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Game Preview: Syracuse at Adirondack
November 30, 2011

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (11-7-1) vs. Syracuse Crunch (9-6-3)

Phantoms- 3rd Northeast Division, 7th Eastern Conference
Crunch – 4th East Division, 11th Eastern Conference

Glens Falls Civic Center – Glens Falls, NY
Wednesday, November 30 (7:00 p.m.)

Home Is Where The Heart Is

The Phantoms have an opportunity for a perfect homestand as they enter tonight's matchup with the Syracuse Crunch. Fans can bring in a lightly-used coat donation for two free tickets. The Adirondack Phantoms have helped generate hundreds of coat donations for the Salvation Army in past year and the good-will continues this season with the generosity of our great fans. Thanks to the Hometown Hearts Coat Drive in conjunction with the Salvation Army and the Downtown Glens Falls Business Improvement District. Tonight is also a $1 hot dog night at the game.

Adirondack has already won the first two legs of the homestand with a 5-1 win over Springfield on Friday followed by a thrilling overtime win over Albany by a 4-3 score on Saturday. With three straight wins at home overall, Adirondack hasn’t lost at home since November 11 when they dropped a 3-2 decision to Syracuse.

The Phantoms have gone an amazing 13-2-1 on home-ice in their last 16 contests at the Glens Falls Civic Center, including a 6-2-1 mark this season. The Phantoms are also 17-3-5 in their last 25 home games since last February.

Tonight is game four out of 10 in the season series. The Crunch lead 2-1 but the Phantoms took the most recent meeting on November 19 in a 5-2 win at Syracuse. The Adirondack Phantoms got the better of Syracuse in 7-of-8 meetings last season and lead the all-time series, 9-8.

The Crunch have gone 2-0-0 since losing to the Phantoms on November 19 scoring 11 goals in their back-to-back wins.

Last year, the Phantoms and Crunch both competed in the same Division. This season, the two New York rivals are in different divisions. The Crunch are in the East Division while the Phantoms are in the newly formed Northeast Division.

Northeast Division Standings

1. Connecticut Whale (27 pts)
2. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (24 pts)
3. Adirondack Phantoms (23 pts)
4. Albany Devils (23 pts)
5. Springfield Falcons (20 pts)

Phantoms Roster Moves

On Tuesday, the Flyers recalled forward Brayden Schenn and defenseman Kevin Marshall from the Phantoms. The Phantoms also signed defenseman Andy Thomas of the Trenton Titans to a PTO.

Schenn was playing with Adirondack in his recovery from a broken foot which he suffered on a blocked shot last month with Philadelphia. Playing all three games last week, Schenn racked up two goals and two assists. The fifth overall pick in 2009 has six goals and six assists for 12 points in just seven games as a Phantom.

Kevin Marshall returned to the Flyers, after having been twice recalled by the club last week. Marshall made his NHL debut Monday, November 21 against the Carolina Hurricanes. He returned to the Flyers to play in their game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden last Saturday. Marshall’s third recall to the Flyers came on Tuesday. Marshall is the Adirondack Phantoms’ all-time leader in games played with 169.

Thomas makes his first AHL appearance since he played for the Albany Devils last season. Thomas spent last season split between the Trenton Devils and Albany Devils. Known as a big and burly blueliner who plays a defense-first game, Thomas turned pro in 2008-09 following a four-year career at the University of Denver, where he teamed with the Flyers’ Matt Carle and current Colorado Avalanche star Paul Stastny as well as former Phantom J.P. Testwuide. The Bow, New Hampshire native was originally a 2005 Washington Capitals draft pick.

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.
By assisting Tom Sestito’s second goal on Thanksgiving night, Hamel reached the 300-assist milestone (in the AHL) and tied Brian Kilrea and Ken Gernander for 34th place in career points (624).

A seasoned veteran in his 15th professional season, Hamel’s next game will be his 796th in the AHL and 988th as a pro.

Upcoming Milestone For Joe Paterson

Phantoms head coach Joe Paterson enters Wednesday with 99 career AHL victories. He is now 36-23-9 as head coach of the Phantoms. He was also head coach of the Louisville Panthers in the AHL from 1999-2001, where he had 63 wins.

The current resident of Glen Lake, NY starred for the Adirondack Red Wings from 1981-84, scoring 52 goals and 122 points in 169 career games. Paterson also played in 291 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.

Adirondack Phantoms (NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia Flyers)

The man to lift the Phantoms to their most recent win--a 4-3 OT win over Albany last Saturday—was Jon Kalinski. Kalinski scored the game-winning goal in overtime and scored on a shorthanded breakaway early in the third period, putting together his first two-goal game of the season. Normally known as a defensive forward who primarily contributes great penalty killing and blocked shots; Kalinski’s two goals were two of the three he’s scored all year. After missing October due to injury, Kalinski scored in his return game, with a shorthanded goal against the Springfield Falcons on November 4.

Kalinski’s shorthanded goal on Saturday was part of a great night for the Phantoms’ penalty killers. Adirondack killed all eight of the Devils’ chances on a night in which a single blemish could’ve given Albany a regulation-time win.

Goalie Michael Leighton backed up the Phantoms’ penalty killers with sheer goaltending brilliance. Leighton stopped 32-of-35 shots on Saturday, a night after making a season-high 43 saves in Adirondack’s 5-1 win over the Springfield Falcons. Leighton’s two straight wins lift his personal record to 8-5-0.

Denis Hamel leads the Phantoms with nine goals and 16 points. He is also fourth in the league in total shots with 77. Rookie Garrett Roe out of St. Cloud State has racked up 12 assists which ranks him fourth among AHL rookies. Jason Akeson is second on the team in points with 15 including 10 assists. The 21-year-old joined the Phantoms from the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL where he accumulated a league-leading 84 assists and 108 points.

Phantoms Leaders

Goals: Denis Hamel (9)
Assists: Garrett Roe (12)
Points: Denis Hamel (16)
Plus/Minus: Garrett Roe (+6)
Penalty Minutes: Tom Sestito (63)
Wins: Michael Leighton (8)
Goals-Against Average: Michael Leighton (2.51)
Save Percentage: Michael Leighton (.917)
Shutouts: Michael Leighton(1)

Syracuse Crunch (NHL Affiliate: Anaheim Ducks)

Kyle Palmieri has 12 goals to lead the Crunch. He also has goals in all three games of the season series against the Phantoms, including a hat trick in the Crunch’s win over the Phantoms in their home opener on Oct. 15.

Former Phantom Patrick Maroon is the Crunch’s leading point scorer (19 pts) and second-leading goal scorer (8 goals) this season. Three of Maroon’s eight goals have come against the Phantoms, who he scored 39 goals for between 2008-2011. Maroon was traded by the Phantoms/Flyers to the Crunch/Ducks early last season.

Dan Bonino, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, has compiled five of his 13 assists against Adirondack. Meanwhile, Sexton, a former collegiate player at Bowling Green, has 13 assists with Syracuse after producing 13 points (4g, 9a) with the Anaheim Ducks last year.

Iiro Tarkki was brilliant in his only start against the Phantoms, stopping 26-of-28 shots in a 3-2 Crunch win at the Glens Falls Civic Center on November 11. Tarkki is 6-4-1 this year, after spending the last seven years in his native Finland’s top league, SM-liiga.

Tarkki is now being backed up by Timo Pielmeier following the promotion to Anaheim of Jeff Deslauriers. Last season, Pielmeier was one of two players in pro hockey to play in the ECHL, AHL and NHL. Pielmeier played for Elmira Jackals, Syracuse Crunch and Anaheim Ducks last season.

Crunch Leaders

Goals: Kyle Palmieri (8)
Assists: Dan Sexton/Nick Bonino (13)
Points: Patrick Maroon (19)
Plus/Minus: Kyle Palmieri/Patrick Maroon (9)
Penalty Minutes: Troy Bodie (45)
Wins: Iiro Tarkki (6)
Goals-Against Average: Iiro Tarkki (2.39)
Save Percentage: Iiro Tarkki (.928)
Shutouts: Iiro Tarkki (1)

Stat Pack

--The Phantoms’ overtime win over Albany was their first overtime win since November 12, 2010, when Denis Hamel scored the game-winner against the Norfolk Admirals.

-- Three Phantoms games have required extra time this season. Adirondack lost in a shootout to the Norfolk Admirals on October 26 and beat the Toronto Marlies in a shootout on November 12, prior to Saturday’s overtime win over Albany.

--Adirondack’s Saturday win improved its record to 11-1-0-0 when allowing three or fewer goals in a game. The Phantoms are 0-6-1 when allowing more than three goals in a game.

--Wednesday’s game is the Phantoms’ last game in November. The Phantoms are 5-4-0 in November, after going 6-3-1 in October.

Upcoming Events

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

Monday, December 5 - No Phantoms Power Hour show. The team will be traveling.

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








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