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Leighton Outduels McKenna in Wild and Incredible Shootout Win

February 25, 2012

Michael Leighton and Mike McKenna have put on some incredible shows before. But this one certainly had to rate as one of the best for both of the experienced goaltenders. After a combined 94 blasts at the diving, scrambling, lunging netminders, the Phantoms eventually persevered with a wild 2-1 shootout victory at the Binghamton Senators on Saturday night.

Rob Bordson scored late in the first period in just his second game back with the team, and then tallied the clincher in the fourth round of the shootout. Michael Leighton turned in an incredible 41 save performance for the win.

Mike McKenna, who has been the curse of the Phantoms at times this season, was incredible again. A 50 save effort would not be enough for the win this time however as Adirondack finally knocked off the St. Lawrence University product who has area ties with his engagement to a woman from Queensbury.

Joe Paterson said before the game that he has told his team to shoot more. And evidently the players heard him loud and clear. A 52-shot attack including a seemingly endless 29-shot peppering in just the first period awaited Mike McKenna from the inspired Phantoms attack.

The game featured lots of run-and-gun, a virtual game of shimmy in the overtime with both teams rushing back and forth with odd-man opportunities, and some other close calls and missed opportunities that left the crowd of 4,000+ at the Broome County Veterans Memorial breathless time-and-time again.

But in the end, it was the incredible saves made by Leighton and McKenna in a 65-minute show of "Can You Top That?" that left the fans rubbing their eyes in disbelief. And the answer to that question after every near-miraculous stop seemed to be another resounding Yes.

Adirondack could not have done anything more to break the game wide open at the start. An amazing 29 shot opening period had McKenna making one incredible save after another as he kept the Phantoms out of the net throughout almost the entire 20 minute nonstop puck-barrage.

But Rob Bordson picked up a loose puck on the left side of the crease and was able to push it around McKenna who was tangled in a couple of bodies. The Duluth, Minnesota native's goal with less than 8 seconds left in the period on the team's 29th shot gave Adirondack the 1-0 lead.

Bourdson played in 61 games with the Phantoms last year and scored seven goals after coming over to Adirondack from Syracuse in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks organization in November. This season, Bourdson was the leading scorer with Trenton of the ECHL with 17 goals but he also played eight games with Rochester in December on a player tryout contract.

Adirondack scooped him up last week and signed him to a standard contract and the hard-working player scored the team's lone goal in regulation tonight and then the clincher in the shootout. He also won a vast majority of has faceoffs including several key draws throughout the night.

The 29 shots in a period are the most in the AHL this season and also are the most ever for the Adirondack Phantoms. The last time an AHL team had more shots in a period was in the 2006-07 season when the Hartford Wolfpack had a 30 shot effort in January.

The Phantoms also had the previous AHL high this year for shots in a period with their 25 shot effort a month ago against Bridgeport.

Adirondack would also blast shots of the post on at least three different occasions. Shane Harper rocketed a blast off the iron in the first period, Tyler Brown did the same in the second period, and then Harper again in the third on a shot that may have been deflected en route by Harry Zolnierczyk.

Binghamton would come back to tie the score midway through the second period. Rob Klinkhammer's drive from the left circle was kicked out by Leighton, but Derek Grant was there for the rebound as he got a half-step in front of his former college teammate at Michigan State, Andrew Rowe to get to the opportunity first.

A wild overtime saw lots of dangling and odd-man rush opportunities on both ends. Derek Grant had one Binghamton's best chances to win it in the extra period but he rifled his shot high over the right shoulder of Leighton and missed the cage.

Adirondack raced out on a long pass to Rob Bordson up the right wing who perfectly centered to Zolnierczyk in the slot. But Harry Z's point-blank opportunity with 15 seconds left in the overtime was blocked by McKenna for another tremendous save and on the game went to the shootout where the Phantoms would pull out the win....with Leighton making saves on all four he faced of course, including a couple nice ones.

Adirondack was without Marc-Andre Bourdon and Garrett Roe who were both out with the flu. Jason Bacashihua was a scratch from the lineup with his upper-body injury sustained in practice Friday morning. Notre Dame product Brad Phillips was called up from Trenton to serve as Leighton's backup. Other scratches for the Phantoms included Blake Kessel, Mike Testwuide and Oskars Bartulis.

Adirondack completed their four-game road-trip with a 2-2 mark and will finish their three-game All-New York weekend Sunday at 3:00 against Syracuse. The first 3,000 fans in attendance receive a Phantoms receive a team poster presented by Glens Falls Printing and the entire team will appear in Heritage Hall for a post-game autograph session.

Upcoming Events

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).

Monday, February 27, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE at McGinny's. Special Guests, Riley Cote and Harry Zolnierczyk

Friday, March 2, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Providence Bruins

Saturday, March 3, 5:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Sunday, March 4, 3:00 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Adirondack Phantoms. Dax's Kids Club game and post-game open-skate with the Phantoms players. Sunday Family 3-Pack.

Ge your Adirondack O'Phantoms T-Shirts! Two tickets for any game in March plus a St. Patrick's Day O'Phantoms logo T-Shirt all for only $30.

The Northway 2-Pack is on sale now. Get 2 tickets for 2 games between the Phantoms and the Albany Devils on March 10 and April 6 PLUS a player autograph stick all for only $65. Call the Phantoms to order yours! (518) 480-3355

Adirondack Phantoms 2 (SO) at Binghamton Senators 1 - Status: Final SO
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena

Adirondack 1 0 0 0 - 2
Binghamton 0 1 0 0 - 1

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Bordson 1 (Jancevski, Harper), 19:52. Penalties-Cannone Bng (slashing), 5:30; Walker Adk (cross-checking), 8:23; Bartlett Bng (roughing), 8:23; Borowiecki Bng (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:23; Lauridsen Adk (cross-checking, roughing), 16:56; Conboy Bng (roughing), 16:56.

2nd Period-2, Binghamton, Grant 6 (Klinkhammer, Hamilton), 7:56. Penalties-Borowiecki Bng (high-sticking), 17:30.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Locke Bng (high-sticking), 1:50; Jancevski Adk (interference), 18:48.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout - Adirondack 2 (Akeson NG, Hamel G, Ford NG, Bordson G), Binghamton 0 (Hoffman NG, Cannone NG, Downing NG, Petersson NG).
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 29-11-6-5-1-52. Binghamton 14-9-12-7-0-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 4; Binghamton 0 / 2.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 17-20-0 (42 shots-41 saves). Binghamton, McKenna 13-16-1 (51 shots-50 saves).
Referees-Matt Kirk (66).
Linesmen-Andy Petrus (26), Brian Lemon (25).




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