GLENS FALLS — Remember that conference with the teacher when he said you did OK on the test, but you’re capable of much better?
That was the Adirondack Thunder on Wednesday, and after a so-so first period, they showed the effort they were capable of in a 4-2 ECHL win over Florida at Cool Insuring Arena.
It was a good two points for Adirondack over the league’s best team, and has to leave the Thunder feeling positive as they prepare for two more home games against the Everblades on Friday and Saturday.
The Thunder trailed 2-1 after the first, primarily because two turnovers led to Florida goals, with Terrence Wallin’s 11th of the season on a low-angle shot sandwiched in between. Florida’s second goal was a shorthanded one by Mitchell Heard, who played with the Thunder two seasons ago.
“We were sleeping through the first 20 minutes,” Thunder coach Brad Tapper said. “After 20 minutes we said, ‘That’s not the way we practiced the last couple days. We practiced with pace, practiced with heart.’”
Thunder forward Brian Ward, who assisted the first of Wallin’s two goals and added another goal and assist later, said not knowing what to expect from the non-divisional opponent made them passive.
“I think we were watching them a little bit and feeling them out, and that’s obviously not the way to go about things. We need to set the pace ourselves,” Ward said.
The Thunder tied it at 2 just 3:56 into the second period as Paul Rodrigues poked in a rebound of Mathieu Brodeur’s shot. Adirondack took the lead for good at 8:39 when James Henry, from behind the goal line, found Wallin cutting to the goal, and Wallin one-timed it for his second goal of the game.
Wallin, just back from a four-game stint with Binghamton in the AHL, also assisted Ward for the Thunder’s fourth goal at 9:16 of the third.
“I saw a couple games up there and let me understand what the pace is up there,” Wallin said. “It’s just nice to be playing hockey again, and I wanted to bring a good energy to the team tonight. Obviously, you want to come down and prove to everyone you can play at that next level.”
The Thunder’s fourth goal came when Wallin, in the slot, passed down low to Ward, who poked it in for his 12th tally of the season.
“I thought in the second and third we were making things happen,” Ward said.
“They responded,” Tapper said. “We played a little more simple, played a little more hard-nosed. (Florida is) a big, physical team, we have to have good support and move the puck.
“One of the keys we talked about was guys had to step up. Pretty much everybody stepped up,” Tapper added.
Drew Fielding played solidly in earning his 10th win of the season, finishing with 35 saves.
Thunder 4, Everblades 2
Florida 2 0 0 — 2
Adirondack 1 2 1 — 4
1st Period—1, Florida, Lorentz 7 (Cox), 2:16. 2, Adirondack, Wallin 11 (Ward, Bergin), 4:33. 3, Florida, Heard 14 (Cox), 16:47 (SH). Penalties—Harrison Adk (interference), 5:06; Ward Adk (elbowing), 8:32; Neuber Fla (roughing), 12:04; Armstrong Fla (fighting—major, game misconduct—fighting (continuing altercation)), 14:10; Harrison Adk (fighting—major, misconduct), 14:10; McCarron Fla (slashing), 16:18.
2nd Period—4, Adirondack, Rodrigues 7 (Brodeur, Ward), 3:56. 5, Adirondack, Wallin 12 (Henry, Radjenovic), 8:39. Penalties—Radjenovic Adk (tripping), 18:22.
3rd Period—6, Adirondack, Ward 12 (Wallin, Bergin), 9:16. Penalties—Olsen Adk (delay of game), 14:40.
Shots on Goal—Florida 10-14-13-37. Adirondack 11-5-6-22.
Power-Play Opportunities—Florida 0-4; Adirondack 0-2.
Goalies—Florida, Ouellette 16-4-0-1 (22 shots-18 saves). Adirondack, Fielding 10-5-0-0 (37 shots-35 saves).
Referees—Liam Sewell (7).
Linesmen—Matt Wyld (56), Adam Wood (36).