Saturday, September 29, 2018

Thunder Fall 2-1 in Home Opener

The Niagara Falls Thunder made their home debut Friday evening with a USPHL matchup against the visiting Connecticut Nighthawks. Despite a hard fought battle, especially in the third period, where the Thunder controlled a majority of play, the Nighthawks skated away with a 2-1 victory.

From the opening faceoff, the play on the rink at the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion was fast and furious. The teams traded end to end action with the first stoppage of play coming nearly seven minutes into the contest. The first period ended as it began with a 0-0 tie. Connecticut had the lone powerplay of the period, but were unable to convert. Both goaltenders, throughout the game, were showcasing the best of the position.

Denis Kuminov scored the first goal of the game 4:53 into the second period. Jordon Fongemie picked up the assist on the play. Matt Stewart tied it for the Thunder with 5:25 left in the period. Calvin Tonzi and Brandon Schweickert were credited with the assist.

The play in the third period favored the home team for most of the time. A bad penalty by Schweickert with 3:15 left in regulation led to a powerplay goal by the Nighthawks to ensure their win. Jake Borjarzin put it by Ryan Pascarella with 1:25 left on the clock. Austin Marini and Tim Hazelton assisted on the goal for Connecticut.

With the goal crease empty for the Thunder for the final 85 seconds, Niagara Falls swarmed the net in front of Matthew Radder with the extra attacker. Ultimately, Radder was able to keep the puck out of the net.

Radder stopped 28 of 29 shots faced in the victory for theNnighthawks. Pascarella was able to turn away 21 of 23 shots. Both goaltenders were stellar in net for the entire game. Each was able to steal a sure-goal away from the other team

The same two teams will play each other Saturday evening at the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion. Faceoff is set for 6pm.

Box Score:

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Zweig Nft (holding), 17:18.

2nd Period-1, Connecticut Nighthawks, Kuzminov 6 (Fongemie), 4:53. 2, Niagara Falls Thunder, Stewart 1 (Tonzi, Schweickert), 14:35. Penalties-Flanagan Cnh (hooking), 12:13; Zweig Nft (tripping), 15:26.

3rd Period-3, Connecticut Nighthawks, Bojarzin 3 (Marini, Hazelton), 18:35 (PP). Penalties-Zweig Nft (tripping), 5:17; served by Fongemie Cnh (bench -too many nonplayers on bench), 9:37; Schweickert Nft (slashing), 16:45.

Shots on Goal-Connecticut Nighthawks 8-10-5-23. Niagara Falls Thunder 10-11-8-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut Nighthawks 1 / 0; Niagara Falls Thunder 0 / 0.
Goalies-Connecticut Nighthawks, Radder 3-0-0-0 (29 shots-28 saves). Niagara Falls Thunder, Pascarella 1-1-0-0 (23 shots-21 saves).