Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Thunder dropped their first preseason contest of the 2017-18 season as they fell 6-2 to the Reading Royals on Friday evening at Cool Insuring Arena.
Reading opened the scoring early in the first period despite a Thunder flurry to open the game, which saw the game’s first six shots go Adirondack’s way. Reading forward Chris McCarthy gathered the puck on the right wing and fired through traffic from the right-hand circle, which beat Adirondack netminder Ken Appleby on the blocker side for the game’s first goal. Forward Adam Schmidt and defenseman Nolan Zajac collected the assists for the Royals.
Adirondack knotted the score at one at the 11:40 mark of the opening frame courtesy of a power-play goal from forward Austin Orszulak. After his first shot was blocked, Orszulak collected the puck at the top of the right circle and fired a wrist shot inside the far post for the Thunder’s first goal of the preseason. Defenseman Desmond Bergin collected the lone assist on the play.
Despite the Thunder being on the man advantage, the Royals scored a pair of shorthanded tallies from forward Matt Wilkins to take a 3-1 lead. First, the Royals capitalized on a 2-on-0 rush as Wilkins converted after a series of passes with forward Mark Naclerio at the 1:56 mark of the second period. Just 35 seconds later, Wilkins struck again as he went in alone on Appleby and scored low on the blocker side for his second of the evening.
Adirondack moved back within one at the 9:25 mark of the middle stanza as forward JC Campagna scored the team’s second power-play goal of the evening. Defenseman Kevin Lough fed Campagna at the top of the left-hand circle, where the 6-4 forward wired a wrist shot over the blocker of Reading netminder John Muse for the goal. Lough and forward Ty Loney collected the assists on the play for Adirondack.
The Royals responded with their third and fourth goals of the period, both off the stick of Schmidt, as they opened up a 5-2 lead. First, Schmidt finished off a 2-on-1 rush as he swatted home a feed from forward Tyler Brown on the backhand for his second point of the evening. Schmidt struck again at the 13:07 mark of the second as his shot was initially saved by Appleby, but the puck took an awkward bounce and trickled over the goal line for his second goal in as many minutes.
The Royals scored the game’s final goal just 65 seconds into the third period as McCarthy collected his second tally and third point of the evening. McCarthy took a feed from Brown and streaked down the right wing on a 2-on-1 rush, where he fired a shot past Appleby from inside the hashmarks for his team’s sixth goal. Both forwards collected their third point of the evening on the play.
The Thunder will hit the ice again on October 14 for opening night as they kick off the 2017-18 ECHL season.
-Zach Dooley/Adirondack Thunder