The Adirondack Thunder will host the Newfoundland Growlers Saturday to open the 2021-22 season tonight at the Cool Insuring Arena.
Faceoff is scheduled shortly after 7:00pm after team introductions for opening night on Flo-Sports with FloHockey and on the radio on Hits 95.9. Pregame is scheduled to start around 6:50pm with Evan Pivnick on the call.
This is the first of ten matchups against the former Kelly Cup Champions. Adirondack was supposed to play the Growlers on April 3rd 2020, but the ECHL season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 591 days that have passed which marks the longest time between games that the Thunder and the Growlers have experienced in their 28 previous meetings in the North Division. Adirondack and Newfoundland both opted out of playing in the ECHL last year. Partly due to the allowance of no fans and the border being closed. They were limited to only playing three teams if they were going to play.
The Growlers kicked off their 3rd season in the ECHL on Thursday with a 6-3 win against the Trois-Rivières Lions. It was the Lions first game of the franchise. Former Thunder defenseman Mathieu Brodeur has made their opening season roster and is wearing an “A” for their first ever season.
Speaking of “A” and “C”’s Adirondack announced that Pete MacArthur was named captain for the third time in four years within the organization. He was named the sixth captain in franchise history. Adirondack is doing something unique for their alternatives, having two at home and two on the road. Shane Harper and Blake Thompson will wear the “A’s” at home with Alex Carrier and Sam Laberge on the road. Certainly there will be a fill-in “A” with Harper on the injured reserve list with a broken jaw with his return labeled as “weeks”. So it’ll be curious who wears the letter for the time being. We will find out later tonight. Congrats to Carrier and Thompson with those guys putting in a lot to this organization.
For the time being Skidmore College product and Ithaca, NY native Brandon Kasel who signed a PTO at the start of camp two weeks ago is sticking around to be Sakellaropoulos’s backup. On Thursday, New Jersey had recalled netminder Nico Daws to the Devils and moved Markes Mitens to Utica thus opening a spot for Kasel.
Scott Wedgewood was injured against the Capitals in the 1st period. Devils team reporter Amanda Stein said that Wedgwood’s stick went flying into the corner and then Pavel Zacha lost a skate blade and grabbed onto a teammate’s stick to be pulled to the bench. New Jersey currently is without Hughes, Smith, Blackwood, Bernier and Miles Wood. New Jersey is currently at one active netminder and Mitens who started the week in Glens Falls could be on his way to the show to back up Daws. Utica then would be left with one goalie: Akira Schmid. The Comets are home tonight vs the P-Bruins.
Saturday’s game marks the 6th season-opener in franchise history. The Thunder are 5-0 all-time in season-openers; 1-0 when opening at home. This is the 1st time in franchise history that Adirondack will face-off against Newfoundland to open an ECHL season. Adirondack opponents on opening night include Elmira, Manchester, Brampton and Maine. Three of the Thunder’s four opening night matchups are teams no longer in the ECHL and have folded.
The Thunder announced their opening night roster yesterday at 5 p.m. They made four roster moves. Head Coach Alex Loh cut four from their training camp roster. Forward Nick Mangone and defensemans Preston Kugler, Ethan Bush-Anderson and Greg DiTomaso.
Alex Sakellaropoulos, G; Brandon Kasel, D; Blake Thompson, D; Jimmy Mazza, D; Jake Ryczek, D; Ivan Chukarov, D; Chris Lijdsman, D; Joe Masonius, D; Tyler Irvine, F; Jordan Kaplan, F; Peter MacArthur, F; Colin Long, F; Samuel Laberge, F; Nick DeVito, F; Ryan Smith, F; Alexandre Carrier, F; Nick Rivera, F; Robbie Payne, F; Patrick Grasso, F
Injured Reserve – Shane Harper, F; Frankie Melton, F
There’s a chance that Kugler, Bush-Anderson along with Mangone could be back in the Thunderdome at some point this season.
Of course the addition of Chukarov from Wheeling and Lijdsman returning from Springfield camp ultimately cut two from camp due to a numbers game.