GLENS FALLS — Shane Conacher remembers the message as being: play with more speed.
And that might have been said, though it’s not exactly what Adirondack Thunder coach Brad Tapper conveyed. But they can agree to disagree while happily remembering Adirondack’s come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win over Manchester in an ECHL game Wednesday at Cool Insuring Arena.
Down 2-0 after the first period and playing not at all like a team that was capable of a win, the Thunder rallied to within 3-2 after the second, tied it at 3 early in the third and then won it 1:21 into overtime on a power play.
And it was a night to remember for the line of Troy Bourke, Ty Loney and Shane Conacher, as they accounted for three goals and seven assists.
“Our line knew we had to be better,” said Conacher, who finished with two goals and one assist. “Actually, Tapps pulled us aside before the second period and said, ‘You guys just gotta play with more speed and play in their end more.’
“Troy and Ty are so easy to play with,” Conacher added. “They’re such good playmakers and can obviously put the puck in the net. We’re just trying to continue the chemistry we had going.”
“I didn’t give them too hard a time,” Tapper said, “but I said when you are out there, do something great. And they did. They really played well, that line. I’m proud of everybody that played.”
Conacher’s low-angle rebound of his own shot at 2:09 of the second period made it a 2-1 Monarchs lead. The Thunder were playing the second with far more energy, but Manchester still snuck in a long goal at 17:15 to make it 3-1.
One thing the Thunder have been good at all year, however, is answering goals quickly when they need to. At 18:55, Bourke, behind the goal, fed a cutting Conacher, who one-timed it in for his seventh goal of the season.
It was how the period ended, and momentum had clearly shifted to the Thunder.
“I think at that point we thought, ‘Hey, we’re one goal behind and we’re right where we want to be.’ We just stuck with it. The third period we came out on fire,” Conacher said.
Just 1:40 into the third, Bourke delivered a between-the-legs pass to Loney, who controlled the puck, shoveled it across the crease past a committed Monarchs goalie Charles Williams and tapped it in to tie it at 3.
As the third period ended, two separate scuffles broke out, but the referee judged the first one to be more severe, resulting in Manchester’s Craig Wyszomirski getting 4 minutes in the penalty box for roughing.
That would give the Thunder a 4-on-3 for most of the five-minute overtime, and even though Thunder goalie Drew Fielding (28 saves) had to make a couple of saves to start the extra session, everyone in the building had the feeling the Bourke-Loney-Conacher line wasn’t through.
This time it was Loney’s turn for a between-the-legs pass to defenseman Desmond Bergin, who one-timed it high into the net for the win.
Manchester coach Rich Seeley, upset at the result from playing the overtime a man down, threw several water bottles on the ice toward the Thunder and the referee and linesmen, resulting in a post-game unsportsmanlike conduct.
“I think communication improved,” Loney said of the special night. “And hard work pays off. We were fortunate to get a call at the end of the game. I don’t think it was a bad call. We just work hard and hope you get the bounces. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t, but it worked out for us tonight.”