GLENS FALLS, NY. - The Adirondack Thunder (13-4-2-3) scored eight times on Saturday night, punishing the Norfolk Admirals (3-16-4-0), 8-1.
Danish sensation Mikkel Aagaard opened Saturday's scoring with just over five minutes left in the opening period. Admirals defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst attempted to make a short pass to his defensive parter Travis Armstrong in the neutral zone, however the Thunder forward picked it off and went the duration of the ice before burying one high over the glove of Connor Knapp, who was making his fourth start in five days for Norfolk.
33 seconds later the Admirals evened the score at 1-1 though, thanks to Paul Rodrigues. Rodrigues, promoted within the lineup prior to tonight's game, took advantage of his new third line playing time and buried a feed that came from Jaedon Descheneau. Sam Noreau dumped the puck into the zone and #74 beat his man along the wall, held the puck for a few seconds, found the Ontario-born forward, who then deposited for his second of the season.
Just 50 seconds into second period action the Thunder regained their lead because of a forced turnover on behalf of the Admirals. Verpaelst struggled to get the puck out of his own end, giving the puck right to Thunder forward Alex Wall. Wall swung to the right side of the offensive zone but distributed a pass across-ice through a tight line to Alexander Fedoseyev, who had the easy task of slamming one past a down-and-out Connor Knapp.
Unfortunately for the Admirals, Knapp would get beat twice more in the second period. Just moments after a power play chance for Norfolk came to a close, the Thunder transitioned the puck ice and upon entering the zone went tic-tac-toe from Aagaard, to Brett Pollock and then to Ty Loney who would blast it home, extending his team's lead to 3-1.
For the second consecutive night the Admirals allowed three goals in the second period and the third came off the tape of Brett Pollock. After 30 seconds and four different Admirals on the ice touching the puck, all unable to clear their own zone due to ferocious forechecking from the Thunder, the rubber was turned over and two touches later blistered into the net. For Pollock, it was his third of the season and helpers came from Thunder captain Peter MacArthur and Dennis Kravchenko.
When the third period got underway, the home side remained just as hot. With Gabriel Verpaelst in the box for tripping, the Admirals found themselves with a shorthanded chance coming from John Dunbar and Alex Micallef. Netminder Mason McDonald turned the opportunity aside for the Thunder and his team took advantage of the down-a-man Admirals the other way. Former Admiral Ty Loney earned his third point of the night by setting up Kravchenko, who hammered home the fifth goal of the night for Adirondack.
The sixth Thunder tally of the night came from Mikkel Aagaard, his second of the night. Adirondack's exemplary forecheck was brought to fruition once again, as after a lengthy amount of time attempting to escape their own zone, the puck wound up on the tape of a forward in white. Pollock, who also had three points on the night, sent the puck cross-ice to the dazzling rookie who was sitting back-door, which he deposited behind the Admirals netminder.
Being down 6-1 was enough for Brandon Blair, who tried to stir the pot in the third by taking down Gunnar Hughes of the Thunder. The incident led to several members of both sides dropping their gloves and when all was said and done, 16 total penalty minutes assessed to four different players.
Adirondack wasn't done adding to their side of the scoreboard though, as Phil Lane's seventh of the season was the seventh of the night for the Thunder. Micallef had trouble grabbing possession of the puck beside his own netminder and Kravchenko pick-pocketed him, wasting no time sending it to Lane who rocketed it low past Knapp.
Goal number eight was the final blow and the final tally for Aagaard, completing his hat trick. The Admirals had gone into cruise control and another turnover from the blue line led to perfectly-placed shot from Keegan Kanzig that had intentions and being deflected by the Thunder's high-striking forward, and it was.
The team bus now heads back to Norfolk where the team will begin preparing for a three game set against the South Carolina Stingrays. It will be the first time the Stingrays come to Norfolk Scope Arena and tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com, as well as at the Scope box office. For more information on the team, stay tuned to norfolkadmirals.com and be sure to follow and like us on all major social media platforms.Box Score