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Comeback City. Phantoms Do It Again!

April 6, 2012

For the second consecutive home game, the Adirondack Phantoms overcame a third period deficit to post a thrilling come-from-behind win. This time it was Denis Hamel with the game-winner with 6:22 remaining as Adirondack triumphed over rival Albany 3-2 to clinch the Time Warner Cable Cup for the second season in a row. Matt Ford had just tied it a few minutes earlier on a fine shot pinballing off the far post for his 16th goal in only 26 games with Adirondack.

Down 2-1 entering the third period, the Phantoms kept their cool while the Devils appeared to be losing theirs. That as well as three big power play goals made the difference for Adirondack on the night in front of 4,120 fans again generating some deafening noise inside the Civic Center.

The Phantoms appear to be making a habit of exciting comebacks like this, particularly at home. In Adirondack's previous home game last Friday, the Phantoms overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period to post a 4-3 overtime thriller over Syracuse. This win over Albany may have only been a comeback from one-goal deficit instead of two, but it was just as enthralling nonetheless.

These types of games have not been uncommon in the Adirondack vs. Albany rivalry. The Phantoms lead the season series 6-3. But of their six wins, five have been by one goal including three that have come in overtime. This one didn't take an extra period though as the Phantoms were able to hang on for the regulation W.

With the critical victory, Adirondack pulls to within three points of Manchester for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after the Monarchs lost in overtime to Connecticut 2-1. The Phantoms are also just five points behind seventh place Syracuse who lost in regulation at Bridgeport 3-1.That was some great help the Phantoms received from their Northeast Division friends over in Bridgeport and Hartford.

Adirondack has just five games remaining in the regular season in which to makeup the deficit on either Manchester or Syracuse to grab a Calder Cup postseason berth but the Phantoms also have a game-in-hand on both of the teams they are attempting to chase down.

The punches were flying and the big hits were getting dealt on all ends of the ice for much of the night in the chippy game dripping with playoff intensity throughout. Albany had difficult staying out of the penalty box and gave Adirondack seven power play while the Phantoms only helped the Devils gain the man-advantage two times.

Cullen Eddy gave the Phantoms the initial lead in the first period as he drove to the net on the power play and pushed in the rebound of a Brandon Manning drive from center-point. It was Eddy's second goal of the season.

Steve Zalewski tied the score just three minutes later with a chip over the right shoulder of Michael Leighton on a centering feed from Mattias Tedenby.

The 1-1 deadlock would be broken in the second period on a Kory Nagy goal from the right circle that appeared to bank in off the back leg of Leighton. Vladmir Zharkov almost gave the Devils a 3-1 lead when he raced free on a breakaway but his drive past Leighton rang off the post and rebounded away.

Albany led 2-1 heading into the third period but Adirondack was able to find their stride once again in the close 20 minutes.

Matt Ford briefly juggled the cross-ice feed by Erik Gustafsson and Jason Akeson on the power play but once he found the handle he let fly a perfectly placed drive over the left shoulder of Keith Kinkaid to bank it off the far post and tie the score at 2-2 with 12:54 remaining.

Ford equaled his career-high of 26 goals initially accomplished last year with the Lake Erie Monsters. He has 16 goals in 26 games since joining the Phantoms on February 3 in a trade with the Capitals organization for Kevin Marshall. He had 10 goals in 39 games for Hershey prior to joining the Phantoms.

It was Ford's feed across the slot to Hamel with 6:22 remaining that proved to be the game-winner. Denis Hamel had accepted a long stretch-pass and had a half-step on a couple of Albany D-men for a breakaway but his shot was blasted off the left shoulder of Kinkaid and caromed into the corner. Ben Holmstrom smartly dug it away and quickly got it to Ford at the base of the right-circle who was able to feed it across to Hamel with the chip over the right skate of Kinkaid for the big game-winner.

Hamel's 23rd goal of the season is his 338th career goal, 11th all-time in AHL history.

More punches and hitting ensued as Phantoms players took exception to some of the Devils physicality while the Albany skaters reciprocated the animosity. Goalie Keith Kinkaid got a shove in at Matt Ford and took a roughing penalty with less than five minutes remaining triggering one of the many group altercations on the night.

Dan Kelly dropped the gloves a couple of times with different Adirondack combatants. Tye McGinn landed a number of solid punches against Kelly as they squared away. Mike Testwuide and Dan Kelly went after each other after the final buzzer had sounded and Adirondack had won the game.

Albany almost tied the score with 32 seconds left with their pulled goalie for an extra-attacker. Eric Gelinas let rip his big slapper from the left-point but he hit it off the base of the far post behind Leighton's left skate and out.

Matt Mangene made his pro debut for the Phantoms and looked solid on a line with Mike Testwuide and Rob Bordson in a night which included a number of close-call scoring chances for the newcomer from the University of Maine.

Tye McGinn returned to the lineup for the first time in a couple of weeks after missing five games with injury. Oskars Bartulis also returned from injury having been on the shelf for almost two months.

Adirondack improved to 35-32-4 for 74 points this season and also ran their home record to 22-12-1 rating s one of the best home-ice advantages in the AHL.

The Phantoms are 62-48-12 in the past season and a half (122 games) since December 17, 2010. On home-ice, Adirondack has gone an amazing 29-12-1 since March 16 of last year and are 39-18-6 at home since December 17, 2010.

Albany outshot Adirondack 34-32. The Phantoms were 3-for-7 on the power play to equal the most man-advantage tallies they've had on the season. Albany was only 0-for-2.

The Phantoms have five games left in the regular season with games-in-hand on Syracuse and Manchester for a playoff-spot. It's playoff fever in Glens Falls!

Adirondack travels to Albany to close out the Northway rivalry for a 7:00 game on Saturday night. The Phantoms return home on Easter Sunday to tangle with Rochester at 5:00 in another big home-game with more valuable standings points on the line.

While the Phantoms are aiming for a big win on Saturday at Albany, fans can also do some more scoreboard watching and hope for other results to go in Adirondack's favor as well.

Syracuse is on the road at Hershey in what is sure to be a touch battle for the Crunch. Manchester has no game on Saturday. Three other teams to continue to entertain playoff aspirations are also in action as Providence at Bridgeport, Portland hosts Worcester, and Springfield is at St. John's.

Eastern Conference Playoff Focus (8th Place Qualifies)
7. Syracuse (78 pts)
8. Manchester (77 pts)
9. Portland (75 pts)
10. Adirondack (74 pts)
11. Providence (73 pts)
12. Springfield (72 pts)
13. Albany (71 pts)

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 7, (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Sunday, April 8 (5:00) - Rochester Americans at Adirondack Phantoms . Sunday Family 3-Pack Specials.

Monday, April 9 (7:00) - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE at McGinny's. Player guests, Rob Bordson and Derek Mathers. Come join us for the fun or listen live on Q101.7

Friday, April 13 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Springfield Falcons

Saturday, April 14 (4:30) - Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony honoring Dave Casey, Murray Eaves, Pete Mahovlich and Dave Strader. Tickets for the dinner and banquet are $35 per person or a table of 10 for $250. Reservations can be made to Anne Porreca at (518) 791-4248 or anneporreca@msn.com

Saturday, April 14 (7:00) - Worcester Sharks at Adirondack Phantoms. Fan Appreciation Night with dozens of prizes. Phantoms T-Shirts courtesy of Papa John's

Sunday, April 15 (5:00) - Norfolk Admirals at Adirondack Phantoms. Last game of the regular season! Sunday Family 3-Pack Specials.

I'm In! We need 1,756 season ticket holders for next season to conclusively prove the viability of Glens Falls as a great hockey market. The league and other teams are watching! Currently, we have over 400 season ticket holders for next year. It's a great start. Keep it up, fans! To join the "I'm In" campaign, contribute your $50 down-payment to a season ticket for 2012-13 or ask about a 22-pack or 12-pack ticket plan. Together we can do this. Call the Adirondack Phantoms 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!

Albany Devils 2 at Adirondack Phantoms 3 - Status: Final
Friday, April 6, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Albany 1 1 0 - 2
Adirondack 1 0 2 - 3

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Eddy 2 (Rowe, Manning), 7:03 (PP). 2, Albany, Zalewski 18 (Tedenby, Taormina), 10:47. Penalties-Tedenby Alb (slashing), 1:25; Leach Alb (elbowing), 5:20; Urbom Alb (slashing), 7:03.

2nd Period-3, Albany, Nagy 4 (Berube, Leach), 5:42. Penalties-Sestito Alb (kneeing), 0:34; Lauridsen Adk (slashing), 3:09; Berube Alb (slashing), 9:38; Holmstrom Adk (hooking), 12:55.

3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Ford 26 (Akeson, Gustafsson), 7:06 (PP). 5, Adirondack, Hamel 23 (Ford, Holmstrom), 13:38 (PP). Penalties-Corrente Alb (tripping), 6:13; Kelly Alb (fighting), 8:13; McGinn Adk (fighting), 8:13; Perkovich Alb (tripping), 12:39; Kinkaid Alb (roughing), 15:36; Mills Alb (roughing, misconduct), 15:36; Holmstrom Adk (roughing), 15:36; Sestito Alb (boarding), 19:58; Kelly Alb (fighting), 20:00; Testwuide Adk (fighting), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Albany 13-11-10-34. Adirondack 9-12-11-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 2; Adirondack 3 / 9.
Goalies-Albany, Kinkaid 17-19-3 (32 shots-29 saves). Adirondack, Leighton 26-24-1 (34 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Chris Ciamaga (24), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Mike Emanatian (69).


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