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January 10, 2011

Upcoming Games

Friday, January 13, 7:00 - Hamilton Bulldogs at Adirondack Phantoms
Saturday, January 14, 7:00 - Manchester Monarchs at Adirondack Phantoms
Monday, January 16, 2:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Phantoms Results

Wednesday, January 4 - Binghamton Senators 4 - Adirondack Phantoms 3
Friday, January 6 - Adirondack Phantoms 4 - Hershey Bears 3 (OT)
Saturday, January 7 - Hershey Bears 5 - Adirondack Phantoms 2

Coming Up

The Phantoms return to the Glens Falls Civic Center for a pair of game this Friday and Saturday on Fun in the Sun Weekend. A summery theme will be promoted with lots of sunshiny games, contests, music and promotions throughout both games. Don't forget your suntan lotion. Let's Get Tropical with the Adirondack Phantoms!

The Phantoms are opening a stretch of games in which they will play four of their next five at home with the lone away game in the middle just a quick sojourn down the Northway to Albany.

The series begins Friday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs, the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. Friday home games feature $2 draft-beer specials (Bud Light and Labatt Blue Light) through the first intermission. Saturday, the Phantoms tangle for the first time this season with the Manchester Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. It's Player Photo night with the Phantoms players available for pics immediately after the game. Adirondack quickly returns to action for a rare Monday afternoon game on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Albany Devils at 2:00pm.

After Monday afternoon's game, the Phantoms will have reached the midway point of the 2011-12 season having played 38 games of their total 76 game schedule.

Adirondack is in the thick of both the division and conference races with a record of 18-15-2 for 38 points. In the Northeast Division, the Phantoms are in third-place, just one point back of the second-place Albany Devils but also with one game-in-hand. Adirondack trails first-place Connecticut by six points but has two games-in-hand on the Whale. In the Eastern Conference, the Phantoms are in 9th place with a one point deficit to Albany and a three point gap behind 7th place Worcester. The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs in April.

Outdoor Classic Summary

On the biggest stage the AHL has ever seen, the Adirondack Phantoms won in a heart-stopping finish over the Hershey Bears 4-3 in overtime. 45,653 fans enjoyed the perfect outdoor weather at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia which was more than double the previous largest crowd in AHL history of 21,673 in Connecticut last year.

The event was truly more gigantic than the Phantoms players themselves had envisioned and it brought out some of the best in the players who produced a terrific performance throughout eventually coming away with the thrilling, late comeback. Ben Holmstrom tied the game at 3-3 with 20.8 seconds remaining in regulation with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker. And Shane Harper cut in behind the defense to accept a perfect flip to the slot from Eric Wellwood. Harper's backhand chip going five-hole on Brayden Holtby 58 seconds into overtime was the game-winner and would be in the Top 10 Plays of the Day on ESPN SportsCenter the following morning.

The game was viewed live across Canada on Rogers. It was also live in the Philadelphia area on Comcast Network and was seen nationwide on replay the next day on NHL Network.

The Phantoms donned terrific looking throw-back style uniforms of a beige/creme color with the classic Phantoms logo for an innovative retro look. Between the weather, the national coverage, the immense crowd, and the fairy-tale finish to the game itself, it was simply a perfect evening for Phantoms fans everywhere who enjoyed perhaps what is now the most famous game in the history of the franchise and one of the most famous games in the AHL.

Northeast Division Standings

1. Connecticut Whale (40 pts)
2. Adirondack Phantoms (36 pts)
3. Albany Devils (35 pts)
4. Springfield Falcons (30 pts)
5. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (30 pts)

Week in Review

Wednesday, January 4 (Binghamton 4 - Adirondack 3)

In the first game of 2012, the Phantoms played well enough to deserve victory but were pinned with a tough, late loss against Binghamton. The Phantoms outshot the B-Sens rather convincingly, 38-23, but McKenna continued with his dazzling saves at the Glens Falls Civic Center to frustrate the hosts. Tyler Brown (2), Garrett Roe (4) and Eric Wellwood (7) scored for the Phantoms. Adirondack trailed 2-1 midway through the third but Rob Klinkhammer's goal extended the lead to 3-1. But Roe and Wellwood scored back-to-back a couple minutes apart and the Phantoms tie the score at 3-3 with 5:47 remaining.

Adirondack had more good chances to win the game late but it would be Tim Conboy's slapshot with 1:08 left from center-point after a scramble in the goal-mouth that would prove to be the game-winner.

Friday, January 6 (Adirondack 4 - Hershey 3, OT)

45,653 excited fans filed into Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for the AHL's largest ever hockey party and the witnessed one of the best games of the year. The Phantoms tied the score with 20.8 seconds remaining and Shane Harper lit up the game-winner 58 seconds into the overtime in the heart-stopping finish.

Mike Testwuide and Luke Pither also scored for Adirondack who improved to 2-0 against the Hershey Bears in 2011-12. The result evened the all-time series between the two rivals at 82 wins apiece with 8 ties after 172 games.

Saturday, January 7 (Hershey 5 - Adirondack 2)

In a heated and intense rematch of the monster event from the night before, the Hershey Bears rallied in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and pull out a victory over the Phantoms. Andrew Rowe scored his second of the year to stake the Phantoms to the initial 1-0 lead. And Tyler Brown's third of the season early in the second period on a fine assist by Jason Akeson had tied the score at 2-2.

But the Bears would strike three times in the third to pull off their first victory against the Phantoms this season. Hershey retook the lead in the all-time series after 173 total games between the Bears and Phantoms since 1996, 83 wins to 82 with eight ties.

The game had a fair amount of chippyness and intensity as could be expected from two tough-nosed teams meeting each other for the second night in a row. With 3:30 left in regulation, the tempers boiled over and a larger-scale fight broke out in front of the Phantoms bench eventually involving some of the players still on the bench with some of the Bears players who were still on the ice.

The league doled out one-game suspensions to Adirondack's Tom Sestito and Oliver Lauridsen and also Hershey's Joel Rechlicz for their roles in the fisticuffs.

Phantoms Breakdown

-- The new attendance record of 45,653 in Philadelphia on Friday night is more than the previous TWO largest crowds combined of 21,673 (Connecticut, 2011) and 21,508 (Syracuse, 2010).

-- Jason Akeson leads the team in points with 28 including 19 assists. He is fourth of among AHL rookies in helpers and is sixth in points. Akeson led the OHL in assists (84) and points (108) last year with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.

-- It's a close race for the team lead in goals. Denis Hamel still sets the pace with 11 but Ben Holmstrom's huge tying goal on Friday in Philadelphia now gives him 10 while Jason Akeson is close on their heels with 9 and Tom Sestito remains in striking distance with 8.

-- Mike Testwuide has five goals in his last eight games and now has six on the season.

-- Michael Leighton became the only goalie to play in an outdoor game in the AHL and NHL. He also started in the Winter Classic for Philadlephia in 2010 at Fenway Park in Boston.

-- The Phantoms are 4-1 in overtime games this year and are 2-1 in shootouts for a combined record of 6-2 in games decided past regulation. All four Adirondack overtime wins have come on home-ice although the most recent one was at their home game played at Philadelphia in the outdoor game on January 6. Since an overtime loss at Hamilton on December 6, the Phantoms have won four straight games decided past regulation.

-- The Phantoms have won each of their last three Saturday night home games in overtime. November 26 it was Jon Kalinski notching the game-winner against Albany. Ben Holmstrom would get the big goal against Rochester on December 10. And Mike Testwuide would finish 2011 in style with an overtime winner on New Year's Eve against Albany.

-- The Phantoms are 3rd in the Eastern Conference and 11th in the AHL in team defense allowing 2.8 goals per game. They are 16th (out of 30) in total offense scoring 2.9 goals per game.

-- The Phantoms penalty kill is 5th in the AHL and 2nd in the Eastern Conference at 84.9%. They are 86.1% on home-ice and are 83.8% on the road. They have held opponents to 4-for-31 in their last eight games since December 18. They have kept opponents to 6 for 76 (92.1%) in their last 19 games since Thanksgiving which included an 0-for-34 streak from November 24 through December 10.

-- Adirondack's power play is 17th in the AHL at 17.6%. They had a streak of four straight games with a power play goal snapped last weekend.

--The Phantoms are 13-1-1 when leading after two periods.

--The Phantoms are 15-6-1 when they score first. The Phantoms are 11-6-2 in one-goal decisions.

--Adirondack is 11-6-1 at home this year.

Phantoms Leaders (Goals - Assists - Points):

Jason Akeson 9-19-28
Denis Hamel 11-13-24
Ben Holmstrom 10-10-20
Garrett Roe 4-14-18
Eric Wellwood 7-10-17
Mike Testwuide 6-10-16
Tom Sestito 8-6-14

Michael Leighton - 12-12-0, 2.57, .915
Jason Bacashihua - 6-4-1, 2.95, .908

Upcoming Opponents

Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens) - Hamilton comes to town for their only visit at the Glens Falls Civic Center in 2011-12. Adirondack has already made their lone trip to Hamilton and took a hard-fought and exciting 1-0 overtime loss at the Bulldogs with Michael Leighton and Nathan Lawson matching each other save for spectacular save for 64 minutes of amazing hockey.

Aaron Puhlushaj finally notched the game-winner for the Canadiens affilaite. He is their team's top scorer with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points. Andreas Engqvist leads the team in goals with 12. Nathan Lawson has seen the majority of the goaltending duty and is 10-9-3, 2.56, .918.

Normally at the top of the North Division and Western Conference, the Bulldogs struggled to a slow start in 2011-12 partly due to injuries with their team and with their parent club in Montreal. But the team has dramatically turned matters around of recent with a five game point streak going 4-0-1 to push past .500 at 16-14-5. Last weekend, they won three straight games in three days while outscoring their opponents 12-4. They knocked off Oklahoma City 3-1 on Friday, then blew past the Toronto Marlies on Saturday 4-1 and followed that up with a 5-2 crunching of Syracuse on Sunday.

Hamilton is in 10th place in the West but they are only two points back of a couple of teams for the eighth and final playoff spot in that conference. The Bulldogs had been dead-last in total offense and second from the bottom in team defense but have been moving those numbers in positive directions. They are now 26th out of 30 in team offense at 2.5 goals per game and are all the way up to 14th in defense at 2.9 goals allowed. Their power play clicks at a decent 19.3% rate for 12th in the AHL out of 30 while their penalty kill rates 16th at 82.8%.

The Phantoms have gone 3-0-1 against the Western Conference this year with victories over Rochester (two) and Toronto (one) and an overtime loss to Hamilton.

Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings) - This will be the first of four meetings on the season between the Phantoms and the Monarchs. Adirondack is scheduled to make their first visit to Manchester, NH in a coupe of weeks but first comes the purple crew's first visit Glens Falls.

The Monarchs were briefly in the top spot of the Eastern Conference but have fallen onto a three-game losing streak lately to drop into second place in the Atlantic Division behind St. John's. Their 21-15-2 mark puts them in the #5 spot in the conference race currently.

Manchester is getting it done with defense and goaltending more often than not. Their team offense is 24th out of 30 in the AHL and 13th out of 15 in the conference at just 2.6 goals per game. Their defense is tops in the conference though at 2.6 goals allowed per game which is fifth in the AHL.

Former Phantoms, Stefan Legein, was assigned to the Monarchs early this season when the Flyers organization traded him to Los Angeles for draft picks. Legein had 24 goals with Adirondack in 2009-10. As he comes into the Glens Falls Civic Center for the first time since being traded away, he has four goals and two helpers with Manchester thus far.

Marc-Andre Cliche is tops in goals and points with 11 and 22. Dwight King has a team-leading 14 assists along with seven goals.

Miami (Ohio) University product Jeff Zatkoff has gone 10-5-1, 2.16, .933 as one of the league's top goaltenders. He is second in saves percentage and first in the conference. His goals against average is second in the conference and fourth in the AHL. Zatkoff was also named the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December after he posted a 5-2-0 record with a 1.70 GAA and a .946 save percentage.

WHL Goalie of the Year Martin Jones who also played on Team Canada at the 2010 World Juniors has also done well going 11-10-1, 2.62, .918.


January 5 - Johan Backlund (G) reassigned by Flyers to Oulun Karpat in Finland

Phantoms Day-by-Day

Tuesday, January 10 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)
Wednesday, January 11 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)
Thursday, January 12 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)
Friday, January 13 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Game vs. Hamilton (7:00pm)
Saturday, January 14 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Game vs. Manchester (7:00pm).
Sunday, January 15 - Practice at GFCC (11:00am)
Monday, January 16 - Practice at GFCC (9:00am). Bus to Albany (11:00am). Game at Albany (2:00pm)
Tuesday, January 17 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)

Upcoming Events

Friday, January 13, 7:00 - Hamilton Bulldogs at Adirondack Phantoms. Fun in the Sun Weekend! $2 draft-beer specials

Saturday, January 14, 7:00 - Manchester Monarchs at Adirondack Phantoms. Fun in the Sun Weekend! Post-game Pics with Players on the Ice.

Monday, January 16, 2:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Friday, January 20, 7:00 - Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms. $2 draft beer specials

Saturday, January 21, 7:00 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers vs. Adirondack Phantoms. Pink in the Rink with special pink jerseys presented by C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital.

Monday, January 23, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE at McGinny's on Glen Street and on Q101.7. Special guests, Mike Testwuide and Tom Sestito. Also with Tim McManus of the Post-Star.

Get great savings with the Phantoms when you bring your group of 15 friends or co-workers to a game. Group-rates available as low as $13 per person. Call the Phantoms to find out more at 518-480-3355.

Check out the Half-Price Discount Outlet at phantomshockey.com for great savings from some of our awesome Phantoms corporate partners. Get half-off cards to local restaurants and other stores!

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.. Be sure to follow the Phantoms on twitter @phantomshockey and on facebook.com/adkhockey






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