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Hughes overtime winner gives Thunder 3-2 series lead

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Glens Falls, NY
- Gunnar Hughes’ overtime winner gave the Adirondack Thunder Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with a 3-2 win over South Carolina on Saturday evening at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Thunder took a three games to two lead in the series and have the potential to close out the series in Game 6 on Tuesday evening in North Charleston, SC.

The Thunder got on the board first 11:14 into the game when Ben Johnson buried home a Michael Kirkpatrick feed for his second goal of the postseason. The play was originally set up by Greg Wolfe, who battled behind the net to gain possession of the puck and passed to Kirkpatrick in the slot, who then hit a wide-open Johnson in the right circle for the goal. The helpers on the play marked the sixth of the playoffs for both Kirkpatrick and Wolfe.

With a minute remaining in the opening period, Adirondack pushed its lead to two. Mitchell Heard carried the puck into the offensive zone and sent a pass towards the net where Wolfe put his stick down to redirect the puck by the sprawling Dekanich for his sixth goal of the postseason. Heard’s assist was his sixth of the playoffs, while Wolfe’s goal gave him a multi-point game.

The Stingrays got one back just after the nine minute mark in the second period to cut their deficit to one. Austin Fyten skated behind the net and tapped the puck to Caleb Herbert, who put it into the back of the net just before Adirondack goaltender Ken Appleby could get across the crease to make the save. The play marked the seventh playoff goal for Herbert, while Fyten and forward David Pacan each picked up their sixth assist this postseason.

The Stingrays tied the game with six minutes remaining in the third period on the first goal of the postseason for defenseman Spencer Humphries. The South Carolina blueliner took a pass from defensive partner Marcus Perrier and found himself open in the high slot, where he fired his wrist shot past Appleby to knot the score at two. Perrier and Brett Cameron collected the assists on the play, the first point of the playoffs for Perrier.

With the score deadlocked through regulation, the game progressed into overtime, the second overtime game during the 2016 Playoffs for the Thunder. After Patch Alber’s attempt towards goal was blocked by defenseman Bobby Shea, the puck found its way onto the stick of Gunnar Hughes who proved to be the overtime hero as he fired a wrist shot past Dekanich and into the back of the net, sending the Civic Center into pandemonium. The goal for Hughes was his second of these playoffs, while Wallin and Alber picked up the assists on the play, the third of the postseason for Alber.

With the pivotal game 5 victory, the Thunder now hold a 3-2 series lead as the series shifts back to South Carolina. Game 6 is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 7:05 p.m.

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