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Another 2-for-3 Weekend for Phantoms

March 4, 2012

They were "that close" to an Adirondack Phantoms record five-game win streak. But Wilkes-Barre/Scranton turned the tables on the Phantoms with back-to-back goals in the third period to eek out a 3-2 victory at the Glens Falls Civic Center Sunday afternoon as Adirondack closed their third consecutive 2-for-3 weekend. Adirondack was playing their third game in three days against a Penguins team who had not played since last Sunday.

Matt Ford scored two more goals for Adirondack to give the Phantoms a 2-1 lead at the end of two. The 27-year-old from West Hills, CA had scored the overtime game-winner against Albany on Saturday night and now has nine goals in just 13 games since joining the team on February 3 in a trade for Kevin Marshall. He has 19 goals total on the season having accumulated 10 with the Hershey Bears prior to the trade.

Adirondack has not made a habit of surrendering late leads. The Phantoms carried a record of 19-1-1 when leading after two which is one of the best marks in the league. But this time, the best road-team in the AHL was able to pull it out in their lone visit this season to the North Country.

Michael Leighton was again terrific in goal for the Phantoms. Playing in his third consecutive game, he made a fantastic kick-save with the left leg to deny Wilkes-Barre's top goal scorer, Brian Lerg, on a shorthanded breakaway at the end of the second period.

With just 18 games remaining in the regular season, the Phantoms are only two points back of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference on the strength of six wins in their last nine games and points in seven of their most recent 10. The Phantoms have 59 points and are right on the heels of the Manchester Monarchs and Worcester Sharks who both have 61 points. All three are leading the pack of several involved in a multi-team jam in the standings that is sure to be battled down to the wire for the coveted Calder Cup post-season invites.

Oliver Lauridsen carried the puck across the neutral zone and got a hard shot off Scott Munroe that deflected into the corner. The big rookie defenseman from Denmark followed the rebound of his shot and quickly got to it for another rapid fire from the long, sharp angle that Munroe had a tough time handling. Ford got to the puck first and was able to knock in his first of the day to give the Phantoms the 1-0 lead at the end of one. Lauridsen had a pair of assists on the weekend, the first of his pro career.

The 6'6" Lauridsen would draw another ovation later in the game when he tracked down former Adirondack Phantom Joey Mormina following a high hit on Garrett Roe. Lauridsen tracked down the fellow big-blueliner and dealt out the punishment for retribution on the penalty. In stepping up for the fellow St. Cloud State product, Lauridsen was able to get in a number of punches while Mormina was down on the ice and pinned. Both Lauridsen and Mormina were assessed five-minute fighting majors.

Wilkes-Barre's Ben Street found a puck on a scramble in the slot and pushed a backhander past the right skate of Leighton in the second period for a Penguins power play goal tying the score at 1-1.

But four minutes later, Garrett Roe and Matt Ford would work a nifty give-and-go with Roe drawing the defenders to him and then quickly finding a wide-open Ford in the slot who was able to snap his second of the game over the shoulder of Munroe for the 2-1 Phantoms lead.

Garrett Roe assisted on both Adirondack goals on the night on his way to #2 Star of the Game honors. The rookie out of St. Cloud State in Minnesota has 25 assists this season, second on the team only to Jason Akeson's 33.

Adirondack would hang onto the lead for much of the third period but the pesky Penguins would keep charging forward and putting on the pressure. Rookie Paul Thompson somehow knocked it an almost-covered puck in the blue paint through a mess of bodies tying the game at 2-2 with less than seven minutes remaining.

Just 20 seconds later, Brandon DeFazio benefited from an interception in the Adirondack zone and scored the eventual game-winner over the shoulder of Leighton.

Adirondack had a few more rushes at former Philadelphia Phantoms goalie Scott Munroe on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton end but, unlike the game before in Albany, were not able to acquire the late equalizer this time.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot the Phantoms 32-29. The Penguins were 1-for-5 on the power play while Adirondack went 0-for-4.

The Sunday afternoon contest was packed with youngsters on Dax's Kids Club Day. And Scooby Doo was in the front-lobby posing for photos and meeting with kids on the big day. Fans and players met up on the ice after the game for an Open Skate with the Phantoms presented by Glens Falls Hospital.

Scratches for the Phantoms included Marc-Andre Bourdon, Garrett Klotz, Ben Holmstrom and Oskars Bartulis. Adirondack was also without Eric Wellwood and Erik Gustafsson who have both been recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers for another stint with the big club.

Adirondack makes their lone visit to Wilkes-Barre on Friday, March 23 to conclude the abbreviated season series.

The Phantoms have back-to-back home games next weekend for the first time since February 3-4. They square-off against the top team in the league on Friday. The Norfolk Admirals carry a 12-game win streak and the AHL's best record into their upcoming showdown. Next Saturday night, the Phantoms again battle the Albany Devils in round 8 of the 10-game Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry series currently led by the Phantoms 4-3.

Friday night's game features a post-game jersey auction live on the ice and also $2 draft-beer specials. Saturday is Faith and Family Night with a post-game concert with Isaiah 6. Call the Phantoms for tickets at (518) 480-3355.

Upcoming Events
Monday, March 5, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE from McGinny's on Q101.7. Chicken wings, burger specials, and good times! Special guests, Matt Ford and Denis Hamel.

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 6.

Sunday, March 11, 3:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Worcester Sharks

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.

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

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 at Adirondack Phantoms 2 - Status: Final

Sunday, March 4, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center

W-B/Scranton 0 1 2 - 3
Adirondack 1 1 0 - 2

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Ford 18 (Lauridsen, Roe), 14:40. Penalties-Walker Wbs (delay of game), 0:33.

2nd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Street 19 (Mormina, Despres), 3:40 (PP). 3, Adirondack, Ford 19 (Roe, Eddy), 7:53. Penalties-Manning Adk (hooking), 1:45; Jancevski Adk (delay of game), 9:18; Mormina Wbs (charging, fighting), 11:00; Lauridsen Adk (fighting), 11:00; Hamel Adk (boarding), 14:07; Bortuzzo Wbs (kneeing), 19:36.

3rd Period-4, W-B/Scranton, Thompson 9 (Gibbons, Petersen), 13:11. 5, W-B/Scranton, DeFazio 9 (Sill, Walker), 13:31. Penalties-Testwuide Adk (charging), 2:14; Zolnierczyk Adk (tripping), 6:36; Walker Wbs (cross-checking), 7:21; Thompson Wbs (fighting), 16:10; Eddy Adk (fighting), 16:10.

Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 11-12-9-32. Adirondack 14-7-8-29.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1 / 5; Adirondack 0 / 4.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Munroe 13-4-3 (29 shots-27 saves). Adirondack, Leighton 19-21-0 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (19), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Mike Emanatian (69).





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