Glens Falls, NY- Phantoms
fans were treated to a great pregame show featuring
the brand new video boards and then enjoyed a stirring
comeback in the team’s big Opening Night as
they knocked off the Connecticut Whale 6-3.
After falling behind 3-1 early in the second period,
the Adirondack Phantoms exploded for five-straight
goals for the exciting win in front of 4,521 raucous
fans at Glens Falls Civic Center.
Along with the Phantoms’ first win of the
season, Saturday night’s contest also featured
the debut of two state-of-the art video boards,
along with a brand-new sound system. The improvements
helped create an electric atmosphere in Glens Falls,
as the home team skated away with an impressive
Opening Night win over their new division rival.
Mayor Jack Diamond opened the evening by helping
unveil the new improvements and thanking the collaborative
efforts of the many groups and individuals that
made it possible. What followed was three hours
of celebrating, fun and hockey as the home team
picked up where they left off at the conclusion
of the previous season. The Phantoms won their final
seven home games of 2011-12 and extended that streak
to eight straight backed by the nonstop noise in
Six different Phantoms lit the lamp in the comeback
including Oskars Bartulis, Denis Hamel, Kevin Marshall,
Luke Pither, Eric Wellwood and the empty-net capper
from Mike Testwuide to close the night. Marshall’s
powerful slapshot had tied the game at 3-3 and Pither’s
goal completed the comeback to push the Phantoms
out in front for good.
Denis Hamel (1g, 2a), Brayden Schenn (2a) and Oskars
Bartulis (1g, 1a) were the key offensive contributors
for Adirondack, on a night in which 11 different
Phantoms recorded points.
Michael Leighton made 24 saves for the 178th win
in his professional career.
Center Kris Newbury scored all three of the Whale’s
goals in building the visitors’ advantage
to 3-1 early in the second period. Cameron Talbot
took the loss in goal by allowing five goals on
The Whale struck first and took less than a minute
into the 2011-12 season to do so. Out of a net-mouth
scramble, Connecticut’s leading scorer from
2010-11, Kris Newbury, batted a puck through Leighton’s
legs that barely trickled past the goal-line, for
his first-of-three strikes in the game just 37 seconds
into the contest.
The Phantoms’ pulled even nine minutes later
as Oskars Bartulis scored Adirondack’s first
goal of the season. The assist went to Brayden Schenn
capitalizing on a Whale turnover. Schenn recorded
his first point as a Phantom by finding Bartulis
in the high slot during a 4-on-2 rush for Adirondack.
Schenn dazzled with his playmaking ability throughout
the night. The fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft
by the Los Angeles Kings showed why he is so highly
In the meanwhile, Bartulis was one of the least
likely candidates to score the team's first goal
of the season. It was just the seventh goal of his
professional career now entering his sixth season.
The game stayed tied for less than three minutes,
as Newbury swooped in from the high slot and backhanded
home his second goal of the night, past an out-stretched
Leighton. Newbury scored again, for a hat trick,
and made the score 3-1 in favor of the Whale by
scoring a power-play goal at 1:09 of the second
The Phantoms revved up their comeback by scoring
two goals 10 minutes apart in the second period.
Denis Hamel cut Connecticut’s lead to 3-2
at 2:53 of the second period by tallying the 316th
AHL goal of his career. The Phantoms scoring leader
last season with 25 goals and 50 points is now tied
for 15th all-time in American Hockey League history
with current Washington Capitals Head Coach Bruce
Boudreau who also scored 316 AHL goals.
Kevin Marshall tied the game at 11:11 of the second
by blistering a slap shot over Whale goalie Cameron
Talbot’s left shoulder. Schenn and Hamel each
registered their second points of the game with
Adirondack scored its third-straight goal in the
second period and took its first lead, 4-3, when
Luke Pither scored the eventual game-winning goal
by sliding the puck just inside the left post with
three minutes left in the middle period. With an
assist on the play, Blake Kessel got the first point
of his professional career, in his first professional
game. Kessel smartly kept it in on the right point
causing the Whale turnover that led to the goal.
Kessel comes to the Phantoms from the University
of New Hampshire. He is the younger brother Phil
Kessel who had a hat-trick tonight for the Toronto
Midway through the third period, Eric Wellwood
scored on the power-play of the game and made the
score 5-3. Wellwood beat Talbot with a low shot
after sneaking down the left-wing side, and being
hit with a cross-ice pass from Garrett Roe.
The Whale pulled their goalie in the game’s
final minute, but couldn’t sneak a pea past
Michael Leighton, who made 18 of his 24 saves over
the final two periods.
Mike Testwuide added an empty-net goal with five
seconds remaining, as the Phantoms went on to cap
a perfect evening with a 6-3 decision on Opening
Connecticut outshot the Phantoms 27-24. Adirondack
went 1-for-4 on the power-play while the Whale were
Following the game, the Phantoms auctioned off
their retro-style White-and-Black Opening Night
jerseys to the crowd. The classic design with the
Adirondack cursive spelled out across the front
were received extremely well by the Phantoms faithful.
Fans received Phantoms Magnet Schedules courtesy
of Great Meadow Federal Credit Union. And Nemer
Ford were the presenting sponsors of the hugely
successful Opening Night.
Blake Kessel and Garrett Roe each got their first
professional points, with assists.
2010-11 Phantoms MVP Ben Holmstrom was tabbed as
the team’s captain earlier in the week. Veterans
Dan Jancevski and Denis Hamel were names the alternate
Holmstrom did not play due to a two game suspension
from a hit last Sunday in the team’s concluding
preseason contest at Wilkes-Barre.
Other scratches for the game included Marc-Andre
Bourdon, Stefan Legein, Garrett Klotz, Tom Sestito,
Jon Kalinski and Johan Backlund.
The Phantoms are off for six days and return to
action next Friday at home against the Bridgeport
Sound Tigers. It is the only home game of the weekend
for the Phantoms who will hit the road Saturday
at Syracuse and Sunday down at Bridgeport.
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.
Friday, Oct 14 , 7:00pm - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
at Adirondack Phantoms
Monday, October 17, 7:00pm - "Phantoms Power
Hour" LIVE from McGinney's Tavern, 193 Glen
Street. Come join the fun as we bring the new weekly
Phantoms radio program live to the fans.
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 and on phantomshockey.com. Bob Rotruck, the
"Voice of the Phantoms", has the broadcast
coverage 30 minutes prior to game-time with Countdown
The Adirondack Phantoms are now over 10,000 members
strong on their social media networks. Be sure to
follow us on twitter @phantomshockey and on facebook.com/adkhockey