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Easter Weekend Finale

April 8, 2012

The Adirondack Phantoms dominated play in the third period against the Rochester Americans but were unable to break goalie David Leggio as they dropped a 4-2 decision at home on Easter Sunday. Going for a perfect 3-for-3 weekend, Adirondack gave maximum effort, played a great game and did just about everything right in a nonstop offensive attack. But sometimes the sport of hockey can be a little funny, and the Phantoms lost in this contest despite outshooting the visitors 48-28.

Tyler Brown (8th) and Tye McGinn (11th) scored the goals for Adirondack, both in the second period. The rookies' tallies both came when the Phantoms found themselves trailing 1-0 and 2-1. The Phantoms were unable to take the lead at any point.

Heading into the third in a 2-2 tie, the stage seemed set for another dramatic third-period victory which has become a recent trend at the Glens Falls Civic Center. And Adirondack was ready to accomplish that yet again with a 10-1 shot advantage deep into the closing 20 minutes dominating play in the Rochester zone.

But a fine individual effort by Rochester's Alex Biega knifing to the high slot and blasting a shot with less than five minutes left that would go off of Michael Leighton's stick and into the goal would unexpectedly break the deadlock on the side of the ice that saw very little of the play in the third period.

Adirondack had glorious chances in the final three minutes of the game to try to equalize and received a power play which they later turned into 6-on-4 attack. Brandon Manning's slapshot from the point was redirected in the slot by Tye McGinn and bounced just wide of the right post, perhaps catching some of the iron. Even as the red-light inadvertently went on convincing some of the fans that the game had been tied, play continued. A few seconds later, Shane Harper had an open shot from the left ring but blasted it just over the crossbar past David Leggio's left shoulder.

One would hardly be able to tell Rochester was the team that was playing only their second game of the weekend, not their third. And that they were the team who had just received four solid players from the NHL as reinforcements after parent-club Buffalo's regular season concluded. The way things were going, it certainly felt like it was a night in which Adirondack deserved the victory.

The loss was the only setback in an otherwise successful weekend for the Phantoms that saw them sweep the Albany Devils, clinch the Time Warner Cable Cup, and pull to within one point of a playoff position in the closing days of the 2011-12 regular season with the opportunity to move into eighth place themselves.

But the Phantoms will have to wait for another day to catch the teams directly ahead of them in the Eastern Conference. And they will be relegated to scoreboard watching for a couple of their off-days this week while they root for Manchester to lose on Tuesday against Worcester and Portland to lose on Wednesday against Connecticut. Both the Monarchs and the Pirates are tied for 8th place, just one point ahead of Adirondack. And the Phantoms are hoping it remains that way.

Adirondack's record stands at 36-33-4 for 76 points. Manchester and Portland both have 77. Seventh-place Syracuse remains at 80.

A wild first period saw the Phantoms outshoot the Americans 16-10 but both goaltending-ironmen, Leighton and Leggio, were very much on their games as they escaped the opening 20 minutes unscathed. Leighton now leads the AHL in total saves as he was starting his 8th in a row and also the 17th of the last 20 Phantoms' games since February 19.

Both teams would score two goals in the second period however as the high-tempo continued. Phll Varone had an opening in the left circle on a long rebound and roofed his goal past the desperation dive of Leighton to give the Amerks a 1-0 lead.

Adirondack pressured in the Rochester zone and just as Andrew Rowe had missed on a scoring opportunity, the second-year pro would get the puck back in the corner thanks to Jason Akeson. Rowe's quick centering pass was perfectly placed for a chip upstairs by Tyler Brown crashing into the slot to tie the score at 1-1.

Evan Rankin would redirect an Alex Biega slapper a few minutes after than as Rochester retook the advantage.

With 38 seconds left in the second period, Tye McGinn on the left side of the crease would flip one over a scrambling Leggio. the puck may have rolled off Leggio's body before bouncing in as McGinn nothced his 11th of the season. Oskars Bartulis had an assist on the play just a few moments after crushing one off the post from the right point in a close-call for his first goal of the season since Opening Night.

The Phantoms kept on coming and appeared to have the better energy and offensive attack for almost the entire third period even though they were playing their third game in three days. But time and again the Phantoms would just miss on their drives to get the tie-breaker as Leggio played an impressive game in net in helping Rochester eventually steal the win.

After Biega's game-winner with less than five minutes left and then shortly after Adirondack's big close-calls in the final couple minutes, it would be Paul Szuzchura launching the puck from behind the Americans' blue-line and into the empty-net to close the scoring.

The regulation loss was just the Phantoms' second in their last eight games (5-2-1). It also ended Adirondack's four-game home win-streak. To climb to within one point of the last playoff spot, the Phantoms have gone 12-7-1 in their last 20 games since February 25.

Adirondack finished the season-series 2-2 against Rochester who improved their position in the Western Conference in a situation almost identical to that of the Phantoms' in the Eastern Conference.

The Phantoms have three games left in the regular season with two hugely important games at home to finish it off. Adirondack remains just one point back in the playoff race and are hoping for a little help this week so that difference remains the same heading into their road game next Friday night at Springfield.

Oliver Lauridsen missed the game after blocking a shot off his leg and leaving with an injury Saturday night at Albany. Other scratches included Garrett Klotz, Nick Cousins, Luke Pither, Derek Mathers, Matt Walker and Campbell Elynuik.

Jason Akeson's assist on the Tyler Brown goal was his 41st of the year to take over the league-lead among rookies ahead of Cory Conacher of Norfolk. It was also his 53rd point to lead the team and place seventh among AHL rookies.

Adirondack went 0-for-6 on the power play, their first game this weekend in which they did not register a man-advantage goal. Albany was 0-for-2. The Phantoms outshot the Amerks 48-28 including 16-5 in the third period. One of Rochester's shots in the final period was the empty-net goal from the other side of the ice.

Adirondack is 5-1-1 in their last seven games since March 24. Since February 25, the Phantoms are 12-6-1 in their last 19 games which has been huge in their push up the standings.

The Phantoms have one of the greatest disparities between home and away success. On home-ice, the Phantoms are 22-13-1 this year.

The Phantoms are 63-49-12 in the past season and a half (124 games) since December 17, 2010. On home-ice, Adirondack has gone an amazing 29-13-1 since March 16 of last year and are 39-19-6 at home since December 17, 2010.

They return to the Glens Falls Civic Center next Saturday and Sunday against Worcester and Norfolk. The Norfolk Admirals, Sunday's opponent, are currently riding a 25-game win streak; the longest in professional hockey history and one of the longest in all of professional sports' history. Norfolk would also be the most likely first-round opponent for the Phantoms should they qualify for the playoffs.

Next Saturday's home game against the Worcester Sharks is Fan Appreciation Night with Phantoms T-Shirts courtesy of Papa John's and dozens of great prizes including Phantoms and Flyers jerseys. Saturday is also Hall of Fame Day in Heritage Hall honoring this year's inductees; Dave Casey, Murray Eaves, Pete Mahovlich and Dave Strader. Reservations for the banquet are $35 or a table of 10 for $250.

Eastern Conference Playoff Focus (8th Place Qualifies)
7. Syracuse (80 pts)
8. Manchester (77 pts)
8. Portland (77 pts)
10. Adirondack (76 pts)
11. Providence (75 pts)
12. Springfield (74 pts)

Upcoming Events

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!

Rochester Americans 4 at Adirondack Phantoms 2 - Status: Final

Sunday, April 8, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Rochester 0 2 2 - 4
Adirondack 0 2 0 - 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Finley Rch (cross-checking), 8:53; Adam Rch (slashing), 14:35; Foligno Rch (slashing), 15:25.

2nd Period-1, Rochester, Varone 11 (Rankin, Stuart), 1:45. 2, Adirondack, Brown 8 (Rowe, Akeson), 8:32. 3, Rochester, Rankin 14 (Biega, Finley), 13:16. 4, Adirondack, McGinn 11 (Harper, Bartulis), 19:22. Penalties-Kessel Adk (holding), 10:07.

3rd Period-5, Rochester, Biega 5 15:21. 6, Rochester, Szczechura 20 (Tropp), 19:15. Penalties-Gongalsky Rch (holding), 6:48; Roe Adk (holding), 6:48; Bordson Adk (slashing), 7:48; Voakes Rch (tripping), 11:08; Tropp Rch (roughing), 16:53; Rankin Rch (interference), 19:41.

Shots on Goal-Rochester 10-13-5-28. Adirondack 16-16-16-48.
Power Play Opportunities-Rochester 0 / 2; Adirondack 0 / 6.
Goalies-Rochester, Leggio 26-23-2 (48 shots-46 saves). Adirondack, Leighton 27-25-1 (27 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Jamie Koharski (84), Darcy Burchell (42).
Linesmen-Andy Petrus (26), Jim Harper (59).



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