Michael Leighton was brilliant again. But this
time it wasn't enough for the Adirondack Phantoms
falling at home in a late decision to the Portland
Pirates. Rookie Ethan Werek scored his first professional
goal with 19.2 seconds remaining converting on
a backhand for the surprising shorthanded game-winner
just as Adirondack seemed poised to take their
Adirondack appeared to have momentum for much
of the third period as they looked to break a
1-1 tie. And when Denis Hamel was hit with a high
stick by Portland's Ryan Hollweg with 30 seconds
left for the last power play the momentum was
decidedly in the Phantoms' favor. But it wasn't
to be for the Adirondack Phantoms in their third
consecutive down-to-the-wire goaltenders' duel.
Leighton was tremendous again albeit on the losing
side. He made 36 saves on 38 shots against the
Pirates including 18 straight shots in the opening
period alone. The first period was a lot of run-and-gun.
The 0-0 score after the opening 20 minutes was
not indicative of the wild and exciting back-and-forth
play witnessed by the Glens Falls Civic Center
Brock Trotter scored early in the second period
on a steal by Chris Summers at the point to give
Portland the early 1-0 lead.
Cullen Eddy got in back in the opening minute
of the third period blasting home his first goal
of the year when he found the open space to step
up to the right circle from his defensive spot.
Shane Harper and Tom Sestito assisted on the goal
for the recent call-up from the Greenville Road
Warriors of the ECHL who played in 46 games for
Adirondack last year.
Both teams had huge chances to win late in regulation.
Reigning Rookie of the Month Andy Miele of Portland
blasted one off the post after he beat Leighton.
And Adirondack had winning goalie Curtis Mcilhinney
scrambling after a Dan Jancevski slapshot. Jon
Kalinski had a rebound try that appeared to have
hit the post. The majority of the crowd was cheering
what they thought was a late game-winning goal
but referee Chris Brown signaled that the puck
had hit the post and never crossed the goal-line.
Adirondack has been involved in three straight
goaltending battles, all of which have featured
more amazing saves by 30-year-old Michael Leighton
night after night. The scores in the last three
games have been 2-1, 1-0 (OT) and again 2-1.
The Phantoms killed off the lone Portland power
play they faced to run their amazing penalty-kill
streak to 33 in a row. Adirondack has not allowed
a PPG since Thanksgiving, November 24 at Binghamton
as they have vaulted up to fifth in the league
with an 85.5% success rate.
The result ends Adirondack's four-game home-ice
win streak. The Phantoms are 7-3-1 at home this
year and are 14-3-1 at the Civic Center since
mid-March of last season.
The Phantoms record moves to 13-9-2. In the Northeast
Division race, the Phantoms got some help as Connecticut
and Albany also lost. Adirondack remains three
points back of the first place Connecticut Whale
and the Phantoms maintain sole possession of second
place in the division with a one point advantage
over the Albany Devils.
Portland takes a two games to one lead in the
season series with the last meeting of the season
between the two clubs scheduled for Friday, December
30 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Andrew Rowe returned to the lineup for the Phantoms
in his first game of the season. The left-wing
from Muskegon, Michigan missed the first two months
of the season with an upper-body injury. Rowe
played in 55 games last year for Adirondack scoring
Scratches for the Phantoms included Luke Pither,
Eric Wellwood, Oskars Bartulis and Jason Bacashihua.
Adirondack's brief weekend homestand concludes
Saturday night against the Rochester Americans.
The first 2,500 fans will receive free t-shirts
courtesy of Papa John's. Fans should bring their
teddy bear donations to throw onto the ice after
the Phantoms score their first goal to benefit
the Salvation Army. Call the Phantoms for tickets
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.
Monday, December 12, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour
LIVE from McGinny's Tavern in Glens Falls and
on Q101.7 Special guests, Tom Sestito and Cullen
Friday, December 16, 7:00 - Phantoms at Binghamton
Saturday, December 17, 7:30 - Phantoms at Syracuse
Sunday, December 18, 3:00 - Binghamton Senators
at Phantoms. Sunday Family Fun Pack. Only $39
for 3 tickets, 3 sodas, 3 hot dogs, 1 large popcorn
and a program. A savings of $28!! Extra Fun-Pack
tickets available for your package for only $13
each. Call the Phantoms to find out more.
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
Portland Pirates 2 at Adirondack Phantoms 1 -
Status: In Progress (0:20 remaining in 3rd)
Friday, December 9, 2011 - Glens Falls Civic Center
Portland 0 1 1 - 2
Adirondack 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Kalinski Adk
2nd Period-1, Portland, Trotter 4 (Summers),
2:15. Penalties-Duncan Por (hooking), 10:16.
3rd Period-2, Adirondack, Eddy 1 (Harper, Sestito),
0:47. 3, Portland, Werek 1 (Watkins, Arsene),
19:40 (SH). Penalties-Duncan Por (hooking), 9:14;
Trotter Por (hooking), 13:23; Hollweg Por (high-sticking),
Shots on Goal-Portland 18-12-7-37. Adirondack
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 0 / 1; Adirondack
0 / 4.
Goalies-Portland, McElhinney 6-9-0 (24 shots-23
saves). Adirondack, Leighton 10-7-0 (37 shots-35
Referees-Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Jim Harper (59).