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Hamel Scores Again in Late Setback

March 14, 2012

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 open net.

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 and bounces.

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 playoff positions.

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.

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 16, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Hershey Bears

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 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

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 - Status: Final
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center

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 6-10-7-23.
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 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Steeve Lemay (64).




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