Thunder Host Conference Championship Game For First Time Since Red Wings Won Calder Cup

by Corey Mansfield

The Adirondack Thunder will host the Florida Everglades in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final
of the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night with the series tied 1-1.

It's been a long time since a professional hockey team in Glens Falls, NY has made it this deep into the playoffs...26 years to be exact.

The year was 1992; Bill Clinton was president. The number one song in America was the rap song "Jump" by the teenage duo Kris Kross. The top box office movie was  "Lethal Weapon 3" starting Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, and the AHL Calder Cup champions were the Adirondack Red Wings.

The Adirondack Red Wings were coached by former NHL player and current television analyst Barry Melrose. Lonnie Loach, Gary Shuchuk, Chris Tancil and Mike Sillinger were the top scorers for the Red Wings that season.  The team also featured a number of successful future NHL players including Mike Sillinger, Keith Primeau, Johan Garpenlov, and Dennis Vial, and Jim Cummins. In net for the Wings that season was Scott King, Mark Reimer, and Allan Bester.

Allan Bester (pc: The Goalies Archive)
The Red Wings finished in second place in the Northern Division that regular season behind the Springfield Indians. They went on to defeat New Haven Nighthawks 4-to-1 in their first round series matchup. Adirondack then upset Springfield in stunning game four-game sweep in the Division Finals. The Red Wings then defeated the Rochester Americans in a short three game series 2-to-1, advancing to the Calder Cup Championship where they met the St. John Maple Leafs.

In the finals the Red Wings and Maple Leafs battled to the end with the Red Wings prevailing in Game 7, 5-2 to win the Calder Cup. 

Since then fans have persevered and supported all the teams have have come since including the Adirondack IceHawks Adirondack Frostbite, Adirondack Phantoms, Adirondack Flames, and now the Thunder. They have hungered for another championship and now 26 years later they are hosting an Eastern Championship game with only three more wins separating them from a trip to Kelly Cup finals.

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