GLENS FALLS — The strong part of the Adirondack Thunder got stronger recently. The other part is waiting for better fortune.
Through nine games, the Thunder have allowed just 20 goals. The 2.2 allowed per game ties them with Idaho for best in the ECHL. And with defensemen Colby Sissons and Jeremy Groleau, and goalie Evan Cormier coming down from Binghamton over the last several days, things should stay good on that half of the ice.
Offensively, the talent is there, but Adirondack has just 22 goals.
“We’ve still only scored three goals the last three games that really counted, not counting empty-netters, they’re not real,” Thunder coach Alex Loh said.
Defenseman Tommy Parran said the team has been operating on the premise that good team defense will lead to offense. Though both he and Loh felt it might take a non-traditional goal to get the offense going again.
“It’s going to be a greasy goal that gets us going,” Parran said. “Sometimes other goalies are playing well or other teams are playing good defense, but you’ve got to find a way to get through that.”
“You need to get an ugly one or two just to get the confidence going, then all of a sudden you feel a bit more comfortable out there and it starts to come from there,” Loh said.
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It’s unusual for a team to keep three goalies, but Loh said Thursday that “we’re going to roll with three” for the time being. Certainly it has been the hottest part of the Thunder’s defense. Michael McNiven was the Warrior Hockey-ECHL Goaltender of the Week last week. He and Eamon McAdam are both in the top six of the league in goals-against average.
If there has to be a temporary struggle, Parran would rather it come from the offense.
“You have to tip your hat to them if they make a great play and kind of beat your defense, but defense is the controllable aspect that offense builds on,” he said.
The special teams mirror the overall look. Adirondack is 22nd of 26 teams in the league on the power play, having only scored on 4 of 31 attempts (12.9 percent). The penalty kill is fourth of 26 teams with opponents having scored five out of 33 times (84.8 percent).
“The power play needs to get going,” Loh said. “We haven’t been getting up on that front, so we’ve got to find a way to get one there.
“It’s been better lately, the last handful of games,” Loh added. “Even Reading, we only had one, but it wasn’t too, too bad. We just haven’t found that last play where the puck lands in the back of the net.”
NOTES: The Thunder released defenseman Zachary Borsoi, a Utica College graduate, on Thursday.