This time the Phantoms used some extremely exciting
late drama to get the job done. And the boys are
finding the right time of the season to get hot
as they continue their push for an AHL playoff
spot with now just 19 games remaining in the regular
Matt Ford's seventh goal since joining the Phantoms
was an overtime winner at the Albany Devils Saturday
night to cap a come-from-behind 3-2 win at their
Northway rivals while extending the team's winning
streak to four games in a row.
Shane Harper had tied the game with seven minutes
left in the third period to give the Phantoms
the opportunity to pull out the exciting road
victory. Michael Leighton made some more fantastic
saves for the Phantoms in out-dueling Albany rookie
Keith Kinkaid for the decision. Featured among
his stops was an overtime kick-save with the right
leg to deny a shooter on the backdoor on what
at first look seemed certain to be the overtime
game-winner for the Devils.
Leighton was again returning to a building where
he had plenty of success before, having won AHL
Goalie of the Year honors in 2007-08 as the goaltender
for the Albany River Rats.
The Phantoms had to grind out this one without
the services of some of their key players. Eric
Wellwood was recalled by Philadelphia and Erik
Gustafsson was on his way to the team presumably
for a recall as well. And the team's captain,
Ben Holmstrom, missed his second game with injury.
But head coach Joe Paterson has frequently spoken
of guys successfully stepping in and fulfilling
those roles and his team was able to pull out
a hard win over a good Albany squad that had won
eight of their last 11 entering the night's action.
The win vaults the Phantoms past three teams in
the Eastern Conference standings in just one night
and leaves them just two points out of eighth
place and the Calder Cup P invitation that comes
with that position.
It was Adirondack's fifth overtime win this season,
but their first on the road. However, the noise
of the Phantoms fans who traveled down to invade
the arena of the Time Warner Cable Cup rivals
could be heard roaring throughout the building
as if it were a home game.
Matt Ford joins a growing list of Phantoms with
overtime winning goals this season. Shane Harper,
Mike Testwuide, Ben Holmstrom and Jon Kalinski
have all notched extra-session game-winners for
the Black and Orange. Ford's overtime goal was
the first for Adirondack since the Outdoor Classic
thriller that Harper scored on January 6 against
the Hershey Bears in front of over 45,000 fans
The Phantoms improved to 5-2 in overtime games
this year with three of those wins coming against
the Albany Devils. This was Adirondack's first
overtime win in an away game. It was also Adirondack's
first win this season at the Times Union Center
and gives the Phantoms the lead in the Time Warner
Cable Cup Series four games to three with still
three games remaining in the 2011-12 area rivalry.
The Phantoms now have seven points in their last
nine games and also have won four of their last
five away contests to culminate a difficult stretch
in which the team played nine out of 11 away from
the Glens Falls Civic Center. Adirondack survived
and ended up thriving in perhaps the most difficult
portion of the schedule as they now enter a three-game
home stand back in the North Country.
Nathan Perkovich gave the Devils a 1-0 lead in
the first period as he pounced on a rebound of
a Kory Nagy shot.
Adirondack tied the score early in the second
period as Harry Zolnierczyk chopped down a puck
in the corner and dished to Shane Harper who deked
out a defenseman on his way to the slot and then
shot low and across the grain on Kinkaid for the
tying tally. Harper was cutting through from left
to right and got Kinkaid to move with him and
then shot back off the base of the left-wing post
and in for his 10th of the year.
A few minutes later, Eric Gelinas would put the
Devils back in the lead with a monster slapshot
from center point blasted off the underside of
the crossbar. Albany led 2-1 at the second intermission.
Adirondack was given a power play opportunity
in the third period and with less than 7:00 left
in regulation, the Phantoms would rush in for
the tying goal. A clear down by Albany had the
Phantoms starting back in their own end. Jason
Akeson accepted the give from Michael Leighton
and hustled back up ice and then saw a speeding
Zolnierczyk up the left-wing wall. Akeson's long
pass hit Zolnierczyk perfectly on the tape and
he cruised ahead of the Albany defender along
the board to blast a high slapshot off Kinkaid's
shoulder. The drive handcuffed the Devils netminder
allowing Harper to get in there and win the race
for the puck shortly before he would go flying
over the sprawled Albany goalie.
Harper's second goal of the game and 11th of the
season tied the score at 2-2 with 6:47 remaining.
Onto overtime the game would go with Adirondack
carrying a minute of carry-over power play time
from a Devils penalty late in the third period.
It looked like Denis Hamel was about to give the
Phantoms the win, but his big one-timer from the
right circle found the pipe and bounced out.
Then it was Albany's turn to go on the overtime
power play after a Matt Ford slashing penalty
in the offensive zone. A cross-ice feed towards
Joe Whitney on the left-wing looked like it was
going to end matters again but Leighton responded
more quickly than anyone in the Times Union Center
expected and somehow came through with the big
kick save over to his right to keep the game tied.
Matt Ford sprung out of the penalty box and was
met right o the tape by Garrett Roe. Ford dropped
to his trailer, Brandon Manning, who got it back
to Ford to score the overtime winner through Kinkaid
from the right circle.
The Phantoms' four-game win streak equals the
team's longest this season. Adirondack also won
four in a row from November 25 through December
Adirondack returns home on Sunday afternoon for
the first of three straight at the Glens Falls
Civic Center. Sunday's 3:00 contest against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
is Dax's Kids Club Day featuring an appearance
by Scooby Doo. Fans can take advantage of the
tremendous value offered in the Sunday Family
3-Pack for only $39; 3 tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3
sodas, 1 large popcorn and 1 program. Call the
Phantoms to purchase yours at 518-480-3355
Sunday, March 4, 3:00 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Penguins at Adirondack Phantoms. Scooby Doo appearing
at Dax's Kids Club game and post-game open-skate
with the Phantoms players presented by Glens Falls
Hospital. Sunday Family 3-Pack for only $39: 3
tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3 sodas, 1 large popcorn
and 1 program.
Friday, March 9, 7:00 - Norfolk Admirals at Adirondack
Phantoms. $2 draft beer specials. Live post-game
auction for Phantoms' game-worn white jerseys.
Saturday, March 10, 7:00 - Albany Devils at Adirondack
Phantoms. Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry. Faith
and Family Night. Post-game concert with Isaiah
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
Get 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
Follow the Phantoms at facebook.com/ADKhockey
and on twitter @phantomshockey
Adirondack Phantoms 3 (OT) at Albany Devils 2
- Status: Final OT
Saturday, March 3, 2012 - Times Union Center
Adirondack 0 1 1 1 - 3
Albany 1 1 0 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Albany, Perkovich 9 (Nagy, Harrold),
5:44. Penalties-Whitney Alb (holding), 7:03; Zharkov
Alb (holding), 10:58; Eddy Adk (slashing), 17:19.
2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Harper 10 (Zolnierczyk,
Bordson), 6:08. 3, Albany, Gelinas 13 (Perkovich,
Berube), 13:33. Penalties-Kessel Adk (hooking),
3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Harper 11 (Zolnierczyk,
Akeson), 13:13 (PP). Penalties-Lauridsen Adk (high-sticking),
9:35; Manning Adk (misconduct - unsportsmanlike
conduct), 9:35; Zajac Alb (interference), 11:43;
Testwuide Adk (roughing), 12:06; Kelly Alb (roughing),
12:06; Zalewski Alb (high-sticking), 13:57; Gelinas
Alb (cross-checking), 19:00.
OT Period-5, Adirondack, Ford 17 (Manning, Roe),
3:24. Penalties-Ford Adk (slashing), 1:13.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 10-7-14-3-34. Albany
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 1 / 5; Albany
0 / 4.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 19-20-0 (32 shots-30
saves). Albany, Kinkaid 15-15-1 (34 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Francis Charron (46), Dave Lewis (16).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Mike Emanatian (69).