GLENS FALLS — The Adirondack Thunder evened up the North Division Finals at one game apiece with a 5-1 victory over the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday evening at Cool Insuring Arena.
Goaltender Drew Fielding turned aside 33 of the 34 shots he faced in his first career start in the Kelly Cup Playoffs to earn the victory. Forwards Terrence Wallin and Ryan Schmelzer and defenseman Colton White each collected two points in the victory.
Adirondack opened the scoring 4:15 into the game as forward Austin Orszulak scored the first goal of his Kelly Cup Playoffs career to put the Thunder ahead by a goal. After Conor Riley forced a turnover deep in the offensive zone, the puck kicked to forward Pierre-Luc Mercier, who fed Orszulak in front for the goal. Riley and Mercier collected the assists on the play, Mercier’s second of the postseason.
The Thunder scored a pair of goals just over two minutes apart to take a three-goal lead into the first intermission. First, 7:45 into the game, Wallin picked up his first goal of the playoffs as he danced around a Manchester defenseman in the neutral zone, walked in and fired past Manchester netminder Charles Williams for the goal. The Thunder added their third of the evening, coming on the man advantage, as Brodeur scored for the second straight evening as his shot from the right-hand circle kicked off of a Monarch and in for the 3-0 lead.
The hosts scored their second power-play tally of the evening early in the middle stanza to open up a four-goal advantage. Off of a won faceoff in the offensive end, the puck shifted to defenseman Desmond Bergin at the left point, where he moved towards the net and fed Schmelzer in front for a redirect goal. Bergin and forward James Henry collected the assists on the play, Henry’s team-leading seventh helper of the postseason.
Adirondack struck again with 5:40 remaining in the second period as Spencer collected his first career playoff goal at the professional level. After forward Brian Ward won the puck in the corner, he fed defenseman Colton White, who hit a streaking Spencer in front for the goal. White and Ward collected the assists on the play, White’s third helper in two games during the North Division Finals.
The Monarchs pulled a goal back with less than three minutes remaining in the game to end Fielding’s shutout bid. After Fielding made the original save in front off a bid by forward Matt Leitner, the puck bounced into the slot to forward Joel Lowry, who buried it for his first goal of the postseason. Leitner and forward Zac Lynch tallied assists on the play.
The Thunder and Monarchs are back in action for Games 3 and 4 next week at Cool Insuring Arena.