The way the Phantoms were playing, especially
in the first period, one would have easily thought
the Phantoms would be the team to pull away with
a big victory. 25 shots on goal in the first and
53 shots in the game for an offense that was really
clicking and seemed in good shape. But Bridgeport
was able to notch some key goals on their counter-attacks
while Kevin Poulin made 51 saves on his end allowing
the visiting Sound Tigers to come out with a surprising
Tom Sestito (9th) and Harry Zolnierczyk (6th)
scored the goals for Adirondack. For "Harry
Z", it was his first game at the Glens Falls
Civic Center since October 29 after playing his
last 34 games with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Phantoms equaled the most shots in a period
of any AHL team this year with their 25 blasts
in the opening period. Portland also had a 25
shot period in November. And their 53 shots in
the game were the second most in the AHL this
season only to Wilkes-Barre's 54 shot attack in
November. But the young Bridgeport goaltender,
Poulin, was very good and occasionally tremendous
in thwarting the constant rushes of the Adirondack
Phantoms and earning #1 Star of the Game honors.
The Sound Tigers continued their incredible turnaround
and extended their point-streak to 10 games since
the beginning of the new year. Bridgeport is the
hottest team in the league at 9-0-1 in January
after a dismal 2-10 record in December and they
have gone from worst to first in the Northeast
Division. Connecticut lost in overtime to Wilkes-Barre
to extend their equally surprising losing streak
to 10 games at 0-5-5 thus allowing Bridgeport
to move into a first-place tie with the Whale
in the tight Northeast Division race.
The Phantoms, in the meanwhile, stayed tied for
third in the division with Albany who lost and
they remain within close striking distance of
the two teams at the top. Adirondack with 44 points
at 21-20-2 trails the division leading Sound Tigers
and Whale by only three points.
Poulin almost seemed to have some extra limbs
on some of his miraculous saves of the 24 total
stops in the opening frame. Tom Sestito took a
Mike Testwuide pass on a quick rush into the zone
and quickly moved it to his backhand for a superior
angle on Poulin to give the Phantoms the 1-0 lead
late in the first period.
It felt like the Phantoms were ready to bust the
game open at that point as they kept coming and
coming at the Bridgeport net. But the Sound Tigers
were able to keep it close and then eventually
countered with 1:07 left in the first period when
an Aaron Ness shot would be neatly redirected
over the right shoulder of Michael Leighton by
Justin DiBenedetto to tie the score at 1-1.
Bridgeport's adjustments in the first period appeared
to make the difference while Adirondack got called
for a couple key penalties early in the second
including a tripping call against Zolnierczyk
which the Phantoms took issue with. The Sound
Tigers scored back-to-back power play goals on
strikes by Jeremy Colliton and Jon Landry in opening
up a 3-1 advantage less than five minutes into
The score would remain 3-1 for the rest of the
second period and the continually escalating chippiness
and nastiness would come to a boil at the final
buzzer with Ben Holmstrom dropping the gloves
with Kael Mouillierat of Bridgeport with Michael
Haley of the Sound Tigers jumping in as a third
man and taking a penalty.
Everything seemed all lined up for the Phantoms'
to begin their comeback with the full power play
to begin the third as they hoped to cut into the
Sound Tigers' 3-1 lead. But it would be rookie
Casey Cizikas poking away a puck at the Adirondack
line springing Trevor Frischmon on a quick shorthanded
breakaway which he would convert to stun the Phantoms
and the crowd.
Harry Zolnierczyk quickly got it back right after
the power play had ended on a nice give across
the slot by Mike Testwuide and just two minutes
into the third, it was a two goal game again at
But another breakaway, this one from Tyler McNeely,
would allow the Sound Tigers to open a 5-2 lead
at the six minute mark of the third. And Casey
Cizikas would poke in a rebound a few minutes
later for the last score of the night.
Michael Leighton went the distance for the Phantoms
in a gutty performance on the tough night in what
could be his last game before heading to Atlantic
City for the AHL All-Star Classic on Monday.
Bridgeport took a three games to two lead in the
season series with the win. Adirondack dominated
the shots on goal department 53-35 and have now
outshot their opponents in nine of the last ten
Bridgeport went 3-for-7 on the power play while
the Phantoms were 1-for-3. Bridgeport and Adirondack
meet one more time in 2011-12, in Bridgeport at
Webster Bank Arena on February 18.
Scratches for the Phantoms included Garrett Klotz,
Matt Walker and Cullen Eddy.
The Phantoms have one more game before the All-Star
Break. Adirondack travels to Albany for a Saturday
game at 5:00 against the Devils in the continuation
of the Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry. The Phantoms
lead their Northway rivals three games to two
thus far in the season series but are seeking
their first win in the Times Union Center.
Adirondack's next home games are next Friday and
Saturday against Norfolk and Providence back-to-back.
The Saturday, February 4 game vs. the Providence
Bruins is Jimmer Fredette bobblehead night for
the first 3,000 fans.
Saturday, January 28, 5:00 - Adirondack Phantoms
at Albany Devils
Monday, January 30 - No Phantoms Power Hour Show.
Monday, January 30, 7:00 - AHL All-Star Classic
from Atlantic City. On NHL Network and LookTV-8
in Glens Falls.
Friday, February 3, 7:00 - Norfolk Admirals at
Adirondack Phantoms. $2 draft beers.
Saturday, February 4, 7:00 - Providence Bruins
at Adirondack Phantoms. Jimmer Fredette Bobbleheads
(first 3,000 fans)
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
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
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 6 at Adirondack Phantoms
2 - Status: Final
Friday, January 27, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center
Bridgeport 1 2 3 - 6
Adirondack 1 0 1 - 2
1st Period-1, Adirondack, Sestito 9 (Akeson,
Holmstrom), 14:34 (PP). 2, Bridgeport, DiBenedetto
10 (Ness, Oleksy), 18:53. Penalties-Howes Bri
(hooking), 5:09; Akeson Adk (tripping), 6:14;
Roe Adk (hooking), 11:39; Colliton Bri (hooking),
12:17; Wishart Bri (slashing), 13:33; Landry Bri
2nd Period-3, Bridgeport, Colliton 8 (Rakhshani,
Cizikas), 1:24 (PP). 4, Bridgeport, Landry 1 (Wishart,
DiBenedetto), 4:53 (PP). Penalties-Testwuide Adk
(goaltender interference), 0:47; Zolnierczyk Adk
(tripping), 3:58; Oleksy Bri (roughing), 13:29;
Haley Bri (roughing), 20:00; Mouillierat Bri (fighting),
20:00; Holmstrom Adk (fighting), 20:00.
3rd Period-5, Bridgeport, Frischmon 5 (Cizikas),
1:02 (SH). 6, Adirondack, Zolnierczyk 6 (Testwuide,
Wellwood), 2:11. 7, Bridgeport, McNeely 5 6:08.
8, Bridgeport, Cizikas 13 (Oleksy), 12:54. Penalties-Akeson
Adk (roughing), 13:52; Howes Bri (fighting), 15:33;
Manning Adk (fighting), 15:33; Rakhshani Bri (tripping),
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 12-11-13-36. Adirondack
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 2 / 5; Adirondack
1 / 7.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Poulin 12-12-1 (53 shots-51
saves). Adirondack, Leighton 14-16-0 (36 shots-30
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Frank Murphy (29).