WORCESTER, Mass. — Shane Conacher, Matthew Spencer and Olivier Mantha, all of whom were recent call-ups to the Syracuse Crunch, were reassigned to Adirondack before Game 3 on Sunday.
It capped a busy few days for the trio. Conacher and Spencer had been called up prior to Game 1 of the Thunder/Railers series on Friday. Mantha was called up before Game 2, then started the Crunch’s last regular-season game against Rochester, making 39 saves on 42 shots in a 4-2 loss Saturday. Spencer had an assist and Conacher had a shot and one minor penalty. They then drove from Syracuse to Worcester following the game, a four-hour drive.
New guys step up
With goals from both Mike Szmatula and Ryan Schmelzer — who finished their collegiate careers at Minnesota and Canisius, respectively, before joining the Thunder late in the regular season — the youth movement did its part in Game 3.
“They remind me of a Brandon MacLean, who we brought in when we won (the Kelly Cup) in Florida in 2012,” Thunder coach Brad Tapper said. “They come in at the end of the season and they provide energy, they provide passion to the guys who’ve been here all year, and that’s something you really need in this game.”
A rough-ing series
It’s been a physical series, especially on the roughing front. Through the first two games, there were eight roughing penalties, two for boarding and two majors for fighting. Sunday’s Game 3 was less so, as only one roughing penalty was added to the list.
Through the first two playoff games, the Thunder averaged 17.5 shots, ranking last of the 14 playoff teams that had played. The Colorado/Wichita series didn’t start until Sunday.
Was it in the cards?
During the regular season, the Thunder were 18-16-2-4 when coming off a win, as opposed to being 17-7 when coming off a loss, so maybe the Game 2 and 3 results could have been foretold.