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
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
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
Just 20 seconds later, Brandon DeFazio benefited
from an interception in the Adirondack zone and
scored the eventual game-winner over the shoulder
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
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.
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
Sunday, March 11, 3:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at
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
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),
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
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
Referees-Tim Mayer (19), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Mike Emanatian (69).