GLENS FALLS — The Adirondack Thunder believe they are a strong five-on-five team, and they are.
But that power play of theirs, mm-mm.
The Thunder scored two power-play goals to earn a 2-1 overtime win over Worcester in an ECHL game Friday night at Cool Insuring Arena.
“As soon as you get a power play, you’ve got to take advantage,” said Pierre-Luc Mercier, who scored the Thunder’s first goal with 6:10 left in the third period, tying the game at 1. “We definitely need to start working on more five-on-five goals because we’ve been not scoring, but on the other side, we haven’t been allowing that many goals, so if we can get one or two power-play goals, we can win.”
The win broke a three-game losing streak for the Thunder. Between that, the exciting overtime goal from Ty Loney 1:36 into the 3-on-3 overtime and the postgame skirmish involving both teams, it brought the crowd of 3,795 to their feet.
“It was nice to see guys rewarded for their hard work tonight,” Thunder coach Brad Tapper said. “It was nice to get a win finally. Nice to get the fans’ support, and the seventh man was awesome tonight.”
Despite outshooting the Railers 16-3 in the first period, it ended up scoreless.
“I may have let my guard down on the bench,” Tapper said. “I didn’t say anything, but I was, like, ‘why is nothing going in?’ But we stayed positive, gave them a good locker-room message and told them to stay the course.”
The Railers took a 1-0 lead on a pass to Barry Almeida in front of the crease that took a funny hop, but Almeida scored on it.
Later, Terrence Wallin made a circle-to-circle pass to Mercier, who then blasted a slap shot past Eamon McAdam’s stick. It was Mercier’s fifth goal of the season.
“The crowd gave us some good energy going into the third and getting a power-play goal towards the end of the period gave us a boost, and we were confident going into overtime,” Mercier said.
In the overtime, Eric Neiley — who missed some time after being hit by a puck and getting a few stitches over his eye — skated from the wall across the ice toward the goal while being held by Worcester’s Matthew Gaudreau. It was a more individual play than is normally seen during an overtime, but it resulted in a power play.
“If he’s moving his feet, good things happen,” Tapper said of Neiley’s play. “It was good to see him come back. He’s a tough kid. He works hard, competes hard.”
Loney took a pass from Shane Conacher — giving Conacher his team-high 15th assist of the season — and skated across the goal area and put a backhand past McAdam.
“I don’t know,” Loney said in describing his team-high 13th goal. “Conn-y made a really nice pass and I was fortunate enough to get a good chance in front of the net again. Just did everything I could to put it home.”
“Ty made a heck of an individual effort,” Tapper said. “I didn’t see who kept that puck alive on the wall, but it was nice of him to get that goal.”
NOTES: The Thunder added two defensemen to the roster recently. On Thursday, they added Vytal Cote from Mississippi of the SPHL, and Matthew Spencer rejoined the team from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, on Friday. Cote had three goals, three assists and 19 penalty minutes in 10 games. Spencer has appeared in seven games between Syracuse and Adirondack.
Thunder 2, Railers 1, OT
Worcester 0 1 0 0 — 1
Adirondack 0 0 1 1 — 2
First Period — None. Penalties — Monk, Wor (holding), 1:49; Wallin, Adk (interference), 11:05; Langkow, Wor (tripping), 12:30.
Second Period — 1, Worcester, Almeida 5 (Saracino), 8:52 (pp). Penalties — Bergin, Adk (hooking), 7:03; Almeida, Wor (hooking), 10:54; Adirondack bench (too many men), 15:21; McNally, Wor (high-sticking), 17:13.
Third Period — 2, Adirondack, Mercier 5 (Wallin, Lough), 13:50 (pp). Penalties — Syner, Wor (delay of game), 5:43; Rodrigues, Adk (tripping), 11:09; Murphy, Wor (interference), 13:07; Bergin, Adk (cross-checking), 14:33.
Overtime — 3, Adirondack, Loney 13 (Conacher, Bergin), 1:36 (pp). Penalties — Gaudreau, Wor (holding), 1:15.
Shots on Goal — Worcester 3-7-11-0—21. Adirondack 16-6-10-2—34.
Power Plays — Worcester 1-4; Adirondack 2-7.
Goalies — Worcester, McAdam 5-3-2-1 (34 shots-32 saves). Adirondack, Riopel 7-6-1-0 (21 shots-20 saves).
A — 3,795.
Ref — Andrea Barone.