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Phantoms Weekly

January 18, 2011

Upcoming Games

Friday, January 20, 7:00 - Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms
Saturday, January 21, 7:00 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms
Monday, January 21, 5:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Binghamton Senators

Phantoms Results

Friday, January 13 - Adirondack Phantoms 5 - Hamilton Bulldogs 4
Saturday, January 14 - Adirondack Phantoms 5 - Manchester Monarchs 3
Monday, January 16 - Albany Devils 5 - Adirondack Phantoms 3

Coming Up

The Phantoms are back at the Glens Falls Civic Center for a couple more big home games this weekend as they open the second half of the 2011-12 season. Adirondack has won four of their last five home games and looks to build on a stellar home-ice record that current stands at 13-6-1.

Up first are the Albany Devils on Friday night. It's game five out of the 10 game Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry. The series is even so far this season at two games apiece although the Devils lead on points 6-4. Adirondack will be looking to avenge a 5-2 loss suffered in their last encounter with the Devils last Monday at Albany.

Saturday night is Pink in the Rink Night at the Glens Falls Civic Center to benefit the C.R. Wood Center Center at Glens Falls Hospital. Wear pink just like the Phantoms will be doing that night! Special tickets for the Saturday game are available exclusively at the Phantoms office for $15 with $5 of that cost being donated to the C.R. Wood Center. Also available are $35 packages which include two tickets and a Pink in the Rink T-Shirt.

In the Saturday game, the Phantoms will be taking on the red-hot Bridgeport Sound Tigers who overcame a dismal 2-10 stretch in December that had them in the Eastern Conference basement to win seven straight in the month of January.

The Phantoms will head to the Southern Tier on Sunday evening for a 5:00 battle with the defending Calder Cup Champion Binghamton Senators.

Adirondack is in the thick of both the division and conference races with a record of 20-16-2 for 42 points. In the Northeast Division, the Phantoms are in second-place, just two points behind the Connecticut Whale. The Phantoms have closed an eight point gap in the past couple of weeks to pull within one game of the leaders. It's not just Adirondack and Connecticut though. It's a an air-tight division with Albany and Bridgeport tied with the Phantoms with 42 points but Adirondack has games-in-hand on those other teams. Adirondack stands in ninth place in the Eastern Conference but with games-in-hand over the teams ahead of them. The Phantoms are one point behind 8th place Portland and are just two points behind 7th place Manchester and three points behind 6th place Worcester.

Call the Phantoms to get your special tickets packages for the Pink in the Rink game at 518-480-3355. We look forward to seeing you at both Phantoms games this weekend. It's an exciting time to be a Phantoms fan!

Northeast Division Standings

1. Connecticut Whale (44 pts)
2. Adirondack Phantoms (42 pts)
3. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (42 pts)
4. Albany Devils (42 pts)
5. Springfield Falcons (39 pts)
5. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (30 pts)

Week in Review

Friday, January 13 (Adirondack 5 - Hamilton 4)

Trailing 4-3 heading into the third period, the Phantoms didn't take long to turn the tables and pull out an exciting victory. Jon Kalinski's wrister less than two minute into the frame tied matters at 4-4. And Denis Hamel's lucky bouncer off the goalie, the top of the end-glass, then the top of the net, and then off the back of the goalie and in would hold up for the game-winner.

The fortuitous bouncing biscuit on Friday the 13th was Hamel's 13th goal of the year helping Michael Leighton notch his 13th win while the Phantoms successfully recorded their 13th home game with a standings point. Cue the creepy Friday the 13th music!!

Brandon Manning scored his first goal as a pro and Tyler Brown scored his third goal in his last four games. Tye McGinn dropped the gloves with Hamilton tough-guy, and former Albany River Rat, Zach Fitzgerald in one of the best fights of the year with both combatants landing several solid blows in the duel.

Saturday, January 14 (Adirondack 5 - Manchester 3)

The Phantoms rang up another five-spot in disposing of the Monarchs 5-3. Eric Wellwood's sprint past the defense for an exciting breakaway goal in the second period which he capped with a perfect backhander upstairs would give Adirondack a 4-3 lead and would hold up as the game-winner.

Shane Harper scored his sixth and Kevin Marshall his second. Ben Holmstrom picked up his 11th and Denis Hamel finished a three-goal weekend with his team-leading 14th of the year. It was the first time the Phantoms had scored five or more goals in consecutive games since their first two games of the year. Adirondack improved to 8-0 in games in which they score five goals or more.

Monday, January 16 (Albany 5 - Adirondack 3)

A ferocious comeback attempt for the Phantoms fell short as Albany hung on at home in their rare Monday afternoon Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday game 5-3. A three goal outburst in the span of just over two minutes early in the second period would allow Albany to extend their 2-0 lead to 5-0.

But then the Phantoms comeback train got rolling. Jason Akeson scored his 10th of the year and team-leading 29th point to get the Phantoms on the board before the second break. Garrett Roe put home a power play rebound early in the third to make it 5-2. And when Eric Wellwood connected from Ben Holmstrom on a shorthanded goal a few minutes later closing the gap to 5-3 one could hardly blame the Albany Devils for being a bit uneasy.

Tom Sestito appeared to have scored with a few minutes remaining but it was ruled that his shot from the left side of the crease hit the post. If his goal had counted it would have made it a 5-4 game with still plenty of time to go.

The Devils evened up the Time Warner Cable Cup Series at two games apiece. One amusing highlight of the evening came late in the third period when Tom Sestito laid a big open-ice smack to his older brother Tim Sestito of the Albany Devils knocking him down to the ice.

Phantoms Breakdown

-- Jason Akeson leads the team in points with 31 including 10 goals and 21 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.

-- Denis Hamel's three-goal weekend gives him a little breathing room for the team scoring lead. Hamel has 14 goals while Ben Holmstrom has 11 and Jason Akeson has 10. Eric Wellwood had a pair of goals last week now giving him nine on the year.

-- 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 are 11th in the AHL in total offense now scoring 2.98 goals per game. They are 15th in total defense at 2.89 goals allowed.

-- The Phantoms penalty kill is 7th in the AHL at 84.2%. They are 84.8% on home-ice and are 83.5% on the road.

-- Adirondack's power play is climbing fast and is now up to 13th in the AHL at 18.6%. They home-ice power play is 6th in the AHL at 20.8%.

-- Adirondack is 4-0-1 against the Western Conference (games against Rochester, Toronto and Hamilton) and are 2-0-1 against Canadian teams.

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

--The Phantoms are 17-6-1 when they score first. The Phantoms are 12-6-2 in one-goal decisions.

--Adirondack is 13-6-1 at home this year. The Phantoms are 16-3-1 when they score three or more goals.

Phantoms Leaders (Goals - Assists - Points):

Jason Akeson 10-21-31
Denis Hamel 14-13-27
Ben Holmstrom 11-11-22
Garrett Roe 5-16-21
Eric Wellwood 9-10-19
Mike Testwuide 6-12-18
Tom Sestito 8-8-16

Michael Leighton - 14-13-0, 2.66, .912
Jason Bacashihua - 6-4-1, 3.08, .901

Upcoming Opponents

Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils) - Albany had their six game point streak ended Wednesday night when they lost to the Norfolk Admirals 5-4. They have been able to catch up to the Phantoms in the standings with 42 points although Adirondack has games-in-hand.

Albany leads the Time Warner Cable Cup series six points to four even though both teams have won a pair of games. Both of Adirondack's wins against Albany have been at home and have come in overtime. Jon Kalinski scored the overtime winner on November 26 in front of a near-sellout crowd of 4,730. Mike Testwuide scored his overtime winner against the Devils on New Year's Eve.

The Devils are 17-14-8 this year including 10-6-6 at home while going 7-8-2 on the road.

Matt Anderson returns from a 25 goal campaign from last year and is again the team's leading scorer in 2011-12 with seven goals and 15 assists.

Tom Sestito's older and smaller brother Tim Sestito skates for the Albany Devils.

Darcy Zajac, younger brother of Travis Zajac of New Jersey, has six goals and seven assists. Jeff Frazee is back between the pipes for Albany and is splitting time with a rookie out of Union College, Keith Kincaid.

Albany is 26th (out of 30) in the league in total offense at 2.5 goals per game and are 24th in defense allowing 3.05. Their special teams numbers have been lousy on both ends but they have had power play success against the Phantoms. They are 28th on the power play at 13.4%.and are 28th on the penalty kill at 77.5%.

Rick Kowalsky is in his second season as head coach in Albany after previously coaching their ECHL team in Trenton and, prior to that, having a standout career mostly in the ECHL with the Trenton Titans and Hampton Roads Admirals.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have put together one of the most unlikely and dramatic turnarounds in the AHL this season, and they did it extremely quickly. Mired in last place in the Eastern Conference following a 2-10 month of December, the Sound Tigers must have been boosted by the New Year holiday as they have gone 7-0 in 2012.

The surging Sound Tigers have vaulted out of the basement and have tied Adirondack and Albany with 42 points in the air-tight Northeast Division standings. Bridgeport is 19-17-4 overall including 10-6-2 at their home arena in Bridgeport, CT and 9-11-2 on the road.

Bridgeport's power play has not been very successful at 25th (out of 30) in the league at 15.1%. Their PK is middle-of-the-pack at 14th in the AHL with an 82.8% proficiency rate.

Kevin Poulin was AHL Player of the Week a couple weeks ago when he threatened the league's all-time shutout record. He had three shutouts in a row from January 4 through January 7 and racked up a total of 221 consecutive shutout minutes before falling just 28 minutes shy of the all-time record set by Hall of Famer Johnny Bower of the Cleveland Barons in 1957.

Poulin's goals against average was 3.27 before the streak and his saves percentage was .891. His numbers now stand at 2.77 and .905 along with his record of 11-12-0.

2010-11 leading scorer Rhett Rakshani is back from injury and is now third on the team in points with 21 including nine goals. A pair of talented rookies lead the young crew in scoring; Casey Cizekas (9-19-28) and Matt Donovan (4-18-22).

The Phantoms lead the season series two games to one.

Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators) - Adirondack will try to solve the Mike McKenna and Senators puzzle on Sunday at the Broome County Veterans Memorial. The Phantoms are a frustrating 0-5 against the B-Sens this year thanks to the stellar netminding of McKenna against Adirondack. The St. Lawrence University product who is engaged to a woman from Queensbury has notched all five wins against Adirondack.

McKenna stands at 10-12-0 overall, with half his wins coming against the Phantoms, with a 2.87 goals against average and .919 saves percentage. McKenna played last year with the Albany Devils and the year before that with the Norfolk Admirals.

Former New York Islander Mark Parrish is the team's captain and previously held the spot as the team's top scorer but he has been sidelined with injury for the past few weeks. Reigning league MVP Corey Locke returned last month after missing several weeks and now has 23 points, including 20 assists, in just 21 games. The veteran just continues to set up his teammates.

One of those teammates is Rob Klinkhammer who has five of his team-leading 13 goals against the Phantoms including a hat trick in Glens Falls earlier this season. Pat Cannone out of Miami (Ohio) is their top rookie with nine goals and 22 points.

The Senators are still in the cellar of the Eastern Conference with only 34 points at 16-24-2 and are currently suffering through a four game losing streak. Binghamton is 23rd in the AHL (out of 30) in offense at 2.57 goals per game and are 26th in defense at 3.12 allowed.

A solid chunk of their goals have come on the power play where they place 10th in the AHL at 19.1%. Their penalty kill is 26th at 78.2%.


January 12 - Erik Gustafsson (D) Recalled to Philadelphia from loan to Adirondack
January 12 - Matt Walker (D) Loaned by Philadelphia to Adirondack

Phantoms Day-by-Day

Tuesday, January 17 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)
Wednesday, January 18 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)
Thursday, January 19 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)
Friday, January 20 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Game vs. Albany (7:00pm)
Saturday, January 21 - Practice at GFCC (10:30am). Game vs. Bridgeport (7:00pm).
Sunday, January 22 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Bus to Binghamton (12:00pm). Game (5:00)
Monday, January 23 - Day off
Tuesday, January 24 - Practice at Glens Falls Rec Center, Fire Road (10:00am). Bus to Manchester.
Wednesday, January 25 - Practice at Manchester (11:00am). Game at Manchester (7:00pm)

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.

Wednesday, January 25, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Manchester Monarchs

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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