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GAME PREVIEW - PHANTOMS VS WHALE

 

 

 

 

October 27, 2011

 

 

 

 

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (5-2-1) vs. Connecticut Whale (4-1-2)

Phantoms- 1st Northeast Division, T-1st Eastern Conference
Whale-2nd Northeast Division, T-5th Eastern Conference
Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY
Friday, October 28, 7:00 p.m.
Promotion: $2 draft beers (6:00 - 7:30)

Tonight's Game

By virtue of coming from behind to tie the score on Denis Hamel’s dramatic late goal on Wednesday against Norfolk, the Phantoms were able to move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference, and into sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division. The team which Adirondack was able to pass in the division standings was the Connecticut Whale, who make their second and final Glens Falls Civic Center visit of the season Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Connecticut is the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. In the Whale’s prior visit to the GFCC, on Opening Night, Connecticut stormed out to a 3-1 lead, only to have Adirondack score five-straight goals and win 6-3. That game remains Connecticut's lone regular season loss of 2011-12.

Famed NHL bad-boy Sean Avery is on the Connecticut Whale roster after being waived by the New York Rangers in the preseason. But Avery has yet to play a game with New York's AHL affiliate while he is continuing to recover from a shoulder-injury. Connecticut Head Coach Ken Gernander said that Avery is a game-day decision whether he will play or not.

Northeast Division Standings (As of 10/28/11)

1. Adirondack Phantoms (11 points)
2. Connecticut Whale (10 points)
3. Springfield Falcons (8 points)
4. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (6 points)
5. Albany Devils (6 points)

Denis Hamel Countdown – 3 Goals to Catch Merkosky

Although the Phantoms lost in a shootout on Wednesday, fans are still talking about Denis Hamel’s highlight-reel goal which tied the game with 27 seconds left in the third period. With Adirondack’s goalie pulled for an extra attacker just seconds after Norfolk had taken a 4-3 lead, Hamel came flying down the left-wing side and with two hands, batted a feed by Harry Zolnierczyk from midair, and past Jaroslav Janus.

Despite tying the game in grand fashion and helping the Phantoms earn the standings point which has them leading their division, Hamel’s goal was also the 322nd of his AHL career. Hamel is now by himself in 13th place on the AHL’s all-time goal-scoring list, just three goals behind former Adirondack Red Wing great Glenn Merkosky for 12th place.

With 618 points, Hamel is 41st in the 76-year history of the AHL, while his 784 games played are 34th most and seven ahead of teammate Dan Jancevski, who wears an assistant captain’s “A” along with Hamel on the 2011-12 Phantoms.

Phantoms Tidbits

The Phantoms are in a four-way tie with the Hershey Bears, Norfolk Admirals and St. John’s IceCaps for the most points (11) in the Eastern Conference. The Toronto Marlies are the only Western Conference team with 11 points so far.

Adirondack’s 31 goals scored are the second-highest total in the league. Only Wednesday’s opponent, the Norfolk Admirals (36 goals), has more.

The Phantoms’ power-play goal on Wednesday gives them PP markers in seven of the first eight games. Overall, Adirondack is 11-of-49 (22.4%) on the man advantage. Only the Texas Stars and Hershey Bears have scored more power-play goals.

Denis Hamel leads the Phantoms with seven goals and 10 points. Hamel’s seven goals trail Kyle Palmieri of the Syracuse by one for the AHL’s lead in goals. Hamel led the Phantoms with 25 goals and 50 points last season.

With an assist on Wednesday, Garrett Roe extended his AHL rookie lead in assists, and leads the Phantoms with seven assists. With eight points (1g, 7a), Roe trails only Norfolk’s Carter Ashton and Cory Conacher in overall rookie scoring.

Roe had 10 goals and 26 assists in 38 games for St. Cloud State (NCAA) last season.

Michael Leighton is tied for the AHL’s league lead among goalies with four wins (Leland Irving, Abbotsford Heat). Leighton had 14 wins last season, and has 179 professional wins in 10 seasons.

On Wednesday, Tye McGinn scored his first professional goal. McGinn became the fourth Phantom to score his first professional goal this season, joining Jason Akeson (10/16) Garrett Roe (10/23) and Tyler Brown (10/23)

In Adirondack’s Opening Night win over the Whale, six-different Phantoms scored goals. It was only the second time (4/1/11 against Albany) that six-different Adirondack Phantoms have ever scored goals in the same game.

Scouting the Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers)

Since losing to the Phantoms on Opening Night, the Whale have been red hot, going 4-0-2 in six games.

One of the most-dangerous scorers on the Whale is Mats Zuccarello, who started the season with the New York Rangers. In two games for Connecticut, the 5-foot-7, 174-pound product of Oslo, Norway has three goals and an assist. Zuccarello had 23 points (6g, 17a) in 42 games for the Rangers last season, and 29 points (13g, 16a) in 36 games for Connecticut. Zuccarello started his pro career playing for MODO in the Swedish Elite League. MODO is known for having produced NHL greats Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and more.

Other Whale players to watch are Carl Hagelin, who is among the AHL’s rookie leaders in scoring with six points (3g, 3a); defenseman Wade Redden, who has played in 994 NHL games between the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers; and forward Sean Avery. Although Avery has yet to suit up for the Whale this season, the ornery agitator has a chance to make his season debut against the Phantoms on Friday.

The Whale which did the most damage against the Phantoms on Opening Night was Kris Newbury, who scored all three of Connecticut’s goals. Newbury is not currently with the Whale, having been called up to the New York Rangers.

The losing Connecticut goalie on Opening Night was Cam Talbot, who allowed five goals on 23 shots. Talbot is 2-0-0 since Opening Night and has a 2.01 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. The Whale’s other goalie, Chad Johnson, is 2-0-2, with a 1.65 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.

Overall, the Whale has only allowed 10 goals in six games since their visit to the Glens Falls Civic Center, when they allowed six goals in 60 minutes.

Upcoming Events

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.

Monday, October 31, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE from McGinny's Tavern in Glens Falls (193 Glen Street). Player guests: #13 Garrett Roe, #24 Harry Zolnierczyk.

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.

Reaching 4,000 Twitter followers during Sunday's game in Rochester, 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

 

 

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