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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
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.
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).