A late comeback by the Norfolk Admirals ended
the Adirondack Phantoms' four-game win streak
in a 2-1 decision at Norfolk Scope Arena Saturday
night. The Phantoms leave south-eastern Virigina
with a split of the two-game weekend series after
a 5-1 win on Friday.
Michael Leighton was phenomenal again and for
the first 52 minutes of the contest looked like
he was going to make the one goal advantage hold
up for the Phantoms. But a pair of goals by Tyler
Johnson with eight minutes remaining and then
30 seconds left pushed the home team to an emotionally
With emotions running high on both sides all weekend,
the teams culminated the weekend with a big line-brawl
in the corner after the final horn had sounded.
Well after the game was concluded, the officials
were still sorting out all the penalties. Ben
Holmstrom and Jason Akeson were a couple of the
primary Phantoms combatants in the end-of-game
exchange while Norfolk goalie Dustin Tokarski
came racing over from his crease as well to jump
into the pile-on.
Adirondack fell to 13-8-1 with the loss and dropped
to four points behind the Northeast Division leading
Connecticut Whale who won their Saturday night
game against Springfield. The Phantoms are still
in sole possession of second place in the division.
Jason Akeson's laser-beam slapper from the top
of the left circle early in the second period
staked the Phantoms to the initial 1-0 lead early
in the second period. His power-play blast went
over the left shoulder of Norfolk goalie Dustin
Tokarski and pinged off the underside of the cross-bar
and the far-post for the perfectly placed goal.
It was the 21-year-old Akeson's 7th goal of the
year and was assisted by Denis Hamel and Cullen
Leighton made several incredible saves throughout
the night and preserved a 1-0 lead for Adirondack
through the first two periods despite the Phantoms
being outshot 25-11. One blast from the right-wing
bounced off the post behind him, off of Leighton's
back, and then mere inches from the goal-line
when he acrobatically dove backward to cover with
It was a somewhat familiar scene for Admirals
fans watching Leighton pull his wizardry over
and over. He began his professional career in
Norfolk in 2001 and starred for the Admirals through
2005 accumulating a franchise-leading 75 wins
along the way.
But Leighton's terrific goaltending could only
keep the Admirals out of the net for so long.
Tyler Johnson raced up the right-wing for Norfolk
with eight minutes remaining and fired a centering
cross through the crease. The puck took an unlucky
bounce for the Phantoms as it hit off the leg
of new Adirondack defenseman Andy Thomas and into
the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Oliver Lauridsen was called for a delay of game
penalty with 2:33 remaining in the contest allowing
Norfolk to go on a late power play in the deadlocked
contest. Norfolk didn't score on that man advantage
but as Lauridsen had just returned to the ice,
Tyler Johnson found a loose puck in the slot off
a Leighton rebound and was able to bury the game-winner
with 30 seconds left with his second goal of the
Adirondack is 1-1-1 against Norfolk in 2011-12
and will take on the Admirals five more times
this season. The whole weekend series featured
several scraps and altercations including the
brawl at the end of the second game. The Admirals
travel to Glens Falls next on February 3. The
Phantoms' next visit to Norfolk Scope take place
Norfolk outshot the Phantoms 34-18. Adirondack
went 1-for-7 on the power play while the Admirals
The Phantoms have held their opposition to 0-for-25
on the power play over their last five games.
Saturday's game was the professional debut for
defenseman Brandon Manning. The 21-year-old rookie
missed the first two months of the season with
injury. While with the Chilliwack Bruins in the
WHL last year, Manning racked up impressive numbers
especially for a blue-liners as he scored 21 goals
and 53 points in 53 games.
Adirondack embarks on a long bus-ride up north
for their finale of their three-game road-swing.
The team will break up the trip into two parts
and will arrive into Hamilton, Ontario on Sunday
night as they ready for their Tuesday night game
at the Hamilton Bulldogs, the AHL affiliate of
the Montreal Canadiens.
The Phantoms' next home games are next Friday
and Saturday vs. Portland and Rochester.
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
Adirondack Phantoms 1 at Norfolk Admirals 2 -
Saturday, December 3, 2011 - Norfolk Scope
Adirondack 0 1 0 - 1
Norfolk 0 0 2 - 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Sestito Adk
(fighting), 3:52; Labrie Nor (fighting), 3:52;
Eddy Adk (cross-checking), 12:35; Conacher Nor
(high-sticking), 13:05; Cote Nor (high-sticking),
16:24; Manning Adk (interference), 17:38.
2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Akeson 7 (Eddy, Hamel),
5:01 (PP). Penalties-Neilson Nor (cross-checking),
3:20; Holmstrom Adk (hooking), 14:17; Lauridsen
Adk (holding), 15:41.
3rd Period-2, Norfolk, Johnson 7 (Dimmen, Jackson),
12:46. 3, Norfolk, Johnson 8 (Ashton, Devos),
19:30. Penalties-Barberio Nor (interference),
4:12; Conacher Nor (hooking), 7:48; Gudas Nor
(interference), 8:46; Lauridsen Adk (delay of
game), 17:27; Manning Adk (fighting, misconduct
- continuing altercation), 20:00; Sestito Adk
(misconduct - continuing altercation), 20:00;
Gudas Nor (misconduct - continuing altercation),
20:00; Smith Nor (fighting, misconduct - continuing
altercation), 20:00; Tokarski Nor (leaving the
crease, misconduct - continuing altercation),
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 5-6-5-16. Norfolk 13-12-9-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 1 / 7; Norfolk
0 / 5.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 10-6-0 (34 shots-32
saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 9-5-0 (16 shots-15 saves).
Referees-Ryan Fraser (14).
Linesmen-Luke Murray (92), Bill Lyons (27).