GAME PREVIEW: Jackals Open Home-And-Home With Thunder

Game 41: Elmira Jackals (9-26-5-0) vs. Adirondack Thunder (23-13-4-0)

7:00 p.m., Glens Fall Civic Center, Glens Falls, New York

The Jackals continue their seven games in 10 nights stretch with the front end of a home-and-home series against the Adirondack Thunder at the Glens Falls Civic Center. It's the sixth of 10 matches between the clubs this season.

Adirondack has points in three of four games (2-1-1-0) since the All-Star break, losing for the first time in regulation last night at home against the Royals. The Thunder are now 19-13-4-3 and have 45 points, putting them in fifth place in the North Division.

The Jackals have lost four straight games, including a pair of one-goal losses to Fort Wayne this week. Overall Elmira is 9-26-5-0, with 23 points, which places the Jackals in sixth place in the North Division and 13th place in the Eastern Conference.   
    

Broadcast Coverage

Jackals Pregame at 6:45 p.m. Radio: 1410 WELM | TV: WETM-2

Last time out

The Jackals gave up a pair of third period goals and lost their second straight one-goal game to the Fort Wayne Komets, 3-2, last night at First Arena.

The Komets took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a deflection by Gabriel Desjardins with 5:31 left in the opening period. The Jackals pulled even early in the second period, when Casey Thrush potted a loose puck in the slot for his second goal of the season just three minutes into the period.

Fort Wayne broke a 1-1 tie in the opening minute of the third when Garrett Thompson tapped in a puck in the crease for a power-play goal and a 2-1 lead. Later in the period Matt Lane took a penalty shot for Elmira, but missed, keeping it a one-goal game. Mason Baptista doubled the lead at 18:06 with a tip in near the crease. The Jackals quickly got back within one on Sebastien Sylvestre right circle wrist shot at 18:47, but they couldn't find the tying goal, losing 3-2.

Three-in-three

Tonight continues the second straight three-in-three weekend for the Jackals, who also played three games in three days last weekend in Manchester. Including last weekend's set in Manchester, the Jackals have six consecutive weeks that include a three-in-three, with one every week in February. Next week the Jackals play three straight--one at home and two on the road--against Brampton.

This is the third such scenario this season; the first came the weekend following Thanksgiving, when the Jackals won a pair of games against the Monarchs and lost once against Reading. In all, the Jackals have 10 three-in-three stretches in 2016-17.
 
Busy time

In addition to this being the second of six straight three-in-three weeks, the Jackals are in the midst of their busiest 10-day stretch of the season. Including last weekend in Manchester, the Jackals will play seven games in 10 days, the only time this season the Jackals go through a stretch like that.

Transactions

The continued their roster shuffle this week, making two separate trades with Western Conference teams. First, the Jackals sent forward Tyson Fawcett to Tulsa for defenseman Jacob Poe and the ECHL playing rights of Miles Koules, who was recalled to the AHL's Ontario Reign.

Elmira then traded those two pieces to the Indy Fuel for second-year defenseman Matt Stanisz, who is set to make his Jackals debut tonight. He had 10 points (4g, 6a) in 35 games with the Fuel this season after playing for the Florida Everblades as a rookie in 2015-16.

The Jackals also signed physical forward Brad Townsend, who has 51 penalty minutes, including seven fights, in 13 games with the FHL's Watertown Wolves. He made his Jackals debut last night and fought Taylor Crunk.

Late yesterday afternoon, defenseman Brycen Martin was reassigned to the Jackals from the Rochester Americans. Martin has three points (1g, 2a) in 14 games with the Jackals and he has also appeared in six games with the Amerks. 

Head-to-head

Tonight is the sixth of 10 matches between the teams and the Thunder have points in all four, posting a 4-0-0-1 record while the Jackals are 1-3-1-0.

Mikkel Aagaard leads the series with eight points (1g, 7a) in the five games. Behind him is captain Peter MacArthur, who has five points (4g, 1a), including a hat trick in the last match up. Three Jackals have two points in the season series to lead Elmira, which has just eight goals in the five-game series.

In net J.P. Anderson won his only start against the Jackals, allowing just one goal. Mason McDonald is 2-0-0 in two starts against the Jackals, allowing a total of five goals. For Elmira, Andy Iles is 0-2-1-0 in three starts against Adirondack and Jason Kasdorf lost in his one appearance.

Scouting the Thunder

The Thunder have points in three of four games out of the All-Star Break, going 2-1-1-0 against Reading and Norfolk. They are just 4-4-2-0 over their last 10 games, dropping to 19-13-4-3 and have 45 points, placing them on the outside of the North Division's four playoff spots. 

Adirondack has been decimated with AHL callups throughout the season, but they did get leading scorer Ty Loney back from his loan to Albany. He leads the Thunder with 32 points (15g, 17a). Captain Peter MacArthur is next with 31 points (12g, 19a) and he scored a natural hat trick against the Jackals in their last match up. Mikkel Aagaard is next with 27 points (10g, 17a).

Five different goalies have played between the pipes for the Thunder with Mason McDonald leading the way with 18 appearances. The rookie is 9-6-1-2 with a 2.76 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage. J.P. Anderson, acquired in a trade from Wheeling earlier this season, is 4-3-1-0 with a 3.16 goals-against average and an .895 save percentage in 10 appearances for the Thunder. Drew Fielding, claimed off waivers a few weeks ago, is 1-2-1-0 with a 4.05 goals-against average and an .856 save percentage in four starts

            
Special teams

The Thunder's power play was 0-for-3 against Reading last night, dropping to seventh in the ECHL at 32-for-153 (20.9%) on the season. At the GFCC, Adirondack is 15-for-78, a 19.2% rate.

The Jackals power play was 0-for-2 last night and 0-for-5 in the two games against Fort Wayne, moving to 20th in the ECHL at 14.8% (19-for-128) on the season.

Adirondack killed off both Reading power plays last night, but they are still successfully killing opposition power plays just 79.4% of the time, which is 24th in the league. The Thunder are slightly better at home, an 80.7% success rate.

The Jackals penalty kill allowed one power-play goal in two chances last night, snapping a 4-for-4 streak over the previous two games. On the season, Elmira is 23rd in the ECHL at 80.0%, but that drops to 76.4% on the road, where they've allowed 21 power-play goals, second most on the road in the ECHL.