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Grizzlies too much for Thunder

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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.”

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.

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