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ALBANY, New York - A paltry first-half effort earned the Halifax Thunderbirds (3-1) their first loss of the season, an 8-6 road loss against the Albany FireWolves (3-2) at MVP Arena.
The FireWolves broke out early with a fast break goal from Andrew Kew, and Charlie Kitchen and Joe Resetarits tacked on one each to put the home team up 3-0 early. Colton Armstrong netted his first goal of the season off a pass from Brad Gillies to cut the deficit, but a power play goal from Jacob Ruest saw the Thunderbirds down 4-1 after one quarter.
"We’re just happy to be able to play these games and they don’t continue to be postponed,” Hossack said. “That’s been frustrating the past month or so. But the whole year has been like that and we have to accept that”
The FireWolves dictated the entire second frame. Nick Chaykowsky scored off the transition, followed nearly eight minutes later by another transition goal from Tony Malcom.
Down 6-1 entering the third quarter, the Thunderbirds used a slick feed from Connor Watson to Chris Boushy for a pick-and-roll goal to cut the deficit back to four goals. Ryan Benesch retaliated with a shorthanded goal, and Austin Shanks netted his first of the night for the visiting club. Eric Fannell followed his teammate’s goal with a filthy backhander on the wrong side of the floor. The Thunderbirds were down 7-4 entering the final quarter.
Kitchen’s second of the night – a power play goal – put the FireWolves back up by four. An extra attacker goal from Boushy benefit of a delayed penalty saw the home team’s lead shrink once again. Shanks whittled away with a shortside power play goal, but his second tally was the final one of the game. The FireWolves withstood the last few minutes to hand the Thunderbirds their first loss of the season, 8-6.
Boushy and Shanks both finished the night with three points (2G. 1A) the same way. Hill made 33 saves to finish the night with an .805 Sv% and the loss.
“We’ve had a game and then another week off and then we had this game,” Hossack said. “Obviously that’s not ideal but that’s the way this season has been. It’s been different. We’ve had different guys in and out of the lineup. We’ve had to learn to play in a lot of different conditions no matter what. That’s how it’s been all year and it’s not going to change next week either.
Jamieson continued his recent run of success for the FireWolves, making 46 saves to finish the night with an .895 Sv%. Resetarits led the way for the FireWolves in points with four (1G, 3A), followed closely by Benesch with three points (1G, 2A).
“I’m sure we’ll have things that are different and not as smooth, different guys in and out. Whoever is playing, we’ll have to bring it and be ready to play. It’s how we will find success, finding that consistently and be ready to start from that first whistle.”
The Thunderbirds’ next game will see them host the New York Riptide (1-4) on Friday, Feb. 4 at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. Face-off is set for 8:00 p.m. AT. Fans can catch the game on TSN Direct.