Friday night was a good night for professional sports teams from New Hampshire playing teams named after Thunder.
The Monarchs assured that their fans will get at least one more home game this season, gaining a road win against the Adirondack Thunder at Cool Insuring Arena on Friday night, 5-3.
Manchester began things on the back foot, conceding eight of the game’s first nine shots.
The tenth shot became the game’s first goal, an unassisted Sam Kurker strike from the left faceoff circle.
Outside of that one moment, the continued their general domination of the contest’s early minutes, finishing the first period with a 23-8 shot on goal advantage.
Adirondack would continue to push for a game-tying score, but instead the Monarchs would expand their lead with a pair of goals by Zac Lynch and Kevin Morris within 67 seconds of each other near the middle of the second period.
The Thunder would not get on the board until a power play blast from Shane Conacher 10:10 into the period, with Conacher adding a second power play goal just a few minutes later.
Manchester’s power play unit returned the Monarchs lead back up to two goals midway through the third period, as the Monarchs made the most of a botched Thunder defensive zone clearance, ending with a Alexx Privitera goal.
Kurker would capitalize on another Thunder miscue shortly after Privitera’s goal, with Kurker’s turnover setting the stage for Matt Doherty’s second goal of the playoffs.
It would take an extra skater and a Joel Lowry double minor late in the third period before Adirondack would score again, a fluke shot by Matthieu Brodeur that somehow found its way past Manchester netminder Charles Williams’ glove.
Williams ended the night with 51 saves, bringing him up to 211 saves so far during the playoff campaign.
For Monarchs’ head coach Rich Seeley, the penalty kill focus wasn’t on the two goals allowed but the fact that Manchester allowed nine power play opportunities.
Still, a win’s a win and the Monarchs’ lingering weaknesses with penalties and slow starts was negated by the squad’s ability to make the most of their opportunities
“It’s nice to get the first win, it wasn’t our best of games, but we were okay,” Seeley said following the game. “We talk about shifts after goals and how they can swing games, and tonight those shifts were huge for us. I think it was what made the difference tonight.”
Due to a scheduling conflict at SNHU Arena, the Monarchs are forced to play the next three games of this series in Glens Falls, with Game 2 coming Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile back in Manchester, Friday night marked a continuation of Sean Reid-Foley’s fantastic 2018 start on the baseball diamond. taking a no-hitter into the fifth as his New Hampshire Fisher Cats defeated the Trenton Thunder, 4-0.
Rain delayed contest’s beginning by nearly an hour, but Reid-Foley appeared unfazed. He would strikeout six of the first seven batters he faced, allowing just two hits and three walks in five innings of work
The Fisher Cat hurler found run support in the first, with Jonathan Davis giving the ‘Cats their first run following a wild pitch by Dillon Tate.
New Hampshire would add another run before the inning was over and an Andrew Guillotte single would bring Ryan Hissey across the plate in the second to give Reid-Foley all he would need for the victory.
Vladimir Guerrero’s double to start off the sixth set the stage for a final insurance run, as Guerrero would eventually make it home off Max Pentecost’s tenth hit of the season.
It certainly wasn’t the Fisher Cats best night at the plate, but it proved to be enough, with Davis leading the way offensively with a pair of hits on the evening.
The Fisher Cats bullpen continued Reid-Foley’s dominance over Thunder batters, with Conor Fisk, Craig Breslow and Justin Shafer combining to allow just two more baserunners over the course of the contest, with Juan Kelly adding one more baserunner on top of that in the eighth due to a fielding error.
New Hampshire will seek another win against Trenton on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Jon Harris (1-0, 3.38 ERA) takes the mound for New Hampshire against Trenton’s Will Carter (0-1, 8.38 ERA)