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Weekend Preview

December 8, 2011

Friday - ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (12-8-2) vs. Portland Pirates (10-10-2)
Saturday - ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (12-8-2) vs. Rochester Americans (10-10-3)

Glens Falls Civic Center – Glens Falls, NY

Friday, December 9 (7:00pm)
Saturday, December 10 (7:00pm)

This Weekend

The Adirondack Phantoms return to the Glens Falls Civic Center for a pair of home games this weekend against Portland and Rochester. Friday night's game features $2 draft beers through the first intermission. Saturday night, the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive Phantoms T-Shirts courtesy of Papa John's. Fans are encouraged to bring their teddy-bear donations to the game and then throw them onto the ice after the Phantoms score their first goal.

The community of Fort Edward is holding a fundraiser during the Friday game to benefit and help a couple of area families who have recently lost their homes to fire. They will be selling tickets for the 50/50 and will also bring in student Thomas Wolfe to play the National Anthem on electric guitar.

Adirondack is returning from a long three-game road swing through Norfolk and Hamilton in which they went 1-1-1. The Phantoms opened the stretch with a 5-1 thrashing of the East Division front-running Admirals last Friday to extend their win streak to four games. On Saturday and Tuesday, the Phantoms dropped back-to-back heartbreakers. Tuesday's game was a 1-0 overtime loss at Hamilton in spite of the Phantoms blasting away for 34 shots on goal in the game and almost pulling out the win themselves on several occasions. The one point in the Tuesday contest proved to be quite valuable for Adirondack as it pushed the Phantoms into sole possession of second place in the Northeast Division and just three points back of first place Connecticut.

Home-Ice Advantage

The Phantoms keep racking up the wins at home. Adirondack carries a four game home-ice win streak into this weekend's games and are 7-2-1 at the GFCC this year. The Phantoms are 14-2-1 at home since mid-March of last season and are 18-3-5 in their last 26 home games going back to last February.

Penalty Kill Streak

The Adirondack Phantoms penalty-kill has put together an incredible streak of killing 32 straight power plays. The Phantoms have gone seven straight games without allowing a single power play goal. The last man-advantage tally they have allowed was on Thanksgiving, November 24 at Binghamton. The incredible streak has launched the Adirondack P.K. all the way up to 4th in the AHL and 2nd in the Eastern Conference with an 85.2% proficiency rating (15-for-103). Some of the Phantoms penalty-kill specialists who have been getting in the shooting lanes and intercepting the passes include Ben Holmstrom, Jon Kalinski, Garrett Roe, Denis Hamel, Dan Jancevski and Oliver Lauridsen. Amazing job guys!

Northeast Division Standings

1. Connecticut Whale (31 pts)
2. Adirondack Phantoms (28 pts)
3. Albany Devils (27 pts)
4. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26 pts)
5. Springfield Falcons (23 pts)

Playoff Watch

This season, the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference out of 15 will qualify for the postseason. And the three division winners will receive the top three seeds. Adirondack currently sits in 7th place in the conference standings with 28 points but three teams that are directly ahead of them are tied with 29 points (Hershey, Norfolk, Manchester) so the Phantoms can past a lot of teams quickly with a couple of wins. What's more, the Phantoms have games-in-hand on most of the teams ahead of them. Adirondack has played 23 games entering this weekend while most of the teams ahead of them have played 24 or 25 times.

Phantoms Roster Moves

Last week, the Phantoms added defensemen #43 Andy Thomas and #28 Brandon Manning. Thomas is up from Trenton of the ECHL on a Professional Tryout. Thomas is familiar with the Glens Falls Civic Center having played a number of games there last year as a member of the Albany Devils. Manning is a 21-year-old rookie who made his professional debut last Saturday at Norfolk. He led all Western Hockey League defensemen in scoring last year lighting up 21 goals for the Chilliwack Bruins. He began this season on the shelf with injury.

Denis Hamel Countdown – Hamel Catches Catch Merkosky

Denis Hamel caught Adirondack Red Wing legend Glenn Merkosky for 12th all-time in American Hockey League history with his 325th goal last Friday night at Norfolk. Hamel's next goal will move him past Merkosky and into sole possession of 12th on the league leader-board.

Merkosky scored 325 times in a career that stretched from 1980-1991 including 202 goals with the Red Wings from 1986-91.

Friday is also Hamel’s 800th game as an AHL'er and 992nd as a pro. Hamel is slated to reach the amazing 1,000 professional game milestone on New Year's Eve against Albany.

Milestone For Joe Paterson

Phantoms head coach Joe Paterson reached the 100 win milestone as a head coach last Wednesday vs. Syracuse. Paterson is now 37-20-10 as head coach of the Phantoms and also had 63 victories as head coach of the Louisville Panthers from 1999-2001.

Adirondack Phantoms (NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia Flyers)

The Phantoms look to grab a pair of wins on home-ice against a pair of .500 teams this weekend. Denis Hamel leads the Phantoms with 10 goals and 20 points. Tom Sestito is second on the team with eight goals.

Adirondack is 9th in the league in offense with 3.1 goals per game and rates 8th in defense at 2.8 goals allowed.

Michael Leighton has started the last six straight games in goal and is 4-1-1 in that stretch. He is 10-7-3 with a 2.33 goals against average and .923 saves percentage this season. Fellow veteran goaltender Jason Bacashihua is 3-2-1, 3.37, .904.

1-0 OT Rarity

The Tuesday night game at Hamilton was the first in the history of the Adirondack Phantoms to be scoreless after 60 minutes of hockey. It was also the first Phantoms game to remain scoreless after 60 minutes since at least 2005. Hamilton won the game with 45 seconds left in overtime in a 1-0 thriller and rarity as Nathan Lawson got the win for Hamilton over Michael Leighton for Adirondack. The last 1-0 game in regulation for the Adirondack Phantoms was on February 11, 2011 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton when the Phantoms beat the Penguins 1-0 with Michael Leighton outdueling Brad Thiessen in the contest.

Leighton has some familiarty with this type of 0-0 game. On January 8, 2003 he made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks in a 0-0 tie against Zac Bierk and the Phoenix Coyotes. It was the first time that opposing goalies earned their first shutout against each other. And Leighton became the first Blackhawks goalie ever to play in a 0-0 game in his debut.

In the Tuesday game at Hamilton, Leighton just missed on his 36h career AHL shutout. His current total of 35 shutouts is 6th all-time in the AHL and is the most of any goalie in over 35 years.

Phantoms Leaders

Goals: Denis Hamel (10)
Assists: Garrett Roe (12)
Points: Denis Hamel (20)
Plus/Minus: Garrett Roe (+6)
Penalty Minutes: Tom Sestito (93)
Wins: Michael Leighton (9)

Looking at the Opponents

Portland Pirates (Phoenix Coyotes) - It's a new affiliate in Portland, Maine this year as the Pirates switched parent-clubs from Buffalo to Phoenix. Portland is 10-10-2 for fourth place in the Atlantic Division.

The Phantoms are already 1-1-0 against Portland this season with both previous encounters taking place at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Michael Leighton was terrific in a 35 save shutout performance on October 21 in a 3-0 Phantoms win. Adirondack looked in good shape in Portland on November 15 with a 2-0 lead in the first period but the Pirates rallied for the last four goals to take a 4-2 win.

Portland features 2011 Hobey Baker Award Winner Andy Miele out of Miami (Ohio) University who won AHL Rookie of the Month honors for November. The speedy center leads the Pirates in scoring with seven goals and 13 assists. Ryan Duncan has five goals and 12 points.

Former Edmonton Oiler Curtis McElhinney (6-9-0, 3.08) has seen the most time in net although was knocked out of the game in the first period by Adirondack in their last matchup. Former Charlotte Checker and also Toronto Marlie Justin Pogge has only played in six games and has been hampered by injury.

The game is Portland's fourth of a six-game road trip that has not started favorably. The Pirates have lost their last three games by a combined 13-3 including a 7-1 thrashing to the hands of the Hershey Bears last Saturday.

Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres) - The Amerks also switched parent-clubs from last year. Out are the Florida Panthers and in (again) are the Buffalo Sabres just 74 miles away. The team features many of the same players who led the Portland Pirates, last year's Buffalo affiliate, to the Atlantic Division crown.

Rochester is currently on a three-game losing streak dropping consecutive one-goal decisions. The Amerks' overall mark of 10-10-3 places them third in the North Division of the Western Conference.

Adirondack is already 1-0-0 against Rochester with a 3-1 win at the Americans on October 23. All three Phantoms goals came from players who are not currently active with the team; Eric Wellwood (injured), Harry Zolnierczyk (Philadelphia) and Zac Rinaldo (Philadelphia).

Derek Whitmore paces the club with 11 goals and 17 points while Colin Stuart has eight goals and 17points. Drew McIntyre (3-6-1, 2.80) and David Leggio (7-6-0, 2.97) have split the goaltending duties.

Rochester's offense is not bad at 2.8 goals per game for 18th in the league but they mostly get it done 5-on-5. The Amerks power play is an anemic 13.1% for 27th in the AHL.

Stat Pack

-- Four Phantoms games have required extra time this season. Adirondack is 1-1 in overtime games and 1-1 in games going to a shootout.

--Adirondack is 12-2-1 when allowing three or fewer goals in a game. The Phantoms are 0-6-1 when allowing more than three goals in a game.

--Adirondack is 4-0-0 in games in which they outshoot the opponent.

--The Phantoms are 10-1-1 when leading after two periods. Their lone regulation loss was last Saturday at Norfolk when they carried a 1-0 into the third but lost the game 2-1.

--The Phantoms are 11-3-1 when they score first. They are 2-5-1 when they do not.

Upcoming Events

Friday, December 9th, 7:00 - Portland Pirates at Phantoms. $2 draft-beer specials through first intermission.

Saturday, December 10th, 7:00 - Rochester Americans at Phantoms. Phantoms T-Shirts for first 2,500 fans courtesy of Papa John's. First goal Teddy Bear Toss to benefit Salvation Army. Please bring your teddy bear donations and then throw them onto the ice after the Phantoms score their first goal.

Monday, December 12th, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE from McGinny's Tavern in downtown Glens Falls. Show airs on Q101.7

Friday, December 16th, 7:00 - Phantoms at Binghamton Senators

Saturday, December 17th, 7:30 - Phantoms at Syracuse Crunch

Sunday, December 18th, 3:00 - Binghamton Senators at Phantoms. Sunday Family Fun-Pack. $39 for 3 tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3 sodas, 1 large popcorn, 1 program. A savings of $28!!

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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