GLENS FALLS — It’s still early in the ECHL season, but there’s a pattern emerging that the Adirondack Thunder would like to eliminate before it becomes a trend.
It’s this: After a win, their next game is unimpressive.
After the Thunder’s 6-4 win over Newfoundland on Nov. 6, the next day brought a 5-0 loss to the Growlers. And following Friday’s 5-4 win over Utah, there was a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Grizzlies on Saturday before a crowd of 4,621 fans.
The Thunder stand at 3-4-1, and they haven’t strung together two consecutive wins yet. But that’s a bigger step. For now the first step is to not have a dull performance the next game after a win.
“Yeah, it’s the second time, for sure,” said coach Alex Loh, who was the only person made available following the game. “It’s something we’ll fix. You obviously don’t want to make it a trend; you want to string some wins together. It’s something we’ll address in the morning. Thankfully it’s early in the season, so we can fix it and move on.”
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Both teams looked like they had tired legs in the scoreless first period, but — mirroring Friday’s game — Utah’s legs looked noticeably stronger in the second period. Mason Mannek got the Grizzlies on the board at 4:58 when he cut to the goal and tipped in Brandon Cutler’s pass.
Gehrett Sargis made a nice individual move around Thunder defenseman Jake Hamilton and fired a hard wrister past Mareks Mitens (18 saves) at 14:39 of the second. More disconcerting for the Thunder was that Utah scored 25 seconds later as Bailey Conger scored top shelf on a backhanded flip, after a sweet backhand, between-the-legs pass from Sargis.
Adirondack (3-4-1-0) finally got on the board at 1:06 of the third when Tyler Irvine notched his third goal of the season by redirecting Joe Masonius’ shot.
Once again, however, Utah struck back quickly as Charle-Edouard D’Astous scored on a long slap shot at 2:36.
While the Thunder’s power play has been good ever since after opening night — it was going at a 25.6 percent clip before Saturday — it went 0 for 6 Saturday, and that included a combined two minutes of 5-on-3 on two separate instances.
“I trust the guys,” Loh said. “We’ve been good 5 on 4, so there’s no reason not to be good 5 on 3. It’s just guys being confident to make the plays. They’ll get there.”
NOTES: Utah’s Taylor Crunk, who boarded Irvine from behind in Friday’s game, was suspended three games by the ECHL. … Loh said that Alex Sakellaropoulos will get the start in goal Sunday. It will be just his third start of the season.