GLENS FALLS — Sunday was a day for making noise, right?
It started out with kids blowing the horns given out at Cool Insuring Arena. It proceeded to the Adirondack Thunder’s Mike Bergin and Reading’s Scott Tanski dropping the gloves for a fight as soon as the game started; obviously some leftover bad blood from Saturday’s 5-3 Reading win.
But the best noise the Thunder made was their 3-0 win over the Royals before a sellout crowd of 4,869 fans in an ECHL game on New Year’s Eve.
Before the home-and-home series started, Thunder coach Brad Tapper said the team had to strike a balance between potentially taking two from the Royals — who still own a 7-2 advantage over the Thunder in the series so far this season — and having the rest of the season ahead of them. Earning a split and closing out 2017 with a win at home felt like a good balance to Tapper.
“I came in at 1:30 (p.m.) and wanted the puck to drop right then,” Tapper said. “To see the guys come back like that is amazing. They were working their tails off, every line was helping out.”
Thunder goaltender Drew Fielding, the all-time Thunder wins leader, made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season while improving his record to 5-2 this season.
“How about Drew? Drew played an excellent game. He made some secondary saves that were great to see. I mean, goaltending in this league is everything, so it was nice to see him get that win,” Tapper said.
Shane Conacher got the Thunder ahead early, at 1:46 into the game on a low-angle shot off a nice cross-ice assist from Troy Bourke.
Mathieu Brodeur’s slap shot, aided by a top-notch screen from James Henry, made it 2-0 at 6:22 of the second period.
The Thunder finished the scoring at 6:49 of the third period on a power-play goal, as Bourke gave a short pass to Henry, who scored from the right circle while on one knee. It was his 10th goal of the season.
The game started a two-week stretch for the Thunder, in which they have four games each week. They next host Manchester on Wednesday.