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
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
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
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