Reverse Goalie Swap 11/13

So the current #1 goaltender in the ECHL gets a recall to the AHL.  Sounds like a nice reward for a job well done, right?  Or a “let’s see what you can do at the next level” story?

In this case, a rookie backup gets sent down for the weekend to regain some confidence, plays three games in three days, and turns into a virtual brick wall.

After a three game in three day stretch that saw him give up just four goals–not counting a shootout winner–goaltender Connor Ingram was recalled to Syracuse on Monday.  All he did was go 2-0-0-1 with a 1.30 GAA and a .960 save percentage, which currently tops the ECHL among goalies that have played at least 3 games/180 minutes.

Programming alert: tomorrow on my weekly visit to Raw Charge, I’ll have more on Ingram’s weekend, including GIFs!

With Ingram returning to the Crunch, Nick Riopel’s one game stint as backup to Michael Leighton came to an end, and he will return to the Thunder net.

Also recalled to Syracuse: defenseman Matthew Spencer, who also appeared in all 3 Thunder games this weekend as well, going scoreless and +1.  He was paired for most of the weekend with former Crunch defenseman Mathieu Brodeur, incase anyone in Crunchland was wondering.

One other trade I missed from Thursday: a few hours after the Crunch sent down Ingram and Spencer, the Thunder acquired forward Ben Murphy from Norfolk in exchange for defenseman Ryan Segalla.   In 9 games for Norfolk this season, the Massachusetts native has one goal and one assist.  He made his professional debut late in the 2015-16 season with Tulsa after finishing a four year collegiate career at Bowling Green State, where he was a teammate of current Thunder forward Pierre Luc Mercier.  Last season, he appeared in 16 games for Tulsa and 49 games for Norfolk, with a combined 16 goals and 15 assists.  Segalla appeared in 4 games for the Thunder, with 0 goals and 4 assists.

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Up North with the Thunder 11/10

Or should I really say, out west with the Thunder, with the road trip still happening.  But anyway, I digress.

There’s going to be a couple of new faces in the Adirondack lineup as they embark on their second three in three weekend of the season:

-On Thursday, Syracuse sent down goaltender Connor Ingram and defenseman Matthew Spencer to the Thunder.  With the Crunch only playing four games in the next 8 days, while Adirondack has 6 games in the same timespan, the plan is for both players to get some extra game action in, much like Colton White did at the end of October with his three game appearance before returning to a regular spot in Binghamton’s lineup.

Ingram has made six appearances for the Crunch thus far, going 1-3-1 with a 3.36 GAA and .860 save percentage.  He last started on Saturday in Laval, taking a 5-2 loss against the Rocket.

Spencer has appeared in just two games for Syracuse thus far, with no points and a -1 rating.  He last played on October 28th in Rochester.

To take Ingram’s spot, Nick Riopel was recalled to the Crunch and  will back up Michael Leighton on Saturday at home against Charlotte.  How long he stays up remains to be seen.

-This may not be the only roster action we’ll see before the weekend is out.  By Sunday at 3:00 PM, all 27 ECHL teams must lower their roster limit from 21 to 20 players.  With a seemingly different Thunder lineup every week so far–27 different players, goaltenders included, have made at least one appearance, with 8 appearing in all 10 games thus far–this will be an interesting decision to see who ends up on the chopping block.

Up North with the Thunder 11/4

A quick update on Adirondack as the Epic Road Trip of 2017 continues:

-One transaction to report: after starting the regular season on a PTO with Springfield, defenseman Mathieu Brodeur officially returned to the Thunder on Friday, joining the team in Indiana.  Brodeur appeared in 7 games for the Thunderbirds, picking up one assist and 17 penalty minutes.  He’ll take over for defenseman Ryan Segalla, who was placed on reserve.

-Remember when the ECHL announced its partnership with Marvel?  Well, the Thunder revealed which jerseys they will be sporting on November 25th.  Here’s a hint:

Naturally, when you’re the Thunder, you get the Thor jerseys, as shown in this ECHL press photo. And they’re not bad.  You’ll have the chance to bid on them via MeiGray.com at a later date.

October By the Numbers

We’ll call this the monthly Adirondack progress report.

So how have the Thunder fared through the first month of the season?  Let’s see where they rank as a team and among their ECHL colleagues.

(all stats through October 31st)

Record: 3-3-1-0, 7 points.  5th place in North Division, 7th place in Eastern Conference, 14th overall.

Home: 3-2-0-0.  Away: 0-1-1-0.

Individual Leaders:

Top 5 Scorers:

Eric Neiley, 10 pts; Ty Loney, 9 pts; J.C. Campagna, 8 pts; Pierre-Luc Mercier, 7 pts; Desmond Bergin, 6 pts

Goals: Eric Neiley/Ty Loney, 4

Assists: 3 tied with 6

Plus/Minus: Desmond Bergin, +3

Penalty Minutes: Mike Bergin, 14

Power Play Goals: 6 tied with 1

Shorthanded Goals: None

Game Winning Goals: Ty Loney/Desmond Bergin, 1

Shots: J.C. Campagna, 30

Wins: Nick Riopel, 2

GAA: Drew Fielding, 4.65

Save Percentage: Nick Riopel, .848

Team Statistics:

Attendance: 2,635/game, 25th.

Penalty Minutes: 105 in 7 games, avg 15 min/game, 18th.

Power Play: 18.8%, 8th.  Penalty Kill: 73.3%, 26th.

Goals For/Game: 4.29, 3rd.  Goals Against/Game: 5.14, 27th.

Shots For/Game: 36.29, 8th.  Shots Against/Game: 32.86, 13th.

ECHL Individual Leaders:

Points: Eric Neiley tied for 3rd (10), Ty Loney tied for 4th (9)

Shots: J.C. Campagna, tied for 2nd (30)

Shooting Pct, minimum 3 SH: Troy Bourke, 1st (66.7%)

Shootout Goals: J.C. Campagna, tied for 1st (1)

Shootout Pct, minimum 1 ATT: J.C. Campagna, tied for 1st (100%)

Shootout Winning Goals: J.C. Campagna, tied for 1st (1)

Minutes, Goaltender: Nick Riopel, 1st (329)

Saves, Goaltender: Nick Riopel, tied for 2nd (156)

Shootout Wins: Nick Riopel, tied for 1st (1)

Shootout Pct, minimum 1 ATT: Nick Riopel, tied for 1st (1.000)

Rookie Scoring: J.C. Campagna, tied for 2nd (8); Pierre-Luc Mercier, tied for 3rd (7)

Rookie Assists: J.C. Campagna & Pierre-Luc Mercier, tied for 2nd (6)

Rookie Shots: J.C. Campagna, 1st (30)

Rookie Shootout Goals: J.C. Campagna, 1st (1)

Rookie Shootout Pct, minimum 1 ATT: J.C. Campagna, 1st (100%)

Rookie Shootout Winning Goals: J.C. Campagna, 1st (1)

Defensemen Scoring: Desmond Bergin, tied for 3rd (6)

In Other News…

After a three game stint with one goal scored, rookie defenseman Colton White is headed back up to Binghamton, after Tim Erixon was released from his PTO.  This leaves rookie forward Chris Calnan as the lone Devil assignment in Adirondack, now that it appears Ken Appleby will not be returning after the trade of Scott Wedgewood to Arizona on Saturday.

 

Return and Happy Trails 10/27

A bonus gameday edition?  Yup, a bonus gameday edition.

Because there’s moar transactions!

(Yes, I purposely spelled more that way.)

First, we’ll start with the Return in the title: goaltender Drew Fielding returns to the Thunder for the third straight season, signing a contract on Thursday.  Since turning pro following the 2014-15 season after finishing his collegiate career at the University of St. Thomas (a tiny NCAA Division III school in Minnesota), Fielding has become a journeyman goaltender, filling in where needed.  In 2015-16, he split 31 games between Adirondack (25) and Brampton (6), going 12-12-4, and making one appearance for the Thunder in the Kelly Cup playoffs that spring, starting the season in Glens Falls, then going to Brampton, then back to Adirondack.  Last season, he would start with Reading, but would return to the Thunder for a second stint.  Combined he would go 9-6-0 in 17 appearances, and even got a shot as a backup for Providence late in the season.  He also spent three games with the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers, going 0-2-1.  He may be making his 2017-18 debut this weekend, with a 3 in 3 looming (of note, Nick Riopel has played every single minute this season).

With the additions of Fielding, and Colton White and Shane Conacher earlier in the week, room had to be made on the roster.  Happy trails and good luck to defenseman Tim Boyle, forward Caleb Cameron, and goaltender Nick Niedert, who were all released.  Boyle and Cameron each made their lone appearance in Saturday’s overtime loss in Reading, going scoreless and -1.  Niedert was pushed into EBUG duty after Ken Appleby was recalled to Binghamton last Friday.

 

Up North with the Thunder 10/25

Adirondack is in the middle of a busy week.  The good news is reinforcements are on the way from both affiliates as a 3 in 3 weekend and a 12 game road swing looms.

-First, on the Devils side, rookie defenseman Colton White was reassigned by Binghamton.  The 20-year-old made his professional debut on Saturday in a 4-3 loss to Lehigh Valley, going scoreless and a -3.  A 2015 4th round draft pick by New Jersey, White also was part of Albany’s taxi squad during the 2016 and 2017 playoff runs.

-Second, on the Lightning/Crunch side, forward Shane Conacher was reassigned.  The younger brother of Cory, this Conacher came to Syracuse via a tryout after performing well in Nashville in a preseason rookie tournament, and ended up with an AHL/ECHL deal.  He appeared in 2 games for Syracuse going scoreless, but a numbers game is sending him north.  The second year pro split last season between Orlando (25 games) and Toronto (3 games) after completing three years at Canisius College.

Just earlier today the brothers were interviewed for CNY Central about playing together…well…

With the additions of White and Conacher, the Thunder now have 14 forwards and 9 defensemen on the roster.  After an outstanding opening night, Troy Bourke has missed the last three games, no information available as to why.

After a loss to Greenville last night, the Thunder host Toledo for the first time ever for a pair of games Friday and Saturday, then it’s goodbye Glens Falls for the next 4 weeks, as the epic 12 game road swing begins Sunday afternoon.

Shameless Plug: here’s my weekly Raw Charge column.  I’m bringing my old Devil recap concept every Tuesday afternoon!  This space will be for any news during the week, such as today for example.

I’ll be back on the AHL beat next week with my first…sigh…Binghamton game in Utica.  But I’ll have my weekly column on Inside AHL Hockey every Monday or Tuesday.

I will be in Adirondack on Friday night, my lone game this week (work weekend, complete with a 6 AM shift on Sunday…so yeah not going far).

Thunder Wrap 10/16

 

DSC03335
Nick Riopel had a successful return to the Adirondack net!

 

The ECHL season is finally underway!  And it’s been a busy couple of days for Adirondack, as they are 1-0 to start the season.

On Saturday night, in front of 4,021 fans, the Thunder would hold off a third period rally by Brampton and defeat the Beast 5-4.  Adirondack would jump out to a 3-1 lead in the first period with goals from Troy Bourke, Eric Neiley, and Ty Loney.  Brampton would come back to tie the game in the third twice, but those ties were very short lived, as Bourke and Loney would answer with goals :19 and :36 apart, respectively, to give the Thunder the win.  Nick Riopel stopped 32 of 36 shots in picking up the win.  J.C. Campagna would add two assists, while five Thunder skaters had one helper each.

Shameless plug alert: I made what seems like a now weekly guest appearance on Raw Charge yesterday with a more indepth recap.

 

DSC03338
The current leading scorer (after 1 game), Ty Loney

Your Thunder team leaders after Week 1:

Goals: Ty Loney/Troy Bourke (2)

Assists: Ty Loney/J.C. Campagna (2)

Points: Ty Loney (4)

+/-: Ty Loney/J.C. Campagna (+2)

Penalty Minutes: 8 tied with 2

Wins: Nick Riopel (1)

GAA: Nick Riopel (4.00)

Save Percentage: Nick Riopel (.889)

Earlier today, a new player joined the fold, while one moved on: the Thunder signed free agent defenseman Ryan Segalla, who had been in Reading’s camp to start the season.  He spent last season with Wheeling, where in 62 games he scored 3 goals and added 8 assists.  The Boston native also made one appearance with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, going scoreless.

To make room for Segalla on the roster, defenseman Nick Trecapelli was traded to Indy for future considerations.  He did appear in Saturday’s win, amassing 2 penalty minutes.

Coming up this week: the Thunder are back at home on Friday night, as they host Manchester, who knocked Adirondack out in the first round of last year’s Kelly Cup playoffs.  Then they travel to Reading on Saturday to face the Royals.