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Another Goaltenders Duel

December 9, 2011

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 victory.

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 contingent.

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 seven goals.

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 at 518-480-3355.

Upcoming Events

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 Eddy.

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

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

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 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

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 (holding), 1:30.

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), 19:23.

Shots on Goal-Portland 18-12-7-37. Adirondack 9-9-6-24.
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 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Jim Harper (59).





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