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Phantoms Blast Rivals Before SRO Crowd

March 10, 2012

Boosted by a jam-packed, standing room only crowd of 5,163, the Adirondack Phantoms rewarded the loud and large turnout with an intense and exciting performance on their way to a 4-3 victory over the Albany Devils on Saturday night.

The crowd is the third largest in Adirondack Phantoms history, is the fourth time the Adirondack Phantoms have broken the 5,000 mark, and is the eighth sellout (4,806 or more) all-time for the team. It was the largest crowd in two years for the Adirondack Phantoms. Many in the large crowd stuck around after the game to enjoy a concert by Isaiah 6.

Oliver Lauridsen was the surprising offensive leader for the Phantoms. The big rookie defenseman from Denmark scored two goals, just the second and third of his career. The previous weekend, he picked up the first two assists of his pro career and he continued on that confidence by driving more pucks at the net. Shane Harper notched his 12th of the season while veteran Denis Hamel picked up his team-leading 18th of the year and second of the weekend.

Michael Leighton again was a show-stealer for the Phantoms. In the second period, he dashed quickly to his left to make a spectacular glove save reaching up with his arm almost over and behind his head while he was moving down. One of the best saves any of the fans in the building had ever seen drew an extended standing ovation from the large contingent coming in the midst of the intense battle while Adirondack was still clinging to a 2-1 lead.

It was a moment Phantoms fans will be sure to talk about and remember as one of the great plays all-time in Adirondack Phantoms' history.

The Phantoms gained valuable points in the squeaky-tight Eastern Conference race and now stand just three points behind the Albany Devils for the eighth place spot in the standings for a playoff spot. 16 games remain in the regular season for Adirondack.

The large crowd on Faith and Family Night were wild and excited throughout for the intense and entertaining show displayed by the two teams. They got the wave going early in the game, rose to their feet for several terrific plays, and in the end gave their approval of the hard-earned victory.

Matt Anderson scored two minutes into the game for the initial 1-0 lead for the Albany Devils.

But Adirondack would bounce back a few minutes later. Oliver Lauridsen's first goal of the night came on a drive from the left point through traffic that found it's way past Jeff Frazee to tie the game. Less than two minutes later, Matt Ford would push the puck onto Frazee and the rebound came out to Hamel on the base of the right-wing circle for a sharp-angle power play goal vaulting the Phantoms into the 2-1 advantage.

Adirondack was charged with multiple penalties late in the first period and Albany was awarded a full two-minute 5-on-3. The Phantoms penalty-kill was able to battle and scramble their way through it to preserve the advantage. Eric Gelinas cranked a slapper off the pipe and the Devils had other close calls.

Late in the advantage, Matt Ford's stick shattered on a blocked shot. A few seconds later, he was able to dive down to the ice to grab a briefly loose puck between the circles and bat it down the ice with his left hand to a raucous ovation from the fans clearly approving of the ingenuity and hustle of the play.

Early in the second period, Adirondack would be awarded their own 5-on-3 but would be unable to score as well. Matthew Corrente raced out of the Albany penalty-box to make it 5-on-4 and was hit on the tape with a long pass for a shorthanded breakaway. He was awarded a penalty shot after being bumped down by Jason Akeson but Leighton denied him on the try to again keep the lead at 2-1.

A few minutes later, it was the cross-ice feed that Leighton somehow robbed while raising his arm almost back behind his head for another standing ovation moment almost blowing the roof off the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Shane Harper connected with Harry Zolnierczyk on a give-and-go up the left-wing on the power play with Zolnierczyk in the corner getting it back to Harper speeding past the D and making a straight-line for the goal. The pretty assist set up Harper's 12th goal of the year to make it 3-1. It was also strikingly reminiscent of a goal the same two players had hooked up for in Albany the previous Saturday.

Denis Hamel led an odd-man rush into the zone. Stopping in the right-wing corner, he saw that Matt Ford was covered in the middle so he opted to wait for Oliver Lauridsen to open up across the ice at the top of the left-wing circle. Hamel rifled it across perfectly and Lauridsen's shot trickled through Frazee who was unable to get all of it. Lauridsen stomped his feet and reveled in the excitement as the large crowd roared for the back-to-back tallies.

The goals just 27 seconds apart pushed Adirondack to a 4-1 lead at the end of two periods.

Late in the second period, Ben Holmstrom of Adirondack and Tim Sestito of Albany (older brother of Adirondack's Tom Sestito) would start to get into a fight well behind the play and away from the puck. Dan Kelly of Albany jumped into the scrap as well leaving Holmstrom trying to hold off two Devils at once. Shane Harper rushed the length of the ice to defend his team's captain and jump Kelly.

Both Kelly and Harper were given the rest of the night off with game-misconducts after the scrap.

Adirondack continued to block shots and get it done in the third period. But with less than five minutes remaining, Nathan Perkovich snuck a shot through to close the score to 4-2. Steve Zalewski somehow forced in a puck in a big scramble in the slot to make it 4-3 but when he did so there were only 16 seconds remaining and not enough time left for Albany to threaten again or get the equalizer.

Albany outshot Adirondack 34-32. The Phantoms were 2-for-6 on the power play while holding Albany to 0-4 as special teams were a big key to the team's victory.

Adirondack leads the Time Warner Cable Cup Series 5 games to 3 with just two games remaining. One more Adirondack victory over Albany will clinch the Cup for the second season in a row for the boys from the North Country. The Phantoms host Albany again on Friday, April 6 and then travel to the Capital Region on Saturday, April 7 to close the season series.

With Albany currently clinging to the 8th place spot and the Phantoms just three points behind, the Time Warner Cable Cup might be the last thing on either teams' minds when they square off again in the late season battles that could likely have huge playoff implications.

Scratches for the Phantoms included Marc-Andre Bourdon, Oskars Bartulis, Luke Pither and Andrew Rowe.

The Phantoms have had three consecutive weekends winning two out of three games and will try to extend that weekend-success streak to four in their Sunday afternoon game at the Worcester Sharks. It is the first meeting of the year between the Phantoms and the Sharks and is another important four-point conference standings game for both teams lodged in the big playoff scramble.

Adirondack returns home on Wednesday night to take on the Syracuse Crunch on a $1 hot dog night as the team has a fun time celebrating National Potato Chip Day including a potato chip giveaway courtesy of Fitzgerald's.

Upcoming Events

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

Monday, March 12, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVe from McGinny's with special guest, Michael Leighton!

Wednesday, March 14, 7:00 - Syracuse Crunch at Adirondack Phantoms. $1 hot dogs. Season Ticket Holder Party after the game in Heritage Hall with the Phantoms players.

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

Albany Devils 3 at Adirondack Phantoms 4 - Status: Final
Saturday, March 10, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Albany 1 0 2 - 3
Adirondack 2 2 0 - 4

1st Period-1, Albany, Anderson 8 (Sislo), 1:52. 2, Adirondack, Lauridsen 2 (McGinn, Ford), 5:13. 3, Adirondack, Hamel 18 (Holmstrom, Ford), 6:40 (PP). Penalties-Hoeffel Alb (interference), 6:21; Sestito Alb (roughing), 16:11; served by McGinn Adk (roughing), 16:11; Akeson Adk (roughing), 16:11; Hamel Adk (bench minor - too many men), 16:11; Zalewski Alb (slashing), 17:56; Corrente Alb (cross-checking), 20:00.

2nd Period-4, Adirondack, Harper 12 (Zolnierczyk, Eddy), 16:37 (PP). 5, Adirondack, Lauridsen 3 (Hamel, Roe), 17:04. Penalties-Anderson Alb (tripping), 1:04; Roe Adk (holding the stick), 10:29; Zolnierczyk Adk (hooking), 11:58; Sislo Alb (slashing), 15:42; Kelly Alb (game misconduct - third man in), 19:15; Sestito Alb (roughing, fighting), 19:15; Harper Adk (game misconduct - third man in), 19:15; Holmstrom Adk (fighting), 19:15.

3rd Period-6, Albany, Perkovich 10 (Mills), 15:32. 7, Albany, Zalewski 16 (Zajac, Mills), 19:44. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Albany 14-12-8-34. Adirondack 12-13-7-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 4; Adirondack 2 / 6.
Goalies-Albany, Frazee 10-14-2 (32 shots-28 saves). Adirondack, Leighton 20-21-0 (34 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Mike Emanatian (69).



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