Veteran Denis Hamel
is hitting his scoring stride again. His big slapshot
in the second period was good for his third goal
in his last four games as well as his team-leading
19th of the season but Adirondack couldn't preserve
the lead late as Syracuse rallied from behind
to record a 2-1 victory on Wednesday at the Glens
Falls Civic Center.
Hamel blasted it home from the high slot on a
5-on-3 power play to give the Phantoms the lead
at 1-0. It was his 334th career goal which rates
11th all-time in American Hockey League history.
The likely future AHL Hall of Famer is now just
one goal away from recording an amazing 10th season
of 20 or more goals.
But Riley Holzapfel and Rick Schofield scored
a couple minutes apart in the third to rally the
Crunch for the victory.
For awhile, it looked like Michael Leighton was
going to be able to make the narrow lead hold
up right until the end. He denied Patrick Maroon
on a breakaway and received a little help later
when Dan Jancevski broke up another big opportunity
for Maroon on a long rebound in front of a partly
Maroon is the Syracuse top active scorer with
28 goals this season. He had 21 goals for Adirondack
in 2009-10 prior to being traded to the Ducks
organization in late November of 2010.
But after a few misses and a lot of steady saves
for Leighton, Syracuse was finally able to break
through on a couple of fortuitous opportunities
Holzapfel's 12th with 6:51 left assisted by Brandon
McMillan after a steal in the Phantoms' zone tied
the score at 1-1 and broke Michael Leighton's
bid for a 36th career shutout.
Rick Schofield's tip of a John Mitchell shot with
4:50 left in the third was his eighth of the year
and would hold up as the game-winner.
Besides the 5-on-3 goal that Hamel scored, Adirondack
had additional chances with two extra men on the
ice. Late in the second period, Syracuse took
two consecutive penalties and the Phantoms had
47 seconds of 5-on-3 time but couldn't score.
Syracuse took another penalty with just 1:57 remaining
in the game and then Adirondack pulled Michael
Leighton with 1:30 left to set up a 6-on-4 attack.
The Phantoms pushed in on Syraucse goalie Iiro
Tarkki including a close-call on a partly open
net for Matt Ford who has been one of the team's
hottest scorers lately. But they just couldn't
get the comeback goal to happen.
The Phantoms had their opportunities as Syracuse
had difficulty staying out of the box. Adirondack
had seven power plays in the game and got off
some good shots at Tarkki on many of them against
the league's worst penalty kill, but Adirondack
ended up going 1-for-7 on the night which ultimately
hurt them in the final result.
Earlier in the third, when Adirondack was still
leading 1-0, Tye McGinn was denied right in front
of the net by Tarkki and then Jason Akeson from
the left-circle got off a good shot on the rebound
by the Syracuse goalie raced across to make the
save with his blocker or shaft of his stick for
his finest stop of the night. Tarkki was without
a stick for a few moments after that as the scramble
caused him to lose it away from the cage. but
the Syracuse defense were able to clear before
the Phantoms could shoot again.
For Syracuse, it was their first win against Adirondack
in their last five tries and it moves the Crunch
to just one point back of the Phantoms in the
ever-tightening Eastern Conference standings.
In the meanwhile, Adirondack remains one point
behind eighth-place Albany and two points back
of seventh-place Manchester for the final two
14 games remain in the regular season in a race
likely to go down to the wire. Adirondack and
Syracuse still have three more games against each
other including a rematch coming up Saturday night
in at Syracuse.
The Phantoms had their two-game win streak snapped
by have still gone 6-3-0 in their last nine games
while also recording points in nine of their last
14 games going 8-5-1.
Brandon Manning returned to the Phantoms lineup
for the game after a three-game stint with Philadelphia,
his first career NHL games. Harry Zolnierczyk
was back as well after missing Sunday's game with
a Philly callup.
Syracuse outshot Adirondack 28-23. The Phantoms
were 1-for-7 on the power play while the Crunch
went 0-for-4. Scratches for the Phantoms included
Marc-Andre Bourdon, Oskars Bartulis, Andrew Rowe,
Luke Pither and Tyler Hostetter.
After the game, all the players met in Heritage
Hall with the season ticket holders for their
annual gathering giving them the chance to thank
the Phantoms faithful for their loyal support.
Lots of great prizes were raffled up too. It's
one of the many benefits for season ticket holders.
The Phantoms hit the road for three straight while
the Glens Falls Civic Center is used this weekend
for the New York High School Basketball Championships.
Adirondack travels to Hershey on Friday night
for the 182nd all-time meeting in the Phantoms
vs. Bears rivalry. Then back to Syracuse on Saturday
followed by another road game at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranon
Penguins the following Friday.
Adirondack's next home games are Saturday, March
24 against Springfield on Star Wars Night followed
by a Sunday, March 25 matchup with Binghamton
on Dax's first birthday celebration. For tickets,
call the Phantoms at (518) 480-3355.
Friday, March 16, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at
Saturday, March 17, 7:30 - Adirondack Phantoms
at Syracuse Crunch
Monday, March 19, 7:00 - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE
from McGinny's. Scheduled players guests Jason
Akeson and Shane Harper.
Friday, March 23, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at
Saturday, March 24, 7:00 - Springfield Falcons
at Adirondack Phantoms. Star Wars Night with Darth
Vader and Boba Fett! Guns 'N Hoses Charity Game
at 3:00 to benefit NY Special Olympics.
Sunday, March 25, 3:00 - Binghamton Senators at
Adirondack Phantoms. Dax's Birthday Party and
Mascot Mania!! Post-game skate with the Phantoms
players presented by Glens Falls Hospital.
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 Sunday Family 3-Pack is available for ALL
Sunday home games! Get 3 tickets, 3 hot dogs,
3 sodas, 1 large popcorn and 1 program all for
only $39. That's a savings of $26!
Follow the Phantoms at facebook.com/ADKhockey
and on twitter @phantomshockey
Syracuse Crunch 2 at Adirondack Phantoms 1 -
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic
Syracuse 0 0 2 - 2
Adirondack 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Smaby Syr (tripping),
6:25; Roe Adk (interference), 12:09; McMillan
Syr (cross-checking), 14:31; O'Marra Syr (tripping),
16:04; Harper Adk (tripping), 16:04.
2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Hamel 19 (Akeson, Holmstrom),
6:02 (PP). Penalties-Maroon Syr (interference),
4:20; Smaby Syr (boarding), 5:38; McGinn Adk (high-sticking),
9:58; Cumiskey Syr (interference), 15:50; Smaby
Syr (holding), 17:03.
3rd Period-2, Syracuse, Holzapfel 12 (McMillan),
13:09. 3, Syracuse, Schofield 8 (Mitchell), 15:50.
Penalties-Kurtz Syr (roughing), 5:58; Manning
Adk (roughing), 5:58; Walker Adk (boarding), 8:00;
Brown Adk (tripping), 13:34; Carle Syr (delay
of game), 18:04.
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 8-11-9-28. Adirondack
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 0 / 4; Adirondack
1 / 7.
Goalies-Syracuse, Tarkki 16-15-4 (23 shots-22
saves). Adirondack, Leighton 21-22-0 (28 shots-26
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Steeve Lemay (64).