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Manning with Gordie Howe Hat Trick

February 17, 2012

Rookie defenseman Brandon Manning lit up the Manchester Monarchs with a fight, a goal and an assist for the rare feat of a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" as the Adirondack Phantoms blasted their way to a 5-1 victory Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The game witnessed by 4,086 featured lots of big hits, three fights, and the 16th Adirondack home victory of the season which is tied for most in the AHL.

Adirondack pulled to within six points of 7th/8th place Worcester and Bridgeport for the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference heading into a key Northeast Division showdown game at the Sound Tigers down in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Saturday night.

Along with Manning's goal and fisticuffs, Cullen Eddy and Oliver Lauridsen both got into spirited scraps with different Manchester players to continually fire-up a loud and energized crowd.

Recently acquired Matt Ford paced the offense with a couple of goals. And Ben Holmstrom dished out three assists in the game while Harry Zolnierczyk had a couple in the balanced attack.

Shane Harper and Garrett Roe also both chipped in, scoring their 7th goals of the year for each.

Almost lost amidst all the scoring and fights and hitting was another stellar performance on the Adirondack end by goalie Jason Bacashihua who turned in a 31-save effort for his eighth win of the year just three days after his spectacular performance at Toronto on Valentine's Day in an overtime loss.

Brandon Manning would get the game off to a rockin' start with a fight less than two minutes in. Later, with five minutes left in the opening period, he would rocket home a slapshot on a 5-on-3 power-play to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead at the first break. It was the fourth goal of the season for the rookie blueliner out of Prince George, British Columbia.

Jason Bacashihua would make one of his fine saves early in the second period and Adirondack quickly transitioned off of that save into a rush in the other zone with Ben Holmstrom and Matt Ford. The drive by Ford was kicked away by Monarchs goalie Jeff Zatkoff but would take a fortuitous bounce into the slot as Ford had curled back there. The 27-year-old was able to wheel and shoot it home for his first of the night, second as a Phantom, and 12th overall of the season.

Matt Ford came to the Phantoms a couple weeks prior from the Hershey Bears in a trade for Kevin Marshall and has added some nice scoring punch on the right-wing side. He had a career-high 26 goals last season with Lake Erie and had scored 10 goals this year with the Hershey Bears prior to his acquisition by the Flyers organization.

Brandon Kozun would get racing in for the Monarchs on a long flip into the zone and would convert gong wide around Bacashihua for the only goal the Phantoms would allow on the night.

But shortly thereafter it would be Shane Harper capitalizing after Zolnierczyk went barging into the Manchester zone to throw in his body and win the puck in the corner. Harper's seventh of the season gave the Phantoms a 3-1 lead at the second break.

Adirondack entered the game with an impressive record of 16-1-1 in games in which they lead after two. And they removed all doubts of whether they would improve on that record early in the third as Garrett Roe and Matt Ford would score just 44 seconds apart in the opening three minutes of the period.

Garrett Roe's was nicely fed from behind the cage allowing the rookie out of St. Cloud State to slam in his seventh of the year on the left side of the slot.

Then it would be Matt Ford accepting a long feed forward from Denis Hamel that perfectly met him in the slot. Ford pushed the puck to his backhand to score around Zatkoff at 2:44 into the final period for the 5-1 lead which would go onto be the final.

The teams continued their big hitting and testiness for each other even in the closing minutes with the game mostly decided. Lauridsen dropped the gloves with Richard Clune of Manchester in an impressive fight stemming from an extended battle for the puck in the corner. Lauridsen got Clune tangled up in his jersey provoking the Monarchs agitator to throw it off and earning him a game misconduct while the crowd was perhaps at their noisiest and most raucous in a game filled with big moments.

Manchester outshot Adirondack 32-31 in the game. The Phantoms were 1-for-8 on the power play while the penalty-kill was solid holding the Monarchs to 0-for-6.

Adirondack improved to 23-24-3 overall this season and stands at 2-1 against Manchester with just one game remaining in the season rivalry, Sunday afternoon in New Hampshire.

Before the game, Adirondack received words that Erik Gustafsson was returning on loan from the Philadelphia Flyers, just one day after scoring his first NHL goal. Gustafsson was not in Glens Falls in time for the Friday night game but fans can expect him to be back in the Adirondack lineup for the first time since early January when the Phantoms hit the ice Saturday night at Bridgeport.

Andy Thomas and Tyler Hostetter were called up from Trenton of the ECHL to help fill the roster for Adirondack. Several Phantoms players were out for this one with various injuries including Oskars Bartulis and Blake Kessel as well as Matt Walker and Mike Testwuide.

Returning to the somewhat revolving lineup (lately) after missing Tuesday's game were Cullen Eddy, Matt Ford, Andrew Rowe and Tye McGinn.

Adirondack now hits the road for four straight including games at Bridgeport and Manchester on Saturday and Sunday.

Adirondack Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Merkosky was on-hand to drop the ceremonial first puck which was received by Denis Hamel. In December, Hamel passed Merkosky for 12th all-time on the AHL goal-scoring leaderboard when he notched his 316th career goal.

The South Glens Falls High Marathon Dance crew were on hand to perform before the game and during the intermissions. The annual marathon dance that has been ongoing for decades raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for area residents in need suffering from cancer and other illnesses. They hold their marathon dance n early March each year. They were also there to benefit from the Phantoms' 50/50 raffle and raise funds and more awareness for their great cause.

The Phantoms' next home game is next Sunday, February 26 against the Syracuse Crunch. Phantoms team posters will be given away to the first 3,000 fans courtesy of Glens Falls Printing and a post-game autograph session will follow the contest. Fans can take advantage of the great value of the Sunday Family 3-Pack featuring 3 tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3 sodas, 1 hot dog and 1 program all for only $39. Call the Phantoms to find out more at 518-480-3355.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, February 18, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Sunday, February 19, 3:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Manchester Monarchs

Monday, February 20, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE from McGinny's. Jason Bacashihua and Harry Zolnierczyk.

Friday, February 24, 7:30 - Adirondack Phantoms at Rochester Americans

Saturday, February 25, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Binghamton Senators

Sunday, February 26, 3:00 - Syracuse Crunch at Adirondack Phantoms. Phantoms Poster Giveaway for first 3,000 fans courtesy of Glens Falls Printing. Post-Game Autograph Session with the Phantoms players. Sunday Family 3-Pack ($39 for 3 tickets, 3 sodas, 3 hot dogs, 1 large popcorn and 1 program).

The Phantoms Northway 2-Pack is on sale now! Get 2 tickets to each of the the Phantoms' upcoming rivalry games vs. Albany on March 10 and April 6 PLUS a player autographed stick. The cost of the whole package is only $65.

Adirondack O'Phantoms T-Shirts are available now! Get two tickets to any Phantoms game in March PLUS a St. Patrick's Day themed green t-shirt with an O'Phantoms logo all for only $30. Call the Phantoms to order yours at 518-480-3355.

Manchester Monarchs 1 at Adirondack Phantoms 5 - Status: Final
Friday, February 17, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Manchester 0 1 0 - 1
Adirondack 1 2 2 - 5

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Manning 4 (Akeson, Holmstrom), 15:51 (PP). Penalties-Hudson Mch (fighting), 1:53; Manning Adk (fighting), 1:53; Hill Mch (holding), 12:47; Roe Adk (high-sticking), 12:47; Campbell Mch (slashing), 14:39; Voynov Mch (holding), 15:10; Campbell Mch (fighting), 16:53; Legein Mch (roughing), 16:53; Eddy Adk (fighting), 16:53; Roe Adk (roughing), 16:53.

2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Ford 12 (Holmstrom), 0:48. 3, Manchester, Kozun 14 (Hill), 11:09. 4, Adirondack, Harper 7 (Roe, Zolnierczyk), 16:00. Penalties-Harper Adk (slashing), 1:32; Thomas Adk (cross-checking), 5:19; Holmstrom Adk (roughing), 7:28; Vey Mch (hooking), 8:29; Brown Adk (hooking), 16:23; Clune Mch (roughing), 18:57; Eddy Adk (roughing), 18:57; Hill Mch (hooking), 19:32.

3rd Period-5, Adirondack, Roe 7 (Zolnierczyk), 2:00. 6, Adirondack, Ford 13 (Holmstrom, Manning), 2:44. Penalties-Eddy Adk (delay of game), 4:18; Czarnik Mch (holding the stick), 5:57; Campbell Mch (high-sticking), 6:04; Clune Mch (roughing, fighting, game misconduct - jersey), 10:38; Lauridsen Adk (fighting), 10:38; Deslauriers Mch (cross-checking), 17:14; Zolnierczyk Adk (slashing), 17:29.

Shots on Goal-Manchester 8-11-13-32. Adirondack 12-14-5-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 6; Adirondack 1 / 8.
Goalies-Manchester, Zatkoff 15-11-1 (28 shots-23 saves); Jones 13-13-1 (3 shots-3 saves). Adirondack, Bacashihua 8-7-1 (32 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46), Chris Cozzan (18).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Steeve Lemay (64).



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