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Payne's third-period goal lifts Thunder

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WORCESTER, Mass. — Robbie Payne scored the deciding goal in the third period as the Adirondack Thunder opened the weekend with a 3-2 victory over Worcester on Friday night.

Payne scored after getting a pass from Pete MacArthur 1:11 into the third. Payne went down to his knees in the right faceoff circle, but kept the puck, got back up and skated across the slot to score on a backhander.

It was the only even-strength goal of the game.

The visitors were outshot 40-23, but got the goals when they needed them. Newly arrived forward Sam Laberge scored on a first-period power play off a pass from MacArthur. Laberge had been played for the Utica Comets of the AHL.

Tyler Irvine converted on a second-period power play for Adirondack. Ross Olsson and Liam Coughlin scored power-play goals for Worcester.

Mareks Mitens was in goal for the Thunder, getting the win with 38 saves on 40 shots. Adirondack was outshot 20-5 in the second period.

The Thunder’s road swing continues Saturday and Sunday with games in Portland, Maine against the Maine Mariners. Adirondack, Maine and Worcster are the bottom three teams in the ECHL’s North Division.

Notes: Irvine and Patrick Grasso now share the team lead with eight goals apiece. Irvine has the overall scoring lead on the team with 16 points. ... Friday’s win give the Thunder their first back-to-back victories of the season. ... The Thunder are 2-1-0 against Worcester this season. Adirondack is 4-3 in one-goal games, with one of those losses coming in overtime.

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The Adirondack Thunder hit the road this weekend for a three-games-in-three-days series, beginning Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Worcester.

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