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Special Teams the Difference at Hershey

March 16, 2012

Midway through Friday night's game, the Adirondack Phantoms looked in good shape with a 2-1 lead at the Hershey Bears and an extended 5-on-3 power play giving them a big opportunity for more. But Hershey was able to build on the momentum of their successful penalty-kill capped by a shorthanded goal to tie the score on their way to a 6-3 win in the finale of the season series. Hershey and Adirondack finished tied two games each in the 2011-12 rivalry. Hershey now leads the all-time series 83-81-8 after 172 games between the Bears and Phantoms going back to 1996.

The setback ends Adirondack's impressive four-game road win streak as they head to Syracuse on Saturday night looking to start another.

The win moves Adirondack one point further back in the big playoff race. The Phantoms got some help in the form of an Albany loss at Binghamton. But Worcester won their game to move into the 7th/8th place tie with the Manchester Monarchs. Both Worcester and Manchester have 65 points in the last playoff sports while Adirondack remains close on their heels with 63 points. Albany, Springfield, Portland, Syracuse and Providence all remain in contention in the big scramble as well. Those seven teams are fighting it out for the last two spots. 13 games remain in the regular season.

The Phantoms certainly had their chances in this one. They were given a season-high 11 power plays in the game as Hershey had trouble staying out of the box. But sometimes power plays go in waves and Adirondack just couldn't finish on their big chances to put the game away after getting a second period lead.

Tomas Kundratek blasted home a long rebound early in the first period as Hershey took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Adirondack stormed out at the beginning of the second taking advantage of the parade of Bears to the sin-bin. Brandon Manning joined the rush in the left-circle in a 4-on-4 situation and received a nice cross-slot feed from Matt Ford to tie the game at 1-1.

Less than three minutes later, it was Denis Hamel with the nice behind the back dish from the end-boards to find Matt Ford on the right-wing side of the crease while goalie Dany Sabourin was leaning the wrong way just enough for Ford to chip it in over his shoulder on the short-side.

Ford's 11th of the year in just 18 games since joining the Phantoms cane against his former team and was his 21st overall on the season. A few seconds after Ford had given Adirondack the lead, he would get into a scrap with the player he was traded for, Kevin Marshall. Ford is not typically known for his fighting but he was able to get the jersey over Marshall's head in the fight at the red-line in front of both team's benches.

Adirondack had an extended 5-on-3 on a couple of penalties back-to-back by Hershey with a chance to build on the 2-1 lead. But Hershey got in the shooting lanes and Sabourin came up with the big saves to kill the full two minutes of two-man advantage hockey.

Right as one of their players returned, Geoff Mitchell found a loose-puck in the neutral-zone and raced out on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush. Mitchell took the shot himself from the right circle instead of passing to the league's top point-man, Chris Bourque. Mitchell's drive hit off the top edge of Jason Bacashihua's glove and tumbled into the goal to tie the score at 2-2.

That key shorthanded goal against the former, popular Hershey Bears netminder of 2009-2010 was the turning point in the game.

Hershey would get a 5-on-3 of their own later in the second period and would close out the frame with three goals in four minutes. Former Philadelphia Phantom Kyle Greentree chipped home a drive from Kundratek to give Hershey the 3-2 lead. There was just one second remaining on Bordson's penalty when he scored the goal so Hershey got to continue on the power play at 5-on-4 for another 1:40.

They scored on that one too as Cody Eakin's shot from the right circle appeared to hit something on its way in to make it 4-2 in favor of the Bears.

Then some quick passing in the closing seconds of the second frame would set Mike Carman to drive home a very good pass from the right-wing wall on the fast rush. The Hershey goal with 19 seconds left made it 5-2 Hershey.

Kyle Greentree scored again for Hershey in the third and Garrett Roe closed the scoring with a shorthanded breakaway goal in the closing minutes on a nice, long bank pass by Rob Bordson. Roe's goal was his 8th of the year.

Adirondack was 1-for-11 on the power play while Hershey went 3-for-8 with a shorthanded goal. Four of Hershey's six goals came on the specialty teams.

Adirondack outshot the Bears 34-24 including 14-4 in the third period but it wasn't enough to get the required number of pucks past Sabourin.

The Phantoms are back in action Saturday night at the Syracuse Crunch at 7:30. Adirondack is looking to avenge a 2-1 setback against Syracuse on Wednesday night when the Crunch rallied from behind late in the game.

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

Adirondack Phantoms 3 at Hershey Bears 6 - Status: Unofficial Final
Friday, March 16, 2012 - Giant Center

Adirondack 0 2 1 - 3
Hershey 1 4 1 - 6

1st Period-1, Hershey, Kundratek 9 (Syner, Mitchell), 2:50. Penalties-Carman Her (holding), 4:48; Lauridsen Adk (fighting), 7:55; Rechlicz Her (instigating, fighting, misconduct - instigating), 7:55; Testwuide Adk (hooking), 12:55; Carman Her (hooking), 15:46; Ford Adk (high-sticking), 16:59.

2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Manning 5 (Ford, Hamel), 4:05. 3, Adirondack, Ford 21 (Hamel, Akeson), 6:30 (PP). 4, Hershey, Mitchell 6 10:06 (SH). 5, Hershey, Greentree 7 (Bourque, Kundratek), 15:56 (PP). 6, Hershey, Eakin 11 (Brouillette, Kundratek), 16:54 (PP). 7, Hershey, Carman 5 (King, Kundratek), 19:41. Penalties-Holmstrom Adk (slashing), 0:06; Wellar Her (slashing), 0:06; Jancevski Adk (holding), 3:08; Holmstrom Adk (roughing), 3:35; Greentree Her (roughing), 3:35; Potulny Her (double minor - high-sticking), 3:35; Lacroix Her (double minor - high-sticking), 6:51; Mitchell Her (slashing), 7:56; Ford Adk (roughing, roughing), 13:13; Marshall Her (roughing, roughing), 13:13; Bordson Adk (roughing), 13:57; McGinn Adk (roughing), 13:57; Brouillette Her (roughing), 13:57; Roe Adk (cross-checking), 15:37.

3rd Period-8, Hershey, Greentree 8 (Eakin, McNeill), 11:28 (PP). 9, Adirondack, Roe 8 (Bordson), 17:22 (SH). Penalties-Ford Adk (tripping), 3:30; Carman Her (tripping), 6:24; Brown Adk (hooking), 10:38; Syner Her (high-sticking), 12:48; Lacroix Her (high-sticking), 13:45; Jancevski Adk (hooking), 16:29.

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 9-11-14-34. Hershey 11-9-4-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 1 / 11; Hershey 3 / 8.
Goalies-Adirondack, Bacashihua 8-9-1 (24 shots-18 saves). Hershey, Sabourin 11-9-4 (34 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41).
Linesmen-Mike McDevitt (13), Bob Goodman (90).



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