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Triumph in Saratoga 3-1





September 28, 2011





The Adirondack Phantoms invaded Weibel Arena in Saratoga Springs for the first time ever and emerged with a 3-1 victory in the preseason opener against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the change from the regular venue to cheer on their favorite team and the Phantoms responded with a goal in each period.

Special thanks go out to our good friends with Saratoga Youth Hockey for hosting us and this special event. They were terrific to work with and did a wonderful job bringing the excitement of the Adirondack Phantoms to Weibel Arena. We were happy to get the opportunity to bring a home game directly to our many fans in the Saratoga region. The proceeds of the game from tickets sold and also from the concessions went to benefit Saratoga Youth Hockey and all the kids that play in the organization and the adults who work so hard to make it so successful.

In the game, veteran goalie Jason Bacashihua made an impressive Adirondack debut and was just 2.7 seconds short of a shutout. The goal he allowed just before the final buzzer sounded was the only disappointing aspect of his evening as he turned in a 35 save performance earning him the victory.

Phantoms goals were all scored by returning Adirondack players from last year's team and all came on the power play. Garrett Klotz, Eric Wellwood and Shane Harper all found the back of the net. Rookie Tye McGinn dropped the gloves with Wilkes-Barre's Brandon DeFazio after a pile-up in the Phantoms crease set them off. Both combatants landed multiple punches in the bout with McGinn continuing to connect even though his vision was limited at best due to his jersey being pulled over his head.

The game was marred by several penalties as both sides seemed to spend more time on the special teams than playing 5-on-5.

Garrett Klotz struck first at 18:25 into the first period with Shane Harper finding him in the left circle. Luke Pither also assisted on the goal. Klotz is back in the Flyers organization after spending most of last year in Bloomington, Illinois in the Central Hockey League. He only played 12 games with Adirondack before being sent down and then returned to the Phantoms in April in a late-season callup for his 13th game with Adirondack. His increased ice-time playing at the lower level in Bloomington appeared to pay off for Klotz who looks to be a significantly improved player than he was at this time one year ago.

Eric Wellwood scored a 5-on-3 power play goal at 14:27 of the second period on an impressive assist by rookie Jason Akeson who stopped in his tracks and cut back the other way to completely fool a Penguins defenseman off his skates. Akeson found Wellwood stationed on the right side of the crease to slam home the cross-ice feed for the 2-0 advantage.

The 21-year-old Wellwood out of the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL had 16 goals and 28 points in his rookie season with the Phantoms last year. The crafty Akeson comes to Adirondack from the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL where he led that Major Junior circuit in assists and points a season ago with 84 helpers and a total of 108 points.

Shane Harper closed out the Adirondack scoring for the night with his second point of the game. He chipped one in from the left circle at 18:26 of the third period assisted by Tye McGinn and newcomer Blake Kessel out of the University of New Hampshire. Harper is unusual in that he hails from Southern California. The Valencia native got involved in the sport caused by the wave of popularity hockey received in the Los Angeles area when Wayne Gretzky played there. Harper played 20 games with Adirondack last year scoring just one goal but had much more success in Greenville of the ECHL where he played 48 games and lit it up with 22 goals and 45 points.

Bacashihua appeared to be on his way to the shutout especially after a tremendous glove save on Denver Menderson with 3:47 left in the third. He then made a couple more fabulous saves back-to-back with 3:15 left in the contest. But he got beat top shelf to the glove-hand side on a rocket from the slot by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Chris Barton with just 2.7 seconds remaining bringing the shutout bid to an end.

Bacashihua played with the Lake Erie Monster which is the Cleveland entry in the AHL last year. The season prior to that he put up tremendous numbers for the Hershey Bears during their championship season. He has spent time in the Dallas Stars organization and was teammates some years ago with Dan Jancevski with the Utah Grizzlies. It was an impressive start for the newest veteran on the team.

Several of the familiar Adirondack Phantoms from last year were not in the lineup for this game as Head Coach Joe Paterson got a look at some of the tryout players such as Peter Boyd and David Brownschidle who appropriately comes out of Brown University (where he was teammates with Harry Zolnierczyk). Among the Phantoms not playing in the game were Denis Hamel, Ben Holmstrom, Mike Testwuide, Jon Kalinski, Kevin Marshall, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Cullen Eddy.

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, Sept 29 - Season Ticket Pickup Party, Heritage Hall, 6-8pm
Saturday, Oct 1 - Devils at Phantoms (Preseason), Glens Falls Civic Center, 7pm
Sunday, Oct 2 - Phantoms at Penguins (Preseason), Glens Falls Civic Center, 5pm

Saturday, Oct 8 - Connecticut Whale at Adirondack Phantoms, 7pm. OPENING NIGHT presented by Nemer Ford. Magnet Schedules presented by Great Meadow Federal Credit Union. Special Opening Night Jerseys which will be auctioned live immediately after the game.

Monday, Oct 10 - Phantoms Golf Scramble at Hiland Golf Course. One Phantoms player or staff on each foursome. Space is limited. Call the Phantoms to reserve your spot.

Mark your calendars! Adirondack Phantoms Opening Night is Saturday, October 8. The Phantoms take on the Connecticut Whale to begin the third season of exciting Phantoms hockey in Glens Falls. Get great savings and have fun with your friends, family or co-workers by bringing your group of 15 or more fans to enjoy fast-paced, hard-hitting Phantoms hockey. Call the Phantoms to find out more at 518-480-3355 and check the team's website at phantomshockey.com.

Catch all the action of Phantoms hockey all season long on the team's flagship station, Classic Hits Q101.7. Both preseason games this Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast beginning with the Countdown to Faceoff Pregame show 30 minutes prior to game-time.

Follow the Phantoms on twitter @phantomshockey and on facebook.com/adkhockey






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