Phantoms head coach
Joe Paterson often preaches about making Glens
Falls Civic Center a difficult place for opponents
to play. Heeding their coach's word, the Phantoms
used a quick-response offense and stalwart penalty
kill to earn a 4-3 win over the Syracuse Crunch
on Wednesday night. The victory completed a perfect
3-0-0 homestand for Adirondack who defeated Springfield
on Friday and Albany on Saturday.
The game-winner came from rookie Jason Akeson
who broke a late 3-3 tie with his sixth tally
of the season. Ben Holmstrom (4th), Tom Sestito
(8th) and Tye McGinn (2nd) also scored on another
balanced offensive attack for Adirondack.
The Phantoms are 7-2-1 at home this season and
are an incredible 14-2-1 dating back to mid-March
of last season. Adirondack is 18-3-5 in its last
26 home games going back to last February.
"We started being a really good home team
at the end of last year. Our crowd has been really
energized, too, and that always helps," said
Phantoms head coach Joe Paterson.
Michael Leighton backstopped all three of the
Phantoms' wins on the homestand, stopping 33 shots
on Wednesday and 108-of-115 total shots over the
last three games. Leighton's record improves to
9-5-0, as the Phantoms move to second in the Northeast
Division with a 12-7-1 mark pushing past the Bridgeport
Sound Tigers and now trailing only the first place
Connecticut Whale by just two points.
The win was a special milestone for Joe Paterson.
It was the 100th win as an AHL head coach for
the Glen Lake, NY resident. Paterson is 37-23-9
as head coach of the Phantoms and recorded 63
wins with the Louisville Panthers from 1999-2001.
"To me, it's the players who go out and do
the job. You try not to focus on milestones and
just take it one game at a time," said Paterson.
On Paterson's special night, the story for the
Phantoms was how they would immediately retake
leads after Syracuse would battle to tie the game.
The Crunch clawed back three times from one-goal
deficits; however, a late third-period goal by
Jason Akeson goal put Syracuse down for the count.
Akeson, the scorer of 10 points (4g, 6a) in 10
November games, finished his great month by scoring
between Iiro Tarrki's legs after using a full
head of steam to come galloping down the left-wing
boards, following a precise pass by Luke Pither.
The game-winner came with just over five minutes
remaining in regulation and Adirondack was able
to hang on from there.
Holmstrom's goal started the night's festivities
exactly a minute into the game, when he stuffed
the puck between Tarkki's leg and the right goalpost
after Mike Testwuide dug it away along the end-boards
to get it out in front.
Anaheim Ducks 2009 first-round pick Peter Holland
would score at 15:41 of the first to tie the score
But as they would do all night long, the Phantoms
would quickly retake the advantage. P.A. Announcer
Dan Miner was still announcing the Syracuse tying
goal when three-year Syracuse Crunch skater Tom
Sestito would score just 26 seconds later to push
the Phantoms back out in front.
Former Charlotte Checkers captain and two-time
AHL All-Star defenseman Bryan Rodney scored for
the Crunch early in the second period to make
the score 2-2.
But it took the Phantoms only 36 seconds this
time as Tye McGinn would follow-up with a power-play
goal. McGinn scored from the right side of Iiro
Tarrki's crease, after Denis Hamel's powerful
slapper from the right-wing could not be handled.
The Phantoms would hold the lead until fairly
late in the third when the small but speedy Nick
Bonino would score for the resilient Crunch going
wide of the Phantoms defense to the left circle
to shoot one in. It was Bonino's fifth goal of
the season and equalized the score again, this
time at 3-3, with 7:56 left in the third period.
But Jason Akeson's late goal just two minutes
later blasted through Tarkki got the Phantoms
Adirondack killed all six Syracuse power play
chances on Wednesday and finished the homestand
a perfect 17-of-17 on the penalty kill.
"We don't want to have to kill that many.
It took a little out of us, but all of our players,
including our goaltender, did a great job. We're
blocking shots. Kalinski and Holmstrom especially.
They're getting into lanes and push the puck aside
with good sticks," said Paterson.
With a perfect homestand behind them, the Phantoms
embark on one of their longest road trips of the
season. Adirondack will play back-to-back games
in Norfolk, Virginia against the high-flying Admirals
on Friday and Saturday. The Phantoms then make
a long bus ride to Hamilton, Ontario to play the
Bulldogs next Tuesday, before returning to host
the Portland Pirates on Friday, December 9.
The shots on Wednesday were 36-23 in favor of
Syracuse. The Phantoms were 1-of-3 on the power
play. The Crunch were 0-of-6.
The 10-game season series between Adirondack an
Syracuse is now tied at two games apiece with
game five of the rivalry set to take place in
Syracuse on December 17. The Crunch will not visit
Glens Falls again until February 26.
The Phantoms scratches were Johan Backlund, Blake
Kessel and Eric Wellwood.
Friday, December 2, 7:30 - Phantoms at Norfolk
Saturday, December 3, 7:15 - Phantoms at Norfolk
Monday, December 5 - No Phantoms Power Hour show.
The team will be traveling.
Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 - Phantoms at Hamilton
Friday, December 9, 7:00 - Portland Pirates at
Adirondack Phantoms. $2 draft beer specials through
first intermission; Bud Light and Labatt Blue
Saturday, December 10, 7:00 - Rochester Americans
at Adirondack Phantoms. Phantoms T-Shirts for
the first 2,500 fans courtesy of Papa John's.
First Goal Teddy Bear Toss to benefit the Salvation
Army and needy children in the North Country.
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 and game-worn Phantoms hockey
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
Syracuse Crunch 3 at Adirondack Phantoms 4 - Status:
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - Glens Falls Civic
Syracuse 1 1 1 - 3
Adirondack 2 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Adirondack, Holmstrom 4 (Testwuide),
1:00. 2, Syracuse, Holland 5 (Jacques, Palmieri),
15:41. 3, Adirondack, Sestito 8 (Eddy, Kalinski),
16:07. Penalties-McGinnis Syr (boarding), 5:18;
Akeson Adk (high-sticking), 10:10.
2nd Period-4, Syracuse, Rodney 3 (Holland, Carle),
10:36. 5, Adirondack, McGinn 2 (Hamel, Akeson),
11:12 (PP). Penalties-Eddy Adk (hooking), 4:16;
Carle Syr (hooking), 5:41; McGinn Adk (interference),
6:44; Kalinski Adk (boarding), 8:30; Schofield
Syr (delay of game), 10:52; Eddy Adk (elbowing),
3rd Period-6, Syracuse, Bonino 5 (Rodney, Carle),
12:04. 7, Adirondack, Akeson 6 (Pither), 14:48.
Penalties-Eddy Adk (high-sticking), 7:10.
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 10-12-14-36. Adirondack
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 0 / 6; Adirondack
1 / 3.
Goalies-Syracuse, Tarkki 6-5-1 (27 shots-23 saves).
Adirondack, Leighton 9-5-0 (36 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Jeff Smith (49), Mark Lemelin (41).
Linesmen-Bob Goodman (90), Mike Emanatian (69).