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November 25, 2011

Michael Leighton was again amazing for the Phantoms and led the way to a 5-1 victory over the Springfield Falcons on Black Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The visitors outshot Adirondack 44-25 and had several point-blank chances on the Phantoms' cage but Leighton kept the Falcons frustrated all night long.

Leighton came within four minutes of his 36th career AHL shutout but Matt Calvert broke up the bid past Leighton's diving lunge. Leighton had almost come up with yet another miraculous save even on the one goal Springfield scored in a night that saw several show-stoppers from the 30-year-old who steered the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010 with his three shutouts of Montreal in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rookie Shane Harper paced the offense with a pair of goals. Tom Sestito lit the lamp for the third time this weekend with his seventh of the year. And 20-year-old talent Brayden Schenn had a goal and an assist in his second game back with Adirondack in his recovery from a foot injury sustained last month with the Flyers.

With all the Phantoms' goals and saves by Leighton, the play of the night that had everyone talking was a huge check delivered by Garrett Klotz on Springfield's Nick Holden. The blast into the boards knocked the glass free as it shattered into several pieces, sending the crowd into a roar. The game was delayed for 20 minutes while the glass on the entry-door to the Falcons locker-room in front of backup goalie Danny Taylor was replaced.

With the win, Adirondack improved to 10-7-1 on the season and leapfrogged past both the Springfield Falcons and Albany Devils in the divisional standings. The Phantoms now have 21 points while Springfield and Albany stayed stuck on 20 points. The Phantoms host Albany Saturday at 7:00pm in the weekend finale.

Matt Walker started the scoring with his first AHL goal since 2005 when he blasted a slapshot from the right point past Falcons 38-year-old goalie Manny Legace. The goal came directly off a Phantoms face-off win by Ben Holmstrom whio picked up his sixth assist of the season.

Shane Harper scored back-to-back goals early in the second period just 3:30 apart. His first came on a fine cross-ice feed by Tom Sestito finding Harper in the high-slot with a powerful blast to make it 2-0. Later it would be Brayen Schenn with the vision to see Harper on the other side of the ice for a power-play goal giving the Phantoms a 3-0 cushion.

The 22-year-old Harper had only one goal in 20 games with the Phantoms last year but lit it up with Greenville, SC of the ECHL and racked up 22 goals in 48 gamees there. Harper is the all-time leading scorer in Everett (WA) Silvertips history in the Western Hockey League.

In the final minute of the second period, Blake Kessel's nice headman feed for Brayden Schenn got the Phantoms off and running with a 3-on-2. Schenn coasted up the right-wing and took the shot himself, beating Legace blocker side to the far post, for his fifth goal in just six games in a Phantoms jersey.

Schenn, a former first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings, now has five goals and six assists over six games with the Phantoms.

Tom Sestito scored the Phantoms' final goal, making the score 5-0, three minutes into the third period. A former draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Sestito was a popular player for Springfield in 2010-11 before coming to the Phantoms in a trade with Columbus last February. Sestito now has three goals over the last two games and seven goals this season.

Manny Legace allowed four goals in the first two periods and took the loss for Springfield who had its three-game win streak stopped. Danny Taylor relieved Legace in the third period and gave up one goal in his 20 minutes of play.

Friday's win continued the Adirondack Phantoms all-time dominance over Springfield, improving their record to a perfect 6-0-0 in head-to-head matchups over the past three seasons.

The win runs the Phantoms' streak of home-ice dominance to 16-3-5 since last February, while improving their 2011-12 home record to 5-2-1.

The clubs meet two more times this season; March 24 in Glens Falls and April 13 in Springfield.

Adirondack is back in action against the Albany Devils Saturday night, playing its third game in three days. Saturday's game will be the second installment of the Time Warner Cable Cup series, which the Devils took the early advantage in by winning 5-2 in Albany on October 22. The Phantoms conclude the homestand on Wednesday night against the Syracuse Crunch.

Adirondack was 1-of-3 on the power play. Springfield was 0-of-3.

The Phantoms' scratches were Johan Backlund, Kevin Marshall, Luke Pither and Eric Wellwood.

Upcoming Events

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.

Friday, December 2, 7:30 - Phantoms at Norfolk Admirals

Saturday, December 3, 7:15 - Phantoms at Norfolk Admirals

Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 - Phantoms at Hamilton Bulldogs

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

Springfield Falcons 1 at Adirondack Phantoms 5 - Status: Final
Friday, November 25, 2011 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Springfield 0 0 1 - 1
Adirondack 1 3 1 - 5

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Walker 1 (Holmstrom), 10:21. Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Harper 2 (Sestito, Kessel), 2:12. 3, Adirondack, Harper 3 (Schenn, Akeson), 5:42 (PP). 4, Adirondack, Schenn 5 (Kessel), 19:07. Penalties-Kubalik Spr (holding), 5:00; Kalinski Adk (holding), 5:50; Holmstrom Adk (hooking), 7:56; Harper Adk (slashing), 14:20.

3rd Period-5, Adirondack, Sestito 7 (Roe, Bartulis), 3:03. 6, Springfield, Calvert 1 (Regner, Drazenovic), 16:39. Penalties-Calvert Spr (slashing), 0:56; Giroux Spr (goaltender interference), 11:26.

Shots on Goal-Springfield 18-11-15-44. Adirondack 8-9-8-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 0 / 3; Adirondack 1 / 3.

Goalies-Springfield, Legace 3-4-0 (17 shots-13 saves); Taylor 5-2-0 (8 shots-7 saves). Adirondack, Leighton 7-5-0 (44 shots-43 saves).

Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Frank Murphy (29).





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