GLENS FALLS — Some losses are worse than others.
There are those that are worse because of the way a team played, or because of other circumstances. This loss was bad in just about every way.
Adirondack couldn’t get anything generated throughout the game and lost 5-1 to Brampton in ECHL action Friday at Cool Insuring Arena.
For starters, the Thunder had little energy or sense of urgency. That was shown by the Beast outshooting them 15-5 in the first period (40-25 for the game) and the Thunder going 0 for 7 on the power play. Furthermore, the number of scoring chances generated on those power plays could be counted on one hand.
“I don’t know why our power play was poop,” Thunder coach Brad Tapper said. “Our PK wasn’t much better. We need to be better in a lot of areas. It’s disappointing. I cannot believe we came out like that.”
For the Thunder, passes were dull or missed, and there was noticeable standing around. The Beast took advantage, scoring two in each of the first two periods, including two power-play goals.
To add insult to injury, Brampton scored six seconds after a Thunder power play when Tyson Wilson jumped out of the penalty box, got a long pass from Brandon MacLean at the blue line and skated in alone and put one past Drew Fielding.
After the fourth goal at 9:22 of the second, Tomas Sholl relieved Fielding, who saved 13 of 17. Sholl finished with 24 saves.
“We didn’t help out Drew on a couple of those goals,” Tapper said. “I was looking for a momentum change. I thought Shollsy came in and held the door a little bit, but it was too late. We were on our heels for 40 minutes.”
Thunder captain Mike Bergin said Brampton just had “the extra jump” Friday and Adirondack obviously didn’t.
“Our coaches gave us some time off this week — much needed — and we just came out flat, and we were flat the whole game,” Bergin said.
The other circumstances: Adirondack began the night in third in the North Division, but tied with second-place Wheeling for points. The top four in the Division make the playoffs. Reading, in fourth, won Friday, as did fifth-place Worcester and, ahem, Brampton — sixth in the division but still very much in contention. Wheeling lost, but first-place Manchester won.
Also, Friday’s game came with two promotions, and a crowd of 3,754 was on hand. That meant people who don’t always choose Thunder games showed up, and this result may make showing up again a harder sell.
“If we’re not going to compete, we’re not going to win hockey games. Everybody has to play harder and play better,” Tapper said.
One of the Thunder’s rare highlights happened with 20 seconds left when Brian Ward scored, holding off a defender while controlling the puck and flipping it high into the goal.
The Thunder have to hope staying busy next week cures what ails them. They have five games ranging from Monday’s 2 p.m. contest at Brampton to a 3 p.m. Sunday game home against Wheeling on Feb. 25.