Norfolk, VA.— Norfolk drew within one goal midway through the third period, but an empty net goal helped the Thunder take game two of the weekend, topping the Admirals 4-2 on Saturday night.
TJ Melancon netted two assists in the loss, giving the defenseman his fifth multi-point game of the season. Sam Ftorek added an assist on Grant Besse’s second period goal, giving the defenseman a point in each of his first two games as an Admiral. Grant Besse and Christian Horn each scored for the second straight night.
For the second straight night the Thunder opened the scoring. Saturday night it took the visitors only 0:56 into the first to get on the board. Brian Ward intercepted a loose puck in the high slot and quickly tapped it to Terrence Wallin who stepped in and tucked the puck past Ty Reichenbach. The Thunder doubled the lead just under three minutes into the period. Shane Conacher, falling down sent a feed out front to Brian Ward gave the Thunder a 2-0 lead.
Grant Besse, scoring for the second straight night, cut the lead to one with 5:28 to play in the period. With the puck in the right corner Sam Ftorek sent a pass directly in front that found the stick of Besse, who made the quick redirection for his 21st goal of the season.
The lead pushed to two goals once again midway through the third period. Desmond Bergin let loose a slap shot from the right side that wrapped around the wall and back to the left point. Dylan Olsen, stepping off the bench, wound up a quick shot that snuck past Reichenbach giving the Thunder a 3-1 lead.
In the third Christian Horn pulled the Admirals within one midway through the period. TJ Melancon intercepted the puck at the right point and quickly popped off a pass to Horn. The forward Horn cut off the right wall and took a quick wrist shot that beat Sholl to the top right corner. The Admirals were within one with 9:29 to play in regulation. Norfolk was unable to pull any closer as the Thunder would tack on an empty net goal with less than a minute to play, running the score to 4-2.
Ty Reichenbach made 31 saves in the loss, while Adirondack’s Tomas Sholl notched 28 saves on 30 shots.
Neither team was able to capitalize on the man-advantage as Norfolk finished 0-for-3 while Adirondack was 0-for-1.
The Admirals and Thunder will wrap up the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 pm.