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
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
The Phantoms' scratches were Johan Backlund,
Kevin Marshall, Luke Pither and Eric Wellwood.
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
Saturday, December 3, 7:15 - Phantoms at Norfolk
Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 - Phantoms at Hamilton
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
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
Springfield Falcons 1 at Adirondack Phantoms
5 - Status: Final
Friday, November 25, 2011 - Glens Falls Civic
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
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).