GLENS FALLS — Drew Fielding said he takes pride in shootouts and practices them. Every bit of his hard work showed Saturday night.
The goaltender saved eight of the nine shots he faced in the shootout to help the Adirondack Thunder earn a 4-3 win over Brampton at Cool Insuring Arena.
Ben Murphy opened the door for Fielding by scoring Adirondack’s second shootout goal on the Thunder’s ninth try.
“I wouldn’t say I was, like, ‘All right, we’re walking off the ice,’ but I was excited for an opportunity to close it out,” Fielding said.
Fielding, playing just his fifth game with the Thunder this season, finished with 32 saves.
And he needed to do his part because Brampton goalie Marcus Hogberg was much more busy, making 50 saves.
Murphy scored the first goal of the game, allowing the fans to toss down a huge supply of stuffed animals on Teddy Bear Toss night.
But the Beast scored the next two. Pierre-Luc Mercier’s power-play goal with one minute left in the first finished the initial period tied at 2.
The Thunder had to rally again the next period.
After allowing a third goal, Andrew Radjenovic scored on a low-angle shot at 16:57 to tie it.
It stayed that way through the third period and overtime. Mercier started the shootout with a goal, but the Beast’s Chris Leveille later scored to send it to a second round-of-three.
Fielding just kept saving everything.
“If you start thinking about what the other team’s going to do on those shootouts, you process information slower,” Fielding said. “So for me, it was just relaxing.”
Fielding didn’t like the low-angle goal he allowed for Brampton’s first.
“A lot of guys got called up last night, so kind of a different lineup, so I wanted to give them confidence by playing well and making saves that I have to,” Fielding said. “I definitely felt more comfortable as the game went on.”
The AHL’s Syracuse Crunch had called up forwards Ty Loney and Shane Conacher, along with defenseman Matthew Spencer. As a result, the Thunder signed forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond to a contract.
If the 32-year-old’s name is familiar, that’s because he began his career with the Adirondack Frostbite of the UHL in the 2005-2006 season. He became the first player to play for both the Adirondack Frostbite and Thunder. Letourneau-Leblond had been retired after spending last season with the Syracuse Crunch, and one game with the Toronto Marlies.
The Thunder earned four points from the weekend. It moved them into third place in the ECHL North Division, tied with second-place Wheeling and just two behind leader Manchester.