The Adirondack Thunder enter the grinding portion of their four-games-in-six-days stretch on Friday, hosting the Toledo Walleye. It is the first of consecutive-night home games with the Walleye, before traveling to Reading for a Sunday afternoon game.
The Thunder made a big roster move in advance of Friday’s game, signing goaltender Drew Fielding to a standard player contract. Fielding is returning to the Thunder for a third season, coming off a 2016-17 campaign that saw him play 38 games with Adirondack.
The Thunder (2-1-1-0) are coming off a somewhat disappointing 6-4 loss to Greenville on Tuesday. They had some notable defensive hiccups that coach Brad Tapper said would need to be addressed.
One area the Thunder want to clean up is how they start games. Greenville got out to a 2-0 lead, as Adirondack couldn’t seem to get going physically or emotionally until the game turned rough and a few penalties got the blood flowing.
Adirondack has averaged 4.75 goals per game, which is welcome news when facing the Walleye (2-1-0-0), who average a mere 2 goals allowed per game. Pat Nagle has been especially stingy. He was the winning goalie in both victories and has a .951 save percentage.
While the Thunder’s defense had to be on alert against Greenville, which has the league’s best power play percentage, it’s the offense that will have to find ways to score against Toledo, which hasn’t allowed a goal in 10 penalty-kill situations. The Walleye even have one shorthanded goal.
The Thunder’s lineup has changed a lot recently, as Wednesday they acquired two players: defenseman Colton White and forward Shane Conacher.