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Turkey-Day Game Preview:
Adirondack at Binghamton
November 24, 2011

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (9-6-1) at Binghamton Senators (6-10-2)

Phantoms- 5th Northeast Division, 8th Eastern Conference
Senators – 5th East Division, 15th Eastern Conference

Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena - Binghamton, NY
Thursday, November 24 (6:00 p.m.)

Turkey Day Hockey

The Phantoms finish their four-game road trip when they visit the defending Calder Cup Champion Binghamton Senators on Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. Adirondack is 1-2-0 on its current trip, having rotated wins and losses over its last six contests to push its record to 9-6-1.

The Senators, who ended an eight-game losing streak by beating the Hamilton Bulldogs last Friday, are 6-10-2 and have the fewest number of points in the Eastern Conference.

Following Thursday’s game, the Phantoms return home for games against the Springfield Falcons and Albany Devils on Friday and Saturday.

Northeast Division Standings (through Nov. 23)

1. Connecticut Whale (21 pts)
2. Springfield Falcons (20 pts)
3. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (20 pts)
4. Albany Devils (20 pts)
5. Adirondack Phantoms (19 pts)

Denis Hamel Countdown – 1 Goal to Catch Merkosky

The Phantoms’ leading scorer, Denis Hamel, is one goal behind Adirondack Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Merkosky for 12th place on the AHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. With a team-best nine goals this season, Hamel is up to 324 career tallies. Merkosky scored 325 times in a career that stretched from 1980-1991.
Hamel is also one assist shy of 300 career helpers in the AHL, and one point from Brian Kilrea and Ken Gernander for 35th and 34th place in all-time AHL points.

In the midst of his 15th professional season, Hamel’s next game will be his 793rd in the AHL and 985th as a pro.

Binghamton Ties

Tonight's game is a homecoming for the Phantoms' top scorer, Denis Hamel. "Hammer" is the all-time leading scorer in Binghamton Senators history with 203 goals in his six seasons with the B-Sens. He won the Yannick Dupre Award for his community service contributions as a member of the Senators in 2007-08 and was honorary captain for the Canadian squad at the AHL All-Star Classic in 2008 when the game was played in Binghamton as well. He won the league's Willie Marshall award in 2005-06 by leading the league with 56 goals. He is probably the most popular player in Binghamton Senators history and continues to receive cheers from the Binghamton fans even though he currentlyplays for the rival Phantoms.

Head Coach Joe Paterson completed his AHL playing career as a member of the Binghamton Rangers in 1990-91 and 1991-92, In 1990-91 he played in all 80 Rangers regular season games scoring 16 goals and 51 points while racking up 221 penalty minutes. His play with the Binghamton Rangers was under the tutelage of head coach John Paddock who is now the Flyers Assistant General Manager and served as Interim Head Coach of the Phantoms last year when Joe Paterson was initially brought in as an Assistant Coach.

Adirondack Phantoms (NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia Flyers)

The Phantoms’ hottest offensive player is rookie Jason Akeson, whose current five-game point streak is the longest by an Adirondack player this season. Including two goals on Sunday in Bridgeport, Akeson has three goals and three assists in the last five games. Last season, as a member of the Kitchener Rangers, Akeson led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 108 points, on 24 goals and 84 assists.

The second-longest scoring streak by a Phantom this season belongs to Brayden Schenn, who had four goals and four assists in four games before getting called up to the Flyers in October. Schenn returns to the Phantoms after an injury knocked him out of action since October 26 with the Flyers. Before leaving Adirondack for Philadelphia in mid-October, Schenn, a former first-round draft choice of Los Angeles, was the Phantoms’ leading scorer. Schenn came to the Flyers/Phantoms in the same trade last summer which brought Wayne Simmonds to Philadelphia, while sending Mike Richards and Rob Bordson to the Kings.

Kevin Marshall and Cullen Eddy also returned to the Phantoms on Tuesday. Marshall, who played with the Phantoms in their most recent game this past Sunday, got his first NHL callup on Monday and played 14:11 in his NHL debut against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. Eddy, who had an assist in two games with the Phantoms at the start of the season, comes back from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors, with whom he led his team’s defensemen with three goals, eight assists and 11 points.

Marshall and Eddy fortify a Phantoms blue line which also saw Marc-Andre Bourdon get called up to Philadelphia. Bourdon joined Marshall in making his NHL debut on Monday night against Carolina and remains on the Flyers’ roster. He played in his second NHL game on Wednesday in an overtime win against the Islanders.

The men that the Phantoms’ blueliners defend are Jason Bacashihua and Michael Leighton. Bacashihua, a former first-round draft choice of the Dallas Stars, is 3-0-1 in his last four starts after losing his Adirondack debut on October 15. Leighton, who once set an AHL record with 98 saves in a single playoff game, is 6-5-0 with the Phantoms this season.

Phantoms Leaders

Goals: Denis Hamel (9)
Assists: Garrett Roe (10)
Points: Denis Hamel (15)
Plus/Minus:Garrett Roe (+8)
Penalty Minutes: Tom Sestito (63)
Wins: Michael Leighton (6)
Goals-Against Average: Michael Leighton (2.61)
Save Percentage: Jason Bacashihua (.921)
Shutouts: Michael Leighton(1)

Binghamton Senators (NHL Affiliate: Ottawa Senators)

Last season, Binghamton rallied from a 3-1 hole in the first round of the playoffs against the Manchester Monarchs and went on to win the city's first Calder Cup following stunning defeats of the Portland Pirates, Charlotte Checkers and Houston Aeros, in which the Senators were without home-ice advantage in each series.

The Senators are 6-10-2 and in last place in the Eastern Conference this season, after having 2010-11 mainstays Erik Condra, Bobby Butler, Colin Greening, Kaspars Daugavins and Zack Smith promoted to Ottawa. The Senators’ captain from last season, Ryan Keller, now plays for the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.

Still with Binghamton is the team’s backbone from last year’s playoffs, goaltender Robin Lehner. Last season, at age 19, Lehner overtook Barry Brust as the team's starting goalie during the playoffs and was the MVP of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Although just 4-6-1 this year, Lehner has a solid .916 save percentage and is widely viewed as the future starting goalie of the Ottawa Senators.

Corey Locke was the AHL's regular-season MVP with 86 points last year. Locke, a 27 year old who also won a Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2006-07, is tied for Binghamton’s lead with seven assists this year. Locke is tied with defenseman Patrick Wiercioch and center Mike Hoffman for Binghamton’s lead in assists. Hoffman, a small but speedy center, is tied for the team-lead in points (11) with Mark Parrish.

Parrish, a former U.S. Olympian who had a career-best 30 goals with the New York Islanders 10 years ago, has 11 points and has long been regarded as one of the best shot-deflectors in pro hockey.

Another Senator to keep an eye on is the enigmatic Nikita Filatov. Filatov is a former sixth-overall draft choice of Columbus (2008) who once spurned the Blue Jackets to play for CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League. He has six goals in 12 games with the Senators this season, after posting nine goals in 36 games with the Springfield Falcons last year. Filatov came to the Senators via a trade with the Blue Jackets at the NHL Draft this past June.

Senators Leaders

Goals: Mark Parrish/Nikita Filatov (6)
Assists: Corey Locke/Patrick Wiercioch/Mike Hoffman: (7)
Points: Mark Parrish/Mike Hoffman (11)
Plus/Minus: Tim Conboy (+4)
Penalty Minutes: Tim Conboy (70)
Wins: Robin Lehner (4)
Goals-Against Average: Robin Lehner (2.96)
Save Percentage: Robin Lehner (.916)
Shutouts: None

Stat Pack

--The Adirondack Phantoms went 4-3-1 against Binghamton last year including 3-0-1 at the GFCC. The Senators took a 3 games to 0 lead in the season series before the Phantoms rallied late to take the deciding contest on Binghamton's Fan Appreciation Night on April 9. The all-time series between the Adirondack Phantoms and Binghamton Senators is tied at nine wins apiece. The teams each won four times in the season series last year and they split a 10-game series in 2009-10. The Phantoms and Senators play eight times this season.

--The Phantoms are 5-4-0 on the road. The Senators are 2-4-2 at home.

--The Phantoms are 9-1-0 when allowing three-or-fewer goals and 0-5-1 when allowing more than three goals.

--The Senators have scored more than three goals in just 5-of-18 games this season. Binghamton averages 2.28 goals per game.

--The Northeast Division in which the Phantoms has the most combined standings points of any division in the Eastern Conference with 100.

-Joe Paterson is 34-22-9 as Head Coach of the Phantoms. Paterson, who was previously a head coach in the AHL with the Louisville Panthers (1999-2001), is now just three wins from 100 as an AHL head coach.

-The Phantoms have scored power-play goals in 12-of-16 games. However, the team sports an undefeated 4-0-0 record in games when they haven’t scored power-play goals. In three of those wins; October 23 at Rochester, November 4 at Springfield and November 19 at Syracuse, the team’s game-winning goal came shorthanded.

Upcoming Events

Friday, November 25, 6:00 a.m. - First Orange-and-Black Friday Sale at GFCC. Great savings on tickets and merchandise. The earlier you arrive, the more you save!

Friday, November 25, 7:00 - Springfield Falcons at Phantoms. Annual Black Friday game. '80s Night. $2 draft beer specials through first intermission, Bud Light and Labatt Blue Light.

Saturday, November 26, 7:00 - Albany Devils at Phantoms. Time Warner Cable Cup Rivalry Game #2. Phantoms Snow Cap Giveaway for first 1,000 kids (age 14 and younger) courtesy of UniFirst.

Wednesday, November 30, 7:00 - Syracuse Crunch at Phantoms. $1 Hot Dogs. Free tickets with lightly used coat donation to Phantoms office this week.

Phantoms Holiday Socks are on sale now. $49 package for 4 tickets to a premium Phantoms game, an autographed puck, a program, all in a game-worn Phantoms hockey sock. $59 for an autographed stick with the 4 premium game tickets, program and game-worn Phantoms hockey sock.

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





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