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Akeson's Late Goal Finishes Perfect Homestand

November 30, 2011


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 at 1-1.

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 the win.

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.

Upcoming Events

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

Friday, December 9, 7:00 - Portland Pirates at Adirondack Phantoms. $2 draft beer specials through first intermission; Bud Light and Labatt Blue Light.

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 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
Syracuse Crunch 3 at Adirondack Phantoms 4 - Status: Final
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - Glens Falls Civic Center

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), 16:18.

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 14-7-6-27.
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).








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