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FRIDAY GAME PREVIEW: ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS at SPRINGFIELD FALCONS

 

 

 

 

November 3, 2011

 

 

 

 


ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (6-3-1) at Springfield Falcons (6-5-0)

Phantoms - 2nd Northeast Division, 5th Eastern Conference
Falcons -3rd Northeast Division, 7th Eastern Conference

MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA
Friday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.

Back In Action!

On Friday night, second place in the Northeast Division is on the line when the Phantoms play the Springfield Falcons for the first time this season. The Phantoms enter the game having received some much-needed rest, not having played in the last six days, following a stretch where they played three times in four nights last week. But like Adirondack, the 6-5-0 Falcons have also not played in six days. After starting the season with a 3-4-0 record in seven games, Springfield has taken three straight one-goal decisions to get above .500.

Northeast Division Standings

1. Connecticut Whale (15 points)
2. Adirondack Phantoms (13 points)
3. Springfield Falcons (12 points)
4. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (11 points)
5. Albany Devils (10 points)


Denis Hamel Countdown – 2 Goals to Catch Merkosky

Denis Hamel continues to rise up the all-time AHL ranks in goals, points and total games played. Last weekend, he scored his 323rd goal in the AHL, which puts him two behind Adirondack Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Merkosky (1980-1991) for 12th place all-time in the AHL. The former Adirondack Red Wing great, Merkosky, had 325 goals.

Denis is 37th all-time in total points with 620. He is 33rd in games played with 786, just seven games ahead of veteran teammate Dan Jancevski. Hamel has also played in 192 games in the NHL, giving him a total of 976 professional games and an opportunity to reach the 1,000 game milestone by midseason.


Adiroindack Phantoms (NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia Flyers)

In the Phantoms’ most recent game, last Saturday against Hershey, the team used a solid goaltending performance by Michael Leighton to earn an exciting 2-1 win over the Bears. The victory improved Leighton’s record to 5-2-0. Leighton enters Friday's game at Springfield with fantastic road numbers this season. Leighton has 2.04 goals against average and .926 save percentage in four games away from the Glens Falls Civic Center. Leighton has 35 career shutouts in the AHL placing him sixth all-time including one this season and five last year.

Leighton has shared the goaltendiing duties with 29-year-old Jason Bacashihua. "Cash" is a former first round selection of the St. Louis Blues who has played in three games this season. He played with the Lake Erie Monsters last season and put up stellar numbers with the Hershey Bears the year before that.

The game-winning goal on Saturday was scored by Harry Zolnierczyk, who was called up to the Flyers earlier in the week. Zolnierczyk has five goals and four assists with Adirondack this season and also scored a highlight-reel goal with the Flyers two weeks ago in his NHL debut.

Team Captain Ben Holmstrom was also called up to Philadelphia and played in Wednesday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Phantoms' team MVP in 2010-11 was returned to the Phantoms on Thursday afternoon and is eligible to play in Friday night's game at Springfield. It was his third NHL game after appearing in two Flyers contests last year. Holmstrom scored 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points with Adirondack last year in his rookie season. At 24-years-old he is the youngest captain in Phantoms history.

The game is a homecoming of sorts for Tom Sestito who was quite popular in his time with the Springfield Falcons last year and was teammates with many of their current players. Last year with Springfied, he scored 11 goals and 21 assists while racking up 192 penalty minutes in 46 games. The big winger was then acquired by the Flyers orgnization in a late February deal for Greg Moore. He had played in the Columbus Blue Jackets system for four seasons since 2007-08 including three years with the Syracuse Crunch who were the Blue Jackets AHL farm-team before switching to Springfield last season. He played nine games in the NHL with Columbus last year scoring two goals and two assists.

Adirondack received a boost to its blue line with the arrival of Matt Walker, who is eligible to make his 2011-12 Phantoms debut on Friday. Walker, a veteran of 313 NHL games and 11 professional seasons, had a +3 rating in 11 games with Adirondack last season.

Andy Bohmbach is also eligible to be in the lineup for the Phantoms on Friday. Bohmbach, who has played in one game for Adirondack earlier this season, had six goals in five games with the ECHL’s Trenton Titans, prior to returning to Adirondack this week. As a member of the Toledo Walleye last season, Bohmbach led ECHL rookies in scoring with 72 points (28g, 44a).

Second to Hamel among active Phantoms players in scoring is Eric Wellwood (4g, 4a, 8 points) who had his three-game goal-scoring streak snapped in the Saturday night game against Hershey. The former Windsor Spitfire standout and younger brother of Winnipeg Jet Kyle Wellwood had 18 goals and 12 assists with the Phantoms last season.

Rookie Garrett Roe is tied with Wellwood with eight points including a team-leading seven assists. The St. Cloud State product hails from the Washington D.C. suburb of Vienna, Virginia.


Phantoms Tidbits

The Adirondack Phantoms finished October with six wins, which is the most they've ever had in October The last time a Phantoms team won as many games in October was 2007-08, when the Philadelphia Phantoms went 8-1.

Denis Hamel leads the Phantoms with eight goals and 12 points, and is one back of Norfolk’s Carter Ashton for the AHL’s lead in goals. Hamel led the Phantoms with 25 goals and 50 points last season. Five of Hamel’s eight goals this season have come on the road.

Michael Leighton is 5-2-0 and is tied for second in the league in goalie wins. Leighton has a 2.04 goals-against average and .926 save percentage on the road.

Garrett Roe and Jason Akeson are both among the AHL’s leaders in rookie points. Roe (1g, 7a) is tied for ninth in points (8) and second in assists (7), while Akeson (1g, 6a) is tied for 16th in points and fourth in assists.

Dan Jancevski is one assist away from 200 in the AHL.

Adirondack is 6-0-0 when allowing three goals or fewer and 0-3-1 when allowing more than three goals.

The Phantoms are 5-0-1 when scoring more than three goals, but just 1-3-0 when scoring three goals or fewer.

The Phantoms are 3-2-0 on the road.

The Falcons are 3-3-0 at home.

The Adirondack Phantoms are a perfect 4-0-0 against the Falcons since relocating to Glens Falls, and 2-0-0 at MassMutual Center in Springfield.


Springfield Falcons (NHL Affiliate: Columbus Blue Jackets)

For the first time, the Phantoms and Springfield Falcons each other as members of the same division. The AHL’s realignment will see Adirondack play four times in 2011-12, as opposed to twice in previous seasons. Tonight’s contest is the first of two meetings between the teams in Massachusetts this month (November (25), and the teams will meet at the Glens Falls Civic Center twice, later in the season.

The Falcons have gotten exceptional goaltending from Danny Taylor, who has outplayed former Stanley Cup-winning goalie Manny Legace to get most of his team’s starts in goal lately. A native of Plymouth, England, Taylor has been in net for all three games in the team’s current three-game winning streak. Overall, Taylor is 4-1-0, with a 2.36 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

Offensively, the Falcons are paced by Nick Drazenovic (3g, 10a), who spent several seasons in the St. Louis Blues organization with the Peoria Rivermen; and Martin St. Pierre (4g, 7a), who spent last season playing in three different leagues in Europe.

Also of note is Adam Mair, a former NHL tough guy with 829 penalty minutes in 615 NHL games, which he’s split between the Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils.


Upcoming Events

Monday, November 7, 7:00 - "Phantoms Power Hour" LIVE from McGinny's Tavern. Player guests: #18 Tyler Brown and #38 Jason Akeson.

Friday, November 11, 7:00 - Syracuse Crunch at Phantoms. Veterans Appreciation Night. Free admission to all active duty and military personnel when accompanied by paid admission. Must purchase in advance by Thursday, November 10. $2 draft beer specials: Bud Light and Labatt Blue Light.

Saturday, November 12, 7:00 - Toronto Marlies at Phantoms. Youth Jersey Giveaway night for first 1,000 kids (age 14 and younger) courtesy of Glens Falls Hospital.

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.

Recently reaching 4,000 Twitter followers , 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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