Bounces go Thunder’s way in 3-2 win over Maine
GLENSFALLS, N.Y.>> James Henry’s big smile as he went back to the bench was a dead giveaway that his second goal of the night was more puck luck than skill.
But for once, the bounces went the Adirondack Thunder’s way as they skated to a 3-2 victory over the Maine Mariners in ECHL action on Wednesday.
Henry’s goal, the eventual game-winner, hit the back of his leg and went in after Jakob Reichert deflected a long shot by defenseman Blake Thompson from the right point.
“I kind of laughed at Reichert, stealing a goal from him, but I looked at the replay and it was probably going wide if I didn’t touch it,” Henry said.
It came 3:54 into the second period, just two minutes after he gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead with a shorthanded marker.
The win moved second-place
Adirondack a bit closer to idle first-place Newfoundland, and created much needed breathing room with the rest of the North Division pack, which has been moving up the standings of late.
The Thunder took a 3-1 lead into the third period and hung on for the win after Terrence Wallin, who previously played for Adirondack, brought Maine to within a goal, 3-2, with 12:33 still left in the contest.
But goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos stopped all 13 shots he faced in the third frame, and 32 of 33 on the night, to earn his sixth win against two defeats on the year.
The Thunder and Mariners meet again Friday in Maine. Adirondack then returns home to play the Brampton Beast on Saturday (7 p.m.).
Wednesday’s win snapped a three-game home losing streak for Adirondack.
“November was kind of a tough month for us,” Sakellaropoulos said. “Coming out in the early part of December and winning one at home is huge for us.”
The Thunder outshot Maine, 20-5, in the first pe- riod, but every Mariner shot was a quality one, including Brycen Martin’s goal that gave his teama 1-0 lead 10:47 into the contest.
“Those are the tough nights when you don’t see a lot of action and everything is high quality,” Sakellaropoulos said. “That’s just something you’ve got to mentally prepare for. It went our way tonight.”
Veteran Peter MacArthur, of Clifton Park, got the equalizer for Adirondack at 17:20 of the first stanza. His blistering slapshot from the right circle on a power play made it, 1-1, assisted by Kevin Lough and Shane Conacher.
But MacArthur’s biggest contribution, although it doesn’t show up on the scoresheet, was on Henry’s game-winning goal. Carrying the puck behind Maine’s net, MacArthur passed out to Thompson on the point, which made his shot possible that Reichert deflected into the back of Henry’s leg.
“Peter was doing a pretty good job controlling the play there,” Henry said. “I just kind of went to the net and tried to do something good. It was just kind of a fortunate bounce and ended up in the back of the net.”
Thunder coach Alex Loh said, “Anytime you get a good bounce we bring it back to the fact that somebody did something right, so you end up on the right side of those bounces. Wewanted that high tip, so Reichert did that and we had good net presence, too. Because those two things happened it ended up in the back of the net. It was a little unorthodox, but two guys did the right things.”
Shane Conacher fires a shot on net for the Adirondack Thunder, which defeated the Maine Mariners, 3-2, on Wednesday.