GLENS FALLS — Goalie Tomas Sholl has gone from the Evansville Thunderbolts to the Adirondack Thunder this hockey season. There’s one other continuing trend besides weather-based nicknames: he’s winning games.
Evansville, of the SPHL, loaned Sholl to Adirondack on Jan. 25. Sholl had earned a 14-2-2 record with the Thunderbolts. He didn’t see his first action with the Thunder until Feb. 2, but since that time, there’s been a lot to like. He has a 3-0 record, with one win over Worcester and two over Norfolk, along with some relief work in a loss to Norfolk. The 23-year-old has a 2.20 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage.
“It’s been great so far,” said Sholl, a California native who played collegiately at Bowling Green. “Everybody’s been super-welcoming from the moment I came in, which makes the process of getting involved in the game that much easier because you don’t have to worry about having friends, I guess. You just have to go out and play, which is what I’ve been trying to do.”
And playing so well that Evansville coach Jeff Pyle is asking Thunder coach Brad Tapper about when the loan might get paid back.
“I feel bad for him, they’ve lost eight in a row since losing (Sholl),” Tapper said. “I’m probably one of the few coaches in this league, I do care about the people below us. He’s trying to find a goalie.”
Sholl said he felt a nervous excitement his first game since every player’s goal is to keep moving up levels.
“Every level you climb, it’s just a little bit bigger, little bit faster, little bit cleaner. They execute a little bit better here,” Sholl said.
Tapper said Sholl is a good person, works hard and is willing to put in the extra work necessary of goalies.
“He has to be a little bit quicker, but he’s in the right spots, which is really neat,” Tapper said. “Alex (Loh, assistant coach) and I have been working with him on tracking pucks and rebounds, so we do drills after practice where we’ll take a shot and he has to follow the rebounds until it’s done.”
“I’ve just tried to keep doing the things that make me a good goalie and try to step it up a slight level to match everyone else,” Sholl said.
NOTES: There have been several transactions since the Thunder’s last game Sunday. Defenseman Colton White has been returned to Binghamton of the AHL, forward Stathis Soumelidis was released, forward Shane Conacher was recalled to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and the Thunder acquired forward Stephan Hrehoriak from the SPHL’s Huntsville Havoc, where he had seven goals and five assists in 15 games. He also had 19 points in 22 games with Pensacola, before being traded to Huntsville.