GLENS FALLS — The Adirondack Thunder raised a banner to the rafters for legendary coach Bill Dineen and skated to a 4-2 victory over Norfolk on Saturday evening at Cool Insuring Arena.
Four different Thunder players (James Henry, Brian Ward, Eric Neiley and Tim Harrison) found the back of the net in the victory, Adirondack’s 12th of the season. Adirondack goaltender Drew Fielding turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced between the pipes as he earned his third victory of the season. Prior to the game, the Thunder honored the late Bill Dineen with a banner raising ceremony as the legendary coach’s name now hangs in the rafters of Cool Insuring Arena.
After a series of chances by Adirondack, the Admirals opened the scoring against the run of play as they got on the board with a shorthanded goal 7:53 into the game. Norfolk forward Dominic Alberga collected the puck behind the Adirondack net and, after a collision with an Adirondack player, the puck flipped over the net, off the back of Fielding and into the net for an unassisted, circus-style goal.
Just under four minutes later, the Thunder evened the score at one with a power-play goal at the 11:43 mark of the first period. Stationed at the top of the right-hand circle, Adirondack forward Terrence Wallin wired a slap shot on net that was kicked aside by Norfolk netminder Ty Reichenbach, but the rebound fell directly to forward James Henry, who slotted it in at the back post for his eighth goal of the season. Wallin and defenseman Desmond Bergin collected the assists on the play, the fourth straight game with a point for Wallin.
Adirondack opened up a 3-1 lead midway through the second period with a pair of goals just 40 seconds apart. First, at the 5:17 mark, Thunder forward Austin Orszulak fired a shot off the right post that rebounded directly to a crashing Brian Ward, who slotted it home for his sixth goal of the season. The Thunder doubled their lead in quick order as forward Eric Neiley finished a feed from Bergin for his seventh tally of the evening. Bergin picked up the lone helper on the play, his second point of the game and tenth assist of the season.
After back and forth action to start the final period, the Thunder struck again just over five minutes in to increase their lead to three goals. Stationed in the trapezoid behind the Norfolk net, Adirondack blueliner Conor Riley sent a pass in front that got caught in Reichenbach’s pads before it was poked home by Harrison for his third goal of the evening. Riley and Orszulak collected the helpers on the play, the second of the evening for Orszulak.
With just 51 seconds to play in the game, the visitors capitalized on a defensive breakdown in the Adirondack zone to cut their deficit back to a pair. Norfolk forward Brodie Dupont collected a feed from teammate Michael Pontarelli and skated through the low slot, where he fired a shot past Fielding high on the blocker side for the final goal of the evening. Pontarelli and forward Patrick D’Amico picked up the assists on Dupont’s seventh goal of the season.
The Thunder are also home again next week for a pair of games against the Worcester Railers on Wednesday and Friday evenings.