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Riopel Shines in Charlotte in AHL Season Debut





November 17, 2010





Charlotte, NC-Nic Riopel's 24 saves was good enough for second Star of the Game honors in Charlotte, NC but it wasn't good enough for the win as the Adirondack Phantoms dropped a 2-1 decision to the Checkers to open their three game southern swing.

Riopel had been called up from Greenville of the ECHL to make his first AHL start of the 2010-11 campaign. The 21 year old made several dazzling saves and was able to cover up on a handful of close calls along the goal-line to keep the Phantoms within striking distance. Riopel's work helped lead a Phantoms penalty kill that held the Checkers to 0-for-7 on the power play through the latter half of the game.

The Charlotte Checkers are the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and have many of the same players of the Albany River Rats from last year's rivalry series. This was the second of six games on the regular season between the East Division foes with Charlotte now leading the series two games to zero.

Andrew Rowe gave Adirondack the initial lead midway through the first period when he pounced on a rebound from a shot by Cullen Eddy. Rowe's fifth of the year places him second on the team in goals behind Denis Hamel. The play started with David Laliberte digging the puck away in the right-wing corner and giving to Eddy on the right point where he pulled his big slapshot. It was Eddy's first AHL point. The Mercyhurst College product had also been called up Greenville just in time for the game.

The Phantoms' lead would be a short-lived one as Bobby Sanguinetti would tie the game just 90 seconds later. Zach Boychuk would steal the puck in the Phantoms zone and fire it out in front to Drayson Bowman chipping it past Riopel on the left-wing side of the cage for the game winner with five minutes let in the second period.

The Phantoms would pressure Checkers goalie Justin Pogge on a few occasions in the third period but were unable to obtain the equalizer. Adirondack appeared to have all the momentum and energy through the first half of the game as they outshot the Checker 12-3 in the opening period and kept the pressure on into the second. But after Adirondack took the lead on the Andrew Rowe goal it would be the Checkers who would storm back with some intensity and momentum of their own.

The game featured a few bouts including Matt Clackson dropping the gloves with Nick Blanchard in the first period and then Mike Testwuide going at it with Zack Fitzgerald late in the second period in an energetic fight with both participants energetically swinging away.

Adirondack went 0-for-4 on the power play. All of their advantages came in the first period with the last one carrying over into the second period. After that the Charlotte Checkers would get the next seven advantages but were unable to convert thanks to solid work by several penalty killers including Ben Holmstrom and Dan Jancevski among others as well as Riopel.

Charlotte outshot the Phantoms 26-24. Adirondack had outshot the Checkers 11-3 in the opening period.

Charlotte is one of the hottest teams in the AHL with a three game win streak and just one regulation loss in their last 11 games (7-1-3). The win vaults them all alone into second place in the east division having leapfrogged past every team except first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton following a 1-5-0 start.

The southern swing continues for the Phantoms Friday night at Charlotte at 7 p.m. and Saturday night at the Norfolk Admirals at 7:15 p.m. Adirondack returns home on Wednesday, November 24 to face-off against the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on Check it Out Night with great discounts available for fans showing their library card when they purchase tickets. It is also Blades for Grades Night at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Call the Phantoms office for more information. The Thanksgiving homestand concludes on Friday, November 26 against the Norfolk Admirals.

Don't be left out! Tickets for all Phantoms games are on sale now. Discount rates are available for groups of 15 or more. Save off the individual ticket price by asking the Phantoms about their great group rate packages.

The AHL is celebrating their 75th anniversary season and is the top development league for the NHL. More than 85 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates and more than 6 million fans attend AHL games every year.

Come watch future NHL stars and up-and-coming Flyers prospects with exciting Adirondack Phantoms hockey! A variety of ticket packages for all the fast-paced action are on sale now. The Phantoms selection of discount ticket packages includes 3-packs, 6-packs, 12 and 22 Select Plans, full season plans and Flex Packs. Choose the plan that works best for you! Get your tickets at the Phantoms office inside the Glens Falls Civic Center, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling the Phantoms at 518-480-3355.

Adirondack Phantoms 1 at Charlotte Checkers 2 - Status: Final
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - Time Warner Cable Arena

Adirondack 0 1 0 - 1
Charlotte 0 2 0 - 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Clackson Adk (fighting), 2:41; Blanchard Cha (fighting), 2:41; Dalpe Cha (hooking), 12:57; Sanguinetti Cha (tripping), 17:05; FitzGerald Cha (hooking), 17:26; Rodney Cha (hooking), 19:30.

2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Rowe 5 (Eddy, Laliberte), 9:23. 2, Charlotte, Sanguinetti 1 (Chaput), 10:53. 3, Charlotte, Bowman 2 (Boychuk), 14:59. Penalties-Lehtivuori Adk (interference), 11:25; Testwuide Adk (roughing, fighting), 15:33; FitzGerald Cha (fighting), 15:33; Laliberte Adk (hooking), 17:14.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lehtivuori Adk (tripping), 2:00; Rinaldo Adk (elbowing, roughing), 6:48; Eddy Adk (fighting), 11:27; Herauf Cha (fighting), 11:27; Legein Adk (boarding), 16:29; Marshall Adk (roughing), 17:42; Samson Cha (roughing), 17:42.

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 11-5-8-24. Charlotte 3-13-10-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 4; Charlotte 0 / 7.
Goalies-Adirondack, Riopel 0-1-0 (26 shots-24 saves). Charlotte, Pogge 5-4-0 (24 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Ian Croft (87).
Linesmen-Mike Sheehan (90), Paul Carnathan (93).







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