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PHANTOMS WEEKLY

March 22, 2012




Upcoming Games

Friday, March 23 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Saturday, March 24 (7:00) - Springfield Falcons at Adirondack Phantoms
Sunday, March 25 (3:00) - Binghamton Senators at Adirondack Phantoms

Phantoms Results

Wednesday, March 14 - Syracuse Crunch 2 - Adirondack Phantoms 1
Friday, March 16 - Hershey Bears 6 - Adirondack Phantoms 3
Saturday, March 17 - Syracuse Crunch 5 - Adirondack Phantoms 2


Coming Up

It's crunch-time in the closing weeks of the regular season for the Adirondack Phantoms and every game is a playoff game with each point crucially important for the team's push for a top eight spot in the conference.

The Phantoms are five points out of the last playoff position with just 12 games to go and some big wins are needed this weekend in another weekend stretch of three games in three days.

Adirondack makes their only visit to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to take on the Penguins on Friday night. Then the Phantoms come back home for a pair of games with big promotions against the Springfield Falcons and Binghamton Senators back-to-back.

Saturday, March 24 includes a Guns 'N Hoses charity game at 3:00 to benefit NY Special Olympics as our area upstate police and fire representatives take on the FDNY team. Then it's the Phantoms game against Springfield at 7:00 on Star Wars Night. Darth Vader and Boba Fett and other characters from the film series will be appearing courtesy of the upstate NY 501st Garrison unit. Also on Saturday, the pink sticks used in the Pink in the Rink night will be available to the fans via a silent auction and a special check presentation of over $14,000 will take place as well to benefit the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our special Pink in the Rink promotion in January with the t-shirts, jersey auction, 50/50 raffle, and special tickets sold. Everyone helped raise a lot of money for a very worthy cause!

Then on Sunday, March 25 for our afternoon game against Binghamton, it's another Sunday Family 3-Pack Day for $39 (3 tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3 sodas, 1 large popcorn and 1 program) while we celebrate Dax's birthday! Lots of other mascots will converge on Glens Falls for Mascot Mania as they all wish Dax a Happy Birthday. Another great post-game skate with the Phantoms players will follow courtesy of Glens Falls Hospital.

Call the Phantoms to get your tickets in advance at (518) 480-3355.


Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame Night

Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame Night will take place on Saturday, April 14. The Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction will be held at 4:30 at Heritage Hall and then the Phantoms will play the Springfield Falcons at 7:00. This year's inductees include Dave Casey, Murray Eaves, Pete Mahovlich and Dave Strader. Tickets for the Banquet and Induction are $35 or a table of 10 for $250. Reservations can be made to Anne Porreca at (518) 791-4248 or anneporreca@msn.com

Roster Moves

Erik Gustafsson and Brandon Manning are back with the Phantoms after spending last week with the Flyers. Gustafsson is a second-year pro who has played in 27 games with the Flyers this year and just 13 games with the Phantoms because of all his time in Philadelphia. He has one goal and 10 assists this season with Adirondack and led the team in assists last year with 44 while being named to the AHL All-Rookie Team.

Manning has now played in four games with the Flyers since making his NHL debut a couple weeks ago. The rookie from Prince George, BC has five goals since joining the Phantoms in December after missing the first two months of the year with injury.

Adirondack has added tough guy Derek Mathers on an Amateur Tryout contract (ATO) and he will be eligible to make his pro debut for the Phantoms this weekend. He's only 18 years old but checks in at 6'3" and 225 pounds. He finished third in the OHL in penalty minutes last year and was tops in the league the year before that when he was only 17. Mathers was a seventh round pick of the Flyers in 2011 and participated with other Flyers prospects in the different rookie camps in Voorhees, NJ last summer. Mathers can join the Phantoms on hi ATO contract because his OHL team, Peterborough, did not qualify for the playoffs. He retains his eligibility for Major Juniors and can still return to the Peterborough Petes next season.

Eastern Conference Playoff Focus (8th place and up qualify for post-season)
7. Manchester Monarchs (69 pts)
8. Syracuse Crunch (68 pts)
9. Worcester Sharks (67 pts)
10 Albany Devils (67 pts)
11. Springfield Falcons (66 pts)
12. Portland Pirates (65 pts)
13. Adirondack Phantoms (63 pts)
14. Providence Bruins (63 pts)

Week in Review

Wednesday, March 14 (Syracuse 2 - Adirondack 1)

Denis Hamel gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead in the second period with a power play goal and it looked good for Adirondack to hang on for the victory but the Crunch turned the tables on them. Syracuse scored a pair of goals just two minutes apart with less than seven minutes remaining for the stunning come-from-behind victory.

Hamel's goal was his team-leading 19th of the year. Adirondack had their chances to build on their advantage but were only able to go 1-for-7 on the power play. Michael Leighton made 26 saves on 28 shots as he just missed out on his 36th career AHL shutout which would have moved him into fourth all-time in AHL history.

The game was the seventh out of ten in the season series between the Phantoms and the Crunch.

Saturday, March 16 (Hershey Bears 6 - Adirondack Phantoms 3)

Adirondack took a 2-1 lead and were looking to build on it midway through the second period but Hershey got a couple of big penalty kills as well as a short-handed goal by Geoff Mitchell to steal momentum.

The Bears then went on to score three more goals in the closing minutes of the second period to take control of the game.

Before that point however, it was the Phantoms who were taking it to the Hershey Bears and forcing the home team to take penalty after penalty. But Adirondack could only convert once on their season-high 11 power plays as Hershey got several big blocks and some timely saves from Dany Sabourin.

Matt Ford returned to the team that traded him just a few weeks earlier and scored a goal and an assist. He also got in a fight with the guy he was traded for, Kevin Marshall, and was able to get the jersey over Marshall's head to win the scrap.

Brandon Manning scored his fifth of the year and Garrett Roe added a shorthanded breakaway goal for his eighth score of the season. Tomas Kundratek led the attack for Hershey with one goal and three assists while former Philadelphia Phantom Kyle Greentree notched a pair of power play goals.

Saturday, March 17 (Syracuse 5 - Adirondack 2)

Adirondack was down 3-2 in the third period but appeared to have all the momentum as they were pressuring in the Crunch zone and making Syracuse goalie Iiro Tarkki come up with some big saves.

The Phantoms got tagged with some untimely penalties in the final minutes to thwart their momentum and hurt their comeback chances. Syracuse closed out the win with an empty-net goal with 45 seconds left to make the score 4-2 and then another goal with 10 seconds remaining for the 5-2 final.

Denis Hamel had given the Phantoms a 1-0 lead marking his 10th season with 20 or more goals in the AHL. And Marc-Andre Bourdon returned to the Phantoms lineup for the first time since November and scored his first Adirondack goal of the season on a big slapper from the left circle that tied the score at 2-2 at the time. Both Phantoms goals came on the power play.

J.F. Jacques continued his 2011-12 trend of success against Adirondack with a couple of goals.

The season series between Adirondack and Syracuse is even at 4-4 with two more games remaining between the New York rivals. The Phantoms travel to the Crunch next Wednesday, March 28. and Syracuse makes their last visit to Glens Falls on Friday, March 30.


Phantoms Breakdown

-- The Phantoms are 5-2 in overtime games this year with three of those wins coming against Albany. Five different Phantoms have notched overtime game-winners this season; Matt Ford, Shane Harper, Mike Testwuide, Ben Holmstrom and Jon Kalinski.

-- Jason Akeson leads the team in points with 46 including 10 goals and 36 assists. He is third among AHL rookies in helpers and is eighth in points. Akeson led the OHL in assists (84) and points (108) last year with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.

-- Denis Hamel is tops on the Phantoms in goals with 20 and has now reached the 20 goal mark in 10 seasons The 34-year-old veteran is 11th all-time in AHL history with 335 career goals. He played his 1000th career professional game on December 31st which included 192 NHL games mostly with Buffalo and Ottawa.

-- Matt Ford has 11 goals in just 19 games since being acquired from the Hershey Bears in a trade for Kevin Marshall and has a total of 21 goals on the year. He began the season with 10 goals in 39 games with Hershey. The 27-year-old from West Hills, Cal. had a career-high 26 goals last season with Lake Erie where he was teammates with Jason Bacashihua.

-- Ford now has 6 game-winning goals for Adirondack. His season total of 7 GWG's moves him into a tie for the league-lead with Mark Mancari of Chicago and Kyle Palmieri of Syacuse.

-- Michael Leighton has 35 career shutouts to rate 6th all-time in AHL history. He is one away from moving into a 4th place tie. Leighton has the most shutouts in the AHL of any goalie since 1975. This season, he is leading the AHL in total saves with 1,230 and is second in total minutes with 2,571

-- Tyler Brown has scored six of his seven goals in 2012.

--The Phantoms are 21-3-1 when leading after two periods and are an impressive 18-4-1 when leading after one period.

--The Phantoms are 26-11-2 when they score first. The Phantoms are 16-11-3 in one-goal decisions.


Phantoms Leaders (Goals - Assists - Points):
Jason Akeson 10-37-47
Denis Hamel 20-20-40
Garrett Roe 8-27-35
Ben Holmstrom 11-24-35
Mike Testwuide 10-15-25
Shane Harper 13-12-25

Michael Leighton - 21-23-0, 2.68, .914
Jason Bacashihua - 8-10-1, 2.99, .902

Upcoming Opponents

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) -

This is Adirondack's only visit to Wilkes-Barre this season. The Penguins lead the season-series one game to nothing after a stunning comeback to win on March 4 in Glens Falls.

The Penguins are 38-20-7 for 83 points giving them the four spot right now in the Eastern Conference. They are trying to hold off Hershey, just three points behind, to hang onto home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Pens have not been so fantastic at home going only 14-13-4. They are strangely dominant on the road with a league-high 51 points going 24-7-3.

Reigning AHL Goalie of the Year Brad Thiessen is no longer with the Penguins having been called up to Pittsburgh to serve as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup.

Former Philadelphia Phantom Scott Munroe has taken over number one goaltending duties for the Penguins. He has gone 17-6-3, 2.77, .899. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks product played for the Phantoms from 2006-09. His best season was in 2008-09 in which he played in 56 games to help lead head coach John Paddock's Phantoms to the playoffs going 31-19-4, 2.46, .926. His .926 saves percentage established an all-time Phantoms franchise record that was equaled last year by Leighton.

Ben Street leads the Pens with 25 goals and 51 points. Colin McDonald is tops in assists with 32. Paul Thompson has nine goals and 12 assists in his rookie season. Last year he was the Hockey East Player of the Year at the University of New Hampshire where he was teammates with Adirondack's Blake Kessel.

The Penguins don't give you much in terms of chances. They allow only 26.3 shots per game which is best in the AHL out of 30 teams. But that is not reflected as much in their overall goals-allowed stat as they surrender 3.00 goals per game which is only 22nd in the league.

Wilkes-Barre's power play is 10th at 18.8%. Their penalty-kill is 22nd at 80.4%.


Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets) -

Like the Phantoms, the Springfield Falcons are in the the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race as both teams collide for a four-point swing-game on Saturday night in Glens Falls.

The Falcons are 30-29-6 for 66 points placing them just two points away from the last playoff spot and only three points ahead of the Phantoms.

The Adirondack Phantoms have never lost to Springfield having gone 6-0 all-time against the Falcons dating back to 2009-10. Adirondack is 2-0 against Springfield this year with a pair of victories in November.

Veteran talent Alexandre Giroux has 23 goals and 49 points to rate second on the team. He's tops in goals among active Falcons though after rookie talent Cam Atkinson from Boston College was summoned to the Blue Jackets.

Martin St. Pierre has 48 assists to place third in the league trailing only Keith Aucoin and Chris Bourque of Hershey.

39-year old Manny Legace continues to get it done in net for Springfield going 11-17-1, 2.83, .903 after spending 2010-11 in Germany. He began his career with Springfield in 1994 and won the Baz Bastien Goalie of the Year honor in 1995-96 leading the league in shutouts (five) and goals against (2.27). later spent 1999-2006 with the Detroit Red Wings followed by three seasons with St. Louis. With Detroit in 2000-01 he went 24-5-5, 2.05, .920. In 2005-06 he was 37-8-3, 2.19, .915. In his NHL career over 10 seasons he played in 365 games going 187-99-41, 2.41.

Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators) -

The defending Calder Cup Champions have not been very champion-like in their attempts to defend their crown. Injuries, call-ups and the loss of key veterans have all stung the team as they have been stuck in the cellar of the Eastern Conference all season long at 26-35-5 for 57 points.

Mike McKenna hasn't exactly been lighting it up in net this year but don't tell the Phantoms because they won't believe you. He has gone 6-1 against Adirondack this season with several stellar performances and 30+ save nights.

Adirondack finally broke the McKenna curse in late February as they grinded out a hard-earned 2-1 win in a shootout at Binghamton in one of the most exciting and wildest games of the year. The Phantoms poured it on for 29 shots on goal just in the first period which is the most of any AHL team since 2008-09. Adirondack finished the night with 52 shots which ended up being just enough to upend the Sens.

Rob Bordson scored in regulation and then again in the shootout for the win. Michael Leighton was equal to McKenna in showstopping saves on the night with 40 out of 41 drives turned aside.

This Sunday's game is the eighth and last meeting between the two teams.

Reigning AHL Most Valuable Player and point champion, Corey Locke, had some injuries earlier in the season but is still dishing it to his teammates to the tune of team-leading 31 assists for 41 points. Mike Hoffman has 17 goals to lead Binghamton. Andre Petersson from Sweden is a rookie with 21 goals and Pat Cannone is another rookie from Miami (Ohio) with 17 goals.

Binghamton is 29th out of 30 on the penalty kill at only 78.6%. They are 23rd in total offense at 2.67 goals per game while rating 26th in team defense at 3.14 goals allowed per game.

Transactions

Mar 17 - Brandon Manning (D) Recalled by Philadelphia
Mar 20 - Brandon Manning (D) Loaned to Adirondack by Philadelphia
Mar 20 - Erik Gustafsson (D) Loaned to Adirondack to Philadelphia
Mar 22 - Derek Mathers (RW) Signed to ATO from Peterborough (OHL)
Mar 22 - Tyler Hostetter (D) Reassigned to Trenton (ECHL)

Phantoms Day-by-Day
Wednesday, March 21 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am).
Thursday, March 22 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Bus departs for Wilkes-Barre (1:00pm)
Friday, March 23 - Practice at Wilkes-Barre (11:00am). Game at Wilkes-Barre (7:00pm). Bus after game.
Saturday, March 24 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Game vs Springfield (7:00).
Sunday, March 25 - Game vs. Binghamton (3:00)
Monday, March 25 - Practice TBD, Coach's Discretion
Tuesday, March 26 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)
Wednesday, March 27 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Bus Departs (2:00pm). Game at Syracuse (7:00pm)

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 23, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Saturday, March 24, 7:00 - Springfield Falcons at Adirondack Phantoms. Guns 'N Hoses Charity Game at 3:00 to benefit NY Special Olympics. Star Wars Night presented by the Upstate NY 501st Garrison Unit. Silent Auction for Pink in the Rink Sticks.

Sunday, March 25, 3:00 - Binghamton Senators at Adirondack Phantoms. Dax's Birthday Party! Mascot Mania!! Post-game skate with the Phantoms players presented by Glens Falls Hospital.

Monday, March 26 - No Phantoms Power Hour Show due to busy game schedule

Wednesday, March 28, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Syracuse Crunch


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.

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

 

 




 
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