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LEIGHTON'S 35th CAREER SHUTOUT LEADS FIRST PLACE PHANTOMS AT PORTLAND

 

 

 

 

October 21, 2011

 

 

 

 




Michael Leighton was spectacular again! Racking up 35 saves in a sparkling shutout, Leighton led the Adirondack Phantoms to a 3-0 win at the Portland Pirates on Friday night. Garrett Roe and Tyler Brown both scored their first professional goals to lead the attack.

For Leighton, the shutout was his first of the season and the 35th in his 10-year AHL career. Leighton leads all AHL goalies in the modern era (since 1975) in blankings, while he sits sixth in the 76-year history of the league.

Leighton made 35 saves in the effort and has only allowed one goal over the last two games. Improving to 4-0-0, Leighton took over sole possesion over the AHL's lead in wins. Meanwhile, Adirondack improved its overall record to 4-1-0 and became the first team in the Northeast Division to reach eight points. The Phantoms trail first place Hershey by just one point atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Leighton's shutout was the first against the Pirates at Cumberland County Civic Center in nearly five years, as Portland was last shut out on its home ice by Jason LaBarbera (Manchester) on January 17, 2007. The Pirates fell to 2-2-1 with the loss in their first season as the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Harry Zolnierczyk also scored for the Phantoms, three days after he scored his first NHL goal in highlight-reel fashion for the Flyers in Ottawa. Zac Rinaldo played in his first game for the Phantoms this year after beginning the season in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers with his revamped game. Rinaldo worked hard in the off-season to increase his speed and improve his hands and it was immediately apparent from his first shift that the newer, faster version of Rinaldo is determined to contribute to the offense. After playing the role of bruising bad-boy last season and finishing second in the league with 331 penalty minutes, Rinaldo opened his first game of the AHL season without serving a second in the sin-bin.

The 21-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario had several solid scoring chances and was clicking nicely with linemate Harry Zolnierczyk on the attack. "Harry Z" was without both of his regular linemates in the game as Brayden Schenn was called up to Philadelphia earlier ni the week and Eric Wellwood was scratched from the lineup.

After the first period passed as the first scoreless frame in a Phantoms game this season, Tyler Brown's first professional tally put the Phantoms on the board at 2:44 of the second period. Brown's goal came over a falling McElhinney after Garrett Roe started the sequence by shooting the puck from the left-wing off the side of the net, corralling his own rebound, and then threading a pass from behind the net and through the slot for the excited Adirondack rookie, whose milestone marker came in his fifth professional game.

For Roe, the assist was his fifth of the season, which are the most of any other AHL rookie.

Already with five assists under his belt, Roe got his first professional goal and made the score 2-0 Adirondack at 8:36 of the third period. Shortly after the 5-on-3 portion of a Phantoms power play expired, Roe blasted a shot from the center point which found its way through trafiic and past McElhinney. With a goal and an assist on Friday, Roe has three multi-point game in the season's first two weeks.

In the game's final minute, Harry Zolnierczyk scored the Phantoms' second power-play goal of the night and made the score 3-0. Assisted by Zac Rinaldo and Jason Akeson, Zolnierczyk's goal was part of a 2-of-5 night on the power play for the Phantoms, who have scored on the man advantage in all five of their games this season. Going into Friday, the Phantoms led the AHL in team power-play goals and Adirondack is now 9-of-32 (28.1%) for the season.

It starting 4-1-0, the Phantoms have outscored their opponents by a combined 22-13, including a margin of 20-7 in their four victories. All of the Phantoms wins this year have been decided by 3 or more goals as their finals of their triumphs have been, in order, 6-3, 6-3, 5-1 and 3-0.

Allowing three goals on 23 shots, Curtis McElhinney was the losing goaltender.

The punches flew towards the end of the game as Ben Holmstrom mixed it up with Ryan Hollweg and then on the ensuing faceoff, Marc-Andre Bourdon dropped the mitts with Igor Gongalsky.

With two straight road wins, the Phantoms play the fourth game of a five-game road trip when they visit the rival Albany Devils on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in the opener of the 10-game battle for the Time Warner Cable Cup. Adirondack concludes its road trip in Rochester on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m., and returns home on Wednesday night against the Norfolk Admirals.

The Phantoms went 2-for-5 on the power play while the Pirates were 0-for-3. Portland outshot the Phantoms 35-23. This was the first of four games between Adirondack vs. Portland and was the first time Adirondack has beaten the Pirates in the series. The Phantoms travel back to Maine for a Tuesday, November 15 game in their last game at Portland this season. The Pirates' first visit to the GFCC will take place on December 9.

Notes: Scratches for the game included Eric Wellwood, Blake Kessel, Garrett Klotz, Jon Kalinski and Johan Backlund.


Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 22-Phantoms at Albany Devils (7:00 p.m.)
Sunday, October 23-Phantoms at Rochester Americans (6:05 p.m.)

Monday, October 24- 7:00 p.m. - "Phantoms Power Hour" LIVE from McGinney's Tavern, 193 Glen Street. Special guests #11 Shane Harper and #16 Tye McGinn.

Wednesday, October 26, 7:00- Phantoms vs. Norfolk at the GFCC. $1 hot dogs.

Friday, October 28, 7:00 - Phantoms vs. Connecticut. Sean Avery playing on the Connecticut Whale now. $2 draft Bud Light and Labatt Blue through first intermission.

Saturday, October 29, 7:00 - Phantoms vs. Hershey at the GFCC. Kids Halloween Costume Parade. Postgame open-skate with the Phantoms players presented by Glens Falls Hospital.

Sunday, October 30, 1:30-4:00 - Cruise with the Phantoms presented by the Glens Falls Civic Center Foundation. All Phantoms players appearing! Hor d'oeuvres and cash bar. Tickets $25 for adults, $15 for kids: Available at GFCC Box Office and Achenbach Jewelers.

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 has the broadcast coverage 30 minutes prior to game-time with Countdown to Faceoff.

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


Adirondack Phantoms 3 at Portland Pirates 0 - Status: Final
Friday, October 21, 2011 - Cumberland County Civic Center

Adirondack 0 1 2 - 3
Portland 0 0 0 - 0

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Rome Por (boarding), 8:49.

2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Brown 1 (Roe), 2:44. Penalties-Gustafsson Adk (tripping), 10:48; Goncharov Por (tripping), 13:30; McGinn Adk (slashing), 19:12.

3rd Period-2, Adirondack, Roe 1 (Zolnierczyk, Sestito), 8:36 (PP). 3, Adirondack, Zolnierczyk 2 (Rinaldo, Akeson), 19:05 (PP). Penalties-Testwuide Adk (holding), 1:13; Werek Por (tripping), 6:28; Stone Por (delay of game), 6:54; Stafford Por (hooking), 17:46; Holmstrom Adk (fighting), 19:38; Hollweg Por (fighting), 19:38; Bourdon Adk (fighting), 19:39; Gongalsky Por (fighting), 19:39.

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 7-8-8-23. Portland 13-10-12-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 2 / 5; Portland 0 / 3.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 4-0-0 (35 shots-35 saves). Portland, McElhinney 1-2-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
A-4,155
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46).
Linesmen-Joe Ross (92), Joe Andrews (32).

 



 


 

 

 

 

 

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