Thunder offense explodes in second period, take 2-1 series lead

GLENS FALLS — The Adirondack Thunder took a two games to one series lead in the North Division Finals after a 5-3 victory over the Manchester Monarchs on Tuesday evening at Cool Insuring Arena. Adirondack scored all five goals in the second period of Game 3 to set a franchise record for most goals scored in a single period.

The Thunder had five different goalscorers on the evening as forwards Ryan Schmelzer, Conor Riley, Austin Orszulak and Terrence Wallin, along with defenseman Colton White, found the net in the win. Goaltender Drew Fielding made a playoff career-high 38 saves as he earned the victory for the second straight game.

After a scoreless opening period, Adirondack opened the scoring 2:35 into the middle stanza as Schmelzer tallied his team-leading fifth goal of the 2018 postseason. Defenseman Desmond Bergin forced a turnover in the offensive zone and fed Schmelzer in front, where he beat Manchester netminder Charles Williams with a wrist shot on the glove side. Bergin and Riley collected the assists on the play, Riley’s second of the playoffs.

Manchester took less than two minutes to respond, however, as defenseman Rob Hamilton scored his second goal of the playoffs to knot the score at one. With the Monarchs on a 5-on-3 power play, Privitera fed a pass across the ice to Hamilton, who one-timed it past Fielding for the goal. Privitera and forward Matt Leitner tallied the assists on the play, the fourth of the season for both players.

Adirondack opened up a two-goal advantage with a pair of special-teams goals to take a 3-1 lead. First, exactly two minutes after Hamilton’s goal with the Thunder on the power play, defenseman Colton White collected the puck at the center point and fired through traffic, past Williams for his first career Kelly Cup Playoffs goal. Following the halfway mark of the second period, Riley outskated a pair of Manchester defensemen to a loose puck and beat Williams with a backhanded effort on a breakaway for his first goal of the postseason, an unassisted effort.

The Monarchs came back again to cut their deficit to a single goal as defenseman Tony Turgeon scored his first goal of the postseason with 4:51 remaining in the second period. Manchester forward Kevin Morris won a faceoff in the offensive zone to Turgeon, who hammed a shot past a screened Fielding for the goal, which came with two seconds remaining on a Manchester power play. Morris tallied the lone assist on the play, his third of the 2018 postseason.

The Thunder responded with a pair of goals just 20 seconds apart to take a 5-2 lead into the second intermission. First, with 3:14 left in the second period, Orszulak won the puck deep in the offensive zone, drove towards the net and scored his second goal in as many games to put the hosts back up by a pair. Just 20 seconds later, forward James Henry fed Wallin in front of the net, where he slotted home the feed for his third goal of the 2018 playoffs. Adirondack’s fifth tally spelled the end of Williams’ evening for the second straight game as Evan Cowley took over between the pipes.

Manchester scored its third power-play goal of the game with 8:14 remaining in the third period as Morris tallied his second point of the evening. Monarchs captain David Kolomatis fired a shot through traffic that Morris, stationed directly in front of Fielding, deflected in for his second goal of the postseason. Kolomatis and forward Zac Lynch tallied the assists on the play, Lynch’s fifth of the playoffs.

The Thunder and Monarchs are back in action for Game 4 on Thursday evening, the final guaranteed home game for Adirondack during the North Division Finals.

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