GLENS FALLS — People of a certain age will remember watching Saturday morning movies about Godzilla or terrible sea creatures that threatened humanity.
Those may seem like lighthearted comedies compared to what the Adirondack Thunder are going to see Saturday morning when they review Friday night’s game.
The Thunder allowed three first-period goals and had big defensive lapses in a 5-1 loss to Reading in ECHL action at Cool Insuring Arena.
Admittedly, Adirondack was at a disadvantage defensively entering the game, as call-ups forced defenseman Evan Neugold — who was cut from the Thunder roster after preseason and just called up from the SPHL’s Knoxville Ice Bears on Thursday night — into a starting spot. A couple of other forwards also took turns on D lines Friday.
Still, the goals Adirondack allowed leave a bad taste in the mouth. Nolan Zajac scored the first one for Reading, shorthanded, at 6:59. Less than a minute and a half later, Derek Whitmore got behind the Thunder defense — an all-too-common error this season — and scored on a short breakaway.
Reading’s final goal of the period came from Matt Wilkins in the slot, where he was so wide open that he even had time for a fake on goalie Nick Riopel.
“Broken record,” said Thunder forward James Henry. “We give them three goals early and that’s pretty hard to come back from.
“Just preparation on everyone’s part,” he added. “If you’re coming to the rink and you’re not mentally prepared to play a hard, heavy game against a skilled team like that, then they’re going to pick you apart.”
Drew Fielding replaced Riopel, who had eight saves, to start the second.
“That was from what I saw and to try to give the team a boost,” Thunder coach Brad Tapper said of the goalie switch. “We outshot them 21-10 in the second period. I thought it worked.”
Fielding finished with 18 saves.
Reading’s fourth goal, 39 seconds into the third period, combined Thunder sins: Mark Naclierio had gotten behind the defense and was alone in the slot.
“Poor positioning and terrible turnovers,” Tapper said.
Henry scored his seventh goal of the year on a shorthanded tally, with a nice assist from Terrence Wallin, for the Thunder’s lone goal.
Reading scored an empty-netter with 1.4 seconds left for the final goal.
Mark Dekanich made 47 saves for the Royals, who improved to 6-0 against the Thunder this season.
“With the puck, we’re not that bad,” Tapper said. “Without the puck, we’re not very good. Forty-eight shots are a lot of shots. When guys get grade-A opportunities, they’ve got to put it in the net, nothing soft. Like you’re a shark in bloody water.”
Summary: Page B4