GLENS FALLS — For a game that started with Brian Ward scoring before 4 minutes had ticked off the clock, Saturday night turned out to be a depressing one for the Adirondack Thunder.
The 4-2 loss to Toledo comes at a particularly bad time for Adirondack, which left after the game for a bus trip to Reading, Pennsylvania, and a 4 p.m. Sunday game. It will be the first of a dozen road games for the Thunder, who will not have a chance for a win at Cool Insuring Arena until a Nov. 25 game against Reading.
“We wanted this one really badly,” Coach Brad Tapper said. “They threw their weight at us. That was an angry (Toledo) team that lost (Friday) night. We need to play with more intensity, more physicality. We were lacking that a bit.”
Eric Neiley was credited with the other Thunder goal, because he was the closest to it when it went in off a Toledo player with 18:29 remaining in the game. It gave the Thunder a little hope, but Adirondack could not score again and finished 0-for-7 on the power play.
Ward’s goal came off Toledo’s Pat Nagle with assists from Mike Bergin and Stephen Johnson. It was his second of the season.
“When Wardo got that goal, I thought we were in for another good night,” Tapper said.
But in what would become a recurring theme later in the evening, Ward was called for tripping, leaving the Thunder a man down.
Toledo tied the game 11 seconds into the power play on Kevin Tansey’s second goal of the season.
The only other real excitement of the first period came in the last minute when Ward and A.J. Jenks squared off in a brutal fight that saw each player land several solid punches. Helmets came off and Ward appeared to get the better of Jenks.
The Thunder turned up the pressure after the fight, but they could not score.
That was just a taste of what was to come.
Goal-scoring seemed to go away for the rest of the period and well into the second. For one stretch, the game had more fights than goals. Part of the lack of scoring was because of solid efforts from Nagle and Adirondack’s Nich Riopel, who came back after a night off because of the flu.
Midway through the second period, Toledo’s Connor Crisp tussled with three different Adirondack players and ended up with two minor penalties and a 10-minute misconduct for continuing an altercation.
Crisp would return and get the final goal of the night on an empty net with 35 seconds left.
With five minutes to go in the period, another fight broke out, this time when Adirondack’s Terrence Wallin picked up a loose puck, was stopped and then apparently took a blow from Nagle’s stick. That resulted in a half-dozen penalties.
But through two periods, Adirondack was 0-for-6 on power plays and Toledo was 2-for-4.
The Walleye got goals from Parker Reno and Tyler Barnes in the final three minutes of the second period.
Toledo 4, Thunder 2
Toledo 1 2 1 — 4
Adirondack 1 0 1; — 2
First Period — 1, Adirondack, Ward 2 (Bergin, Johnson), 3:19. 2, Toledo, Tansey 2 (Obuchowski, Brassard), 6:02 (pp). Penalties — Ward, Adk (tripping), 5:51; Brassard, Tol (slashing), 11:42; Dziurzynski, Tol (charging), 17:20; Loney, Adk (elbowing), 18:00; Hirschfeld, Tol (slashing), 18:55; Jenks, Tol, major (fighting), 19:02; Ward, Adk, major (fighting), 19:02.
Second Period — 3, Toledo, Reno 1 (Nastasiuk, Berschbach), 17:57. 4, Toledo, Barnes 1 (Borkowski, Vandane), 19:53 (pp). Penalties — Tansey, Tol (delay of game), 4:58; Hilbrich, Tol (goalie interference), 9:35; Crisp, Tol, double minor-misconduct (roughing, high-sticking), 11:33; Neiley, Adk (roughing), 11:33; Conacher, Adk (slashing), 13:22; Nagle, Tol (roughing), 14:36; Obuchowski, Tol (roughing), 14:36; Tansey, Tol (roughing), 14:36; Harrison, Adk (roughing), 14:36; Wallin, Adk, double minor (roughing), 14:36; White, Adk (tripping), 18:44.
Third Period — 5, Adirondack, Neiley 4 (Mercier, Henry), 1:31. 6, Toledo, Crisp 2 (Nastasiuk), 19:25 (en). Penalties — Berschbach Tol, misconduct, 3:27; Borkowski, Tol (hooking), 8:49; Loney, Adk (slashing), 15:35.
Shots on Goal — Toledo 12-6-4-22. Adirondack 13-10-9-32.
Power Plays — Toledo 2-5; Adirondack 0-7.
Goalies — Toledo, Nagle 3-0-1-0 (32 shots-30 saves). Adirondack, Riopel 2-2-1-0 (21-18).
A — 2,854
Referees — Jesse Gour.