Bourke banked a shot off the right skate of Brampton goaltender Michael McNiven and into the back of the net for the first goal of the 2017-2018 season. Bourke’s tally was his first in a Thunder jersey, while Loney, dating back to last season, extending his scoring streak to four games.
Just two minutes later, however, the Beast would equalize with a power-play goal of their own off the stick of Thomas Ebbing. Directly off of an offensive-zone faceoff, Brampton converted on a tic-tac-toe passing play for their first goal of the season. Passes from Tyson Wilson and Kevin Dufour found Ebbing alone at the back post, where the rookie forward converted for his first career professional goal.
Adirondack netted twice more in the first period, starting with Eric Neiley’s first of the season as he redirected a shot through McNiven’s five hole to restore the Thunder lead. After an Adirondack power-play had recently expired, forward Austin Orszulak fired a shot towards the net that was redirected home by Neiley for his first goal as a member of the Thunder. With just 29 seconds left in the first, Loney collected his second point of the evening with a nifty move around McNiven for a 3-1 lead. Forward JC Campagna fed Loney on the left wing, where the 6-4 winger went backhand-to-forehand for his first goal of the season.
Brampton came from behind to knot the score at three, starting with the only goal of the middle stanza, at the 18:07 mark. Beast forward Jordan Boucher collected a pass from Ebbing, moved in on a breakaway and slid a backhanded shot between the legs of Adirondack netminder Nick Riopel. The Beast then tied the game on a tally from Brandon Marino, who opened the scoring in the third period less than three minutes in. Marino’s goal was assisted by winger Yannick Vellieux, the first point of the season for both players.
The hosts took just 21 seconds to respond, however, as Bourke collected his second goal of the game. After a ferocious offensive shift by Adirondack, Loney forced a turnover deep in the Brampton zone and the puck fell to Bourke in the slot, where he rifled a shot past the blocker of McNiven for a 4-3 lead. Loney and Campagna collected the assists on the play, the third point of the evening for Loney.
After seven minutes of back and forth action, the Beast came from behind for the third time to knot the score at four. Forward Chris Leveille collected the puck in the high slot and fired the puck on net, which redirected on its way past Riopel. Marino and defenseman Paul Cianfrini collected the assists on the play, the second point of the evening for Marino.
It took less than a minute for the Thunder to respond, however, as Loney collected his second goal and fourth point of the evening. After he took a feed from defenseman Kevin Lough, Bourke carried the puck behind the Brampton net and fed Loney in front, where the Valencia, PA native cashed in for the game-winning goal. Bourke and Lough picked up the helpers on the play, the third point of the evening for Bourke.
The Thunder are back in action next Friday as they host another divisional foe on Friday as the Manchester Monarchs visit Glens Falls for the first time this season. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Cool Insuring Arena.