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Close Call Comeback Not Enough

January 16, 2011

The Adirondack Phantoms traveled to Albany for a chance to move into first-place in the division and staged a tremendous comeback effort after an early deficit. In the end, Adirondack was not able to overcome the gap and fell to the Devils 5-3 in the Monday afternoon game.

The Phantoms would score three straight times in the second half of the game and appeared to have fired a fourth into the back of the net. But Albany's three quick goals in a 2:09 spurt early in the second period ended up making the difference in the contest.

Jason Akeson (10th), Garrett Roe (5th) and Eric Wellwood (9th) all had goals in the furious come-from-behind push. Tom Sestito appeared to have shot home a power-play goal that would have made the score 5-4 but the officials deemed it to not be a goal.

Michael Leighton allowed four goals in taking the loss. Jason Bacashihua came on in relief of Leighton and quickly allowed a goal after only having been in the game for one minute, but he quickly settled in and held the Devils scoreless for the rest of the night thus allowing the Phantoms their chance to pull out the win.

A strong turnout of Adirondack fans came down the Northway to cheer for the orange-clad visitors but the afternoon did not start out the way they had envisioned as Albany struck for a pair of goals in the first period. A power-play goal by Nathan Perkovich, between the circles and off the stick of Leighton, early in the frame followed later on by a top-shelf short-handed blast from the right-wing by Matt Anderson allowed the home team to enjoy a 2-0 advantage at the first break.

Albany would score three times in a 2:09 spurt early in the second period to more than double that lead. Jacob Josefson, just assigned to Albany from New Jersey, found the mark at 5:02 on a rebound. Tim Sestito, the older brother of Adirondack's Tom Sestito, had also just returned to Albany from the NHL and would score his second of the year in this league at 5:56. After Leighton made way for Bacashihua, the Devils raced out on a 3-on-1 rush and Brad Mills was able to get enough mustard on his backhander to get through the still warming-up Phantoms goalie and make it 5-0 at 7:11

Phantoms head coach Joe Paterson called timeout to get everyone back on track and from that point Adirondack would dominate. They would allow no further Devils goals and gave themselves the opportunity to pull off a great win. That effort would fall short in the end but the Phantoms showed their mettle throughout the second half of the game.

Shortly after Jeff Frazee had made a couple of terrific saves in the Albany end, Garrett Roe would cleanly win a faceoff over to Jason Akeson who blasted his 10th goal of the year from the right-wing half-wall between Frazee's skates to get the Phantoms on the board at 11:45 into the second. The rookie from Orleans,Ontario leads the Phantoms in scoring with 29 points and is third on the team in goals with 10.

In the third period, Garrett Roe would corral a rebound of a Jason Akeson slapshot and take care of business for his fifth of the year at:3:31 moving the Phantoms one closer.

With Albany on the power play a few minutes later, Eric Wellwood would use his quick hands to chip the puck away at the center-line from one of the Devils forwards. As Ben Holmstrom tracked down the loose opportunity on the left-wing goal, Wellwood sprinted for the net. Holmstrom's centering give hit Wellwood perfectly on the tape who was able to move the puck to his backhand and slide it around Frazee's left skate.

The exciting tally at 8:07 made the score 5-3 and suddenly the Devils were not feeling as comfortable anymore.

Adirondack killed off a 5-on-3 Albany power play to stay in the game. And then would get a power play of their own with a little over 5:00 remaining. It appeared Tom Sestito had scored from the left-wing when the puck seemed to bounce out of the back of the net. But the officials deemed it to be no goal and play continued. The Phantoms were dangerously close to making it a one goal game with still four minutes remaining.

Albany was finally able to hold off the furious comeback effort and preserve the hard-earned victory.

Cullen Eddy got into a fight with Darcy Zajac of the Devils in the second period.

Adirondack's Tom Sestito laid out his older brother Tim Sestito of Albany with a big open-ice check right in the middle of the ice late in the game. Tom may be the younger of the two but he's also signficantly bigger than his older bro. Tom is 6'5" while Tim checks in at only 5'11". The collision of the two Sestito's drew a rise from the Devils and Phantoms fans alike.

Adirondack outshot the Devils in the third period 10-6 and in the game 35-26. It was the sixth straight game in which the Phantoms have outshot their opponents.

The Phantoms were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Devils were 1-for-5. Both teams registered a shorthanded goal.

Phantoms scratches for the game included Blake Kessel, Andrew Rowe, Garrett Klotz, Luke Pither and Oskars Bartulis.

The Albany victory evens the Time Warner Cable Cup Rivalry series at two games apiece with Albany leading overall in points 6-4. A quick turnaround has the Northway Rivals meeting again four days later in game of the 10-game season series when the Devils invade Glens Falls this Friday night. The Phantoms next visit to the Times Union Center will be on Saturday, January 28.

The game marks the midway point of the season for Adirondack who have played 38 of their 76-game regular season schedule. The Phantoms stand at 20-16-2 for 42 points good for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

A Phantoms win would have moved Adirondack into a first-place tie with Connecticut in the Northeast Division with the Phantoms technically being ahead of the Whale based on games-in-hand as well as regulation wins. Instead, the Devils victory forged a three-way tie for second in the division involving the Adirondack, Albany and Bridgeport in a logjam at 42 points, all trailing Connecticut by two. The Phantoms are actually the top team among the three at 42 points based on overall wins and games-in-hand.

Adirondack returns home for a pair of games this weekend against Albany and Bridgeport back to back. The Devils are now on a six game point streak (3-0-3) and the Sound Tigers are on an amazing seven game win streak as they have quickly vaulted out of the Eastern Conference cellar.

The back-to-back home games this weekend include $2 draft-beer specials on Friday and Pink in the Rink to benefit the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital on Saturday.

Upcoming Events

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.

Sunday, January 22, 5:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Binghamton Senators

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

Adirondack Phantoms 3 at Albany Devils 5 - Status: Final
Monday, January 16, 2012 - Times Union Center

Adirondack 0 1 2 - 3
Albany 2 3 0 - 5

1st Period-1, Albany, Perkovich 6 (Sislo, Gelinas), 4:09 (PP). 2, Albany, Anderson 7 (Harrold), 16:06 (SH). Penalties-Harper Adk (boarding), 2:38; Sestito Adk (interference), 13:35; Josefson Alb (tripping), 15:19.

2nd Period-3, Albany, Josefson 1 (Zharkov, Sislo), 5:02. 4, Albany, Sestito 3 (Perkovich), 5:56. 5, Albany, Mills 2 (Palmieri, Wiseman), 7:11. 6, Adirondack, Akeson 10 (Roe), 11:45. Penalties-Eddy Adk (fighting), 12:23; Zajac Alb (fighting), 12:23; Urbom Alb (hooking), 14:55; Holmstrom Adk (tripping), 16:36.

3rd Period-7, Adirondack, Roe 5 (Manning, Akeson), 3:31 (PP). 8, Adirondack, Wellwood 9 (Holmstrom), 8:07 (SH). Penalties-Whitney Alb (tripping), 2:04; Kalinski Adk (hooking), 7:42; Holmstrom Adk (slashing), 8:54; Marshall Adk (fighting), 12:01; Sestito Alb (fighting), 12:01; Gelinas Alb (boarding), 14:46.

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 12-13-10-35. Albany 8-12-6-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 1 / 4; Albany 1 / 5.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 14-13-0 (17 shots-13 saves); Bacashihua 6-4-1 (9 shots-8 saves). Albany, Frazee 7-8-2 (35 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Francis Charron (46), T.J. Luxmore (47).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Frank Murphy (29).





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