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Phantoms Weekly - Down to the Wire!

April 11, 2012

Upcoming Games

Friday, April 13 (7:30) - Adirondack Phantoms at Springfield Falcons
Saturday, April 14 (7:00) - Worcester Sharks at Adirondack Phantoms
Sunday, April 15 (5:00) - Norfolk Admirals at Adirondack Phantoms

Phantoms Results

Friday, April 6 - Adirondack Phantoms 3 - Albany Devils 2
Saturday, April 7 - Adirondack Phantoms 5 - Albany Devils 3
Sunday, April 8 - Rochester Americans 4 - Adirondack Phantoms 2

Down to the Wire

This is it, Phantoms fans! Adirondack enters the last weekend of the regular season in need of some big wins in order to make the Calder Cup Playoffs. It's as dramatic as it can get and it might all come down to the final play in the last game of the season on Sunday against first-place Norfolk.

Every play will be huge and the games will be intense!

If the Phantoms go 3-0-0 this weekend they will have a very good chance of making the playoffs but it is not quite a guarantee at this point. If the Phantoms go 2-1-0 this weekend they can still make the playoffs but they will need a bit more help along the way in the form of Manchester and Portland losses.

That's the quick outline of Adirondack's late-season playoff push as they reach for their goal.

The even shorter version of all that is even simpler: Just Win Baby!

The Phantoms open the weekend on Friday night at the Springfield Falcons in a 7:30 contest for Adirondack's last away game of the regular season. The Adirondack Phantoms are undefeated all-time against Springfield at 7-0-0.

Saturday night, Adirondack returns home to take on the Worcester Sharks on Fan Appreciation Night. T-Shirt giveaway for the first 2,500 courtesy of Papa John's. And dozens and dozens of great prizes including lots of autographed Phantoms gear to be given away to the fans. Before the game there will be a ceremony honoring our four Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame inductees; Dave Casey, Murray Eaves, Pete Mahovlich an Dave Strader.

After Saturday night's game is a special post-game auction featuring the orange game-worn jerseys. Get ready to bid! The actual game-worn orange Phantoms jersey of Michael Leighton, Denis Hamel, Matt Ford or Eric Wellwood (or any other player) could be yours!

Sunday evening at 5:00 it's Adirondack playing for their playoff-lives right down to the wire and the competition couldn't be any tougher. The visiting Norfolk Admirals enter the weekend on an incredible 25-game winning streak, the longest in professional hockey history. Norfolk is also the most likely opponent for Adirondack in the first-round of the playoff should the Phantoms qualify.

Don't forget about our Sunday Family 3-Pack Value ($39 = 3 tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3 sodas, 1 large popcorn, 1 program).

These games are a big deal everyone. And we need your support and loud cheering again to push the team onto the playoffs.

It all comes down to this!

I'm In!

Support professional hockey in Glens Falls and say that you're in. The I'm In campaign is designed to show the AHL, teams, owners and everyone about the great support we can provide for a professional hockey team at the GFCC.

With a goal of 1,756 season tickets for next season, the team would be able to prove the long-term viability of this great hockey market.

Currently, we stand at 425 season tickets and the number is always growing. By putting down YOUR down payment of $50 for a season ticket or 22-pack or 12-pack plan you can be in too.

Thanks to everyone in the community for their great teamwork in showing the league that the backing and support for AHL hockey in Glens Falls is here to stay. Together we can do this. I'm in! Call the Phantoms to find out how you can help at 518-480-3355.

Playoff Breakdown - (8th place and better qualifies)

7. Syracuse Crunch (80 pts)
8. Portland Pirates (79 pts)
9. Manchester Monarchs (77 pts)
10. Adirondack Phantoms (76 pts)
11. Providence Bruins (75 pts)

All teams involved have three games remaining, except Portland who has only two left.

Adirondack hols the tiebreaker advantage over ALL the teams in the race. This could be vitally important. The first tiebreak is total wins (not including shootout wins...in other words, regulation and overtime wins only).

If the Phantoms make it in, the most likely scenario has them taking on the Norfolk Admirals in the 1-vs-8 matchup in a Best-of-Five series. Adirondack would travel to Norfolk for games 1 and 2. Then they would host games 3 and 4. Game 5, if necessary, would be back in Norfolk.

Playoff dates and times as well as ticket purchasing opportunities will be announced when Adirondack qualifies.

If Adirondack goes 3-0-0 this weekend they will need both Portland and Manchester to not run the table and go undefeated also. If Portland goes 1-0-1 (or worse) and Manchester goes 2-0-1 (or worse) then Adirondack will beat both of them by going 3-0-0.

The Phantoms can also still catch 7th place Syracuse. So if Adirondack goes 3-0-0 and either Portland or Manchester go unbeaten, the Phantoms can still make it in if Syracuse goes 1-2-0 (or worse).

It sounds complicated. But what it boils down to is that the only way Adirondack going 3-0-0 somehow doesn't get the team there is if all three teams ahead of the Phantoms also get hot.

If Adirondack goes 2-1-0 this weekend then they will need to hope for two out of the three ahead of them to struggle a bit more this weekend.

It actually looks quite possible as the teams ahead of the Phantoms all have tough schedules this weekend. Every single night the Phantoms are playing, fans will also be doing some serious scoreboard watching as they root for whoever is playing against Manchester, Portland, Syracuse and Providence.


Adirondack at Springfield
Manchester at Connecticut
Hershey at Portland
Syracuse at Rochester
Bridgeport at Providence


Worcester at Adirondack
Hershey at Manchester
Providence at Springfield
Connecticut at Syracuse


St. John's at Manchester (3:00)
Portland at Providence (4:00)
Syracuse at Albany (4:00)
Norfolk at Adirondack (5:00)


Friday, April 6 (Adirondack Phantoms 3 - Albany Devils 2)

It was another thrilling third-period comeback in front of another raucous and noisy crowd inside the GFCC. Trailing 2-1 heading into the third, the Phantoms got big goals from their top scorers. Matt Ford tied the game with about 12 minutes left and then Denis Hamel scored the game-winner with a little over six minutes remaining after just missing on a breakaway.

The game got nasty at times between the two bitter rivals. Big hits and a couple of big fights too. Tye McGinn dropped the gloves with Albany's Dan Kelly in the third period and then Mike Testwuide did the same after the game was concluded.

The win clinched the Time Warner Cable Cup for the Phantoms and captain Ben Holmstrom received the hardware at center-ice in a post-game ceremony as Adirondack won the Northway series for the second season in a row.

Saturday, April 7 (Adirondack Phantoms 5 - Albany Devils 3)

Matt Ford cranked it up even more than usual and picked up the first ever hat-trick of his pro career as the Phantoms got another key win at the Times Union Center.

Ford scored in each period including a big steal from Albany goalie Jeff Frazee midway through the third giving Adirondack a 4-2 lead on a goal that proved to be the game-winner.

Michael Leighton was a big difference-maker in the game too as the Phantoms spoiled Albany's fan appreciation night and closed out the season-series victory seven games to three.

The chippiness that has been a trend of this rivalry more often than not continued at times in the game with more big hits and a couple more fights including Cullen Eddy dropping the gloves in the second period for the Phantoms.

Sunday, April 8 (Rochester Americans 4 - Adirondack Phantoms 2)

A non-stop barrage of shots and a game that felt like it was Adirondack's for the taking didn't turn out that way Sunday evening at the GFCC. Rochester scored a tie-breaking goal with five minutes remaining and then added a late empty-netter to pull out the 4-2 decision despite being outshot in the game 48-26 including 16-5 in the third.

Tye McGinn (11th) and Tyler Brown (8th) scored for the Phantoms in the second period as the Phantoms just missed on their attempt for a perfect three-for-three weekend.

Adirondack and Rochester finished the season-series even at two games apiece.

Phantoms Breakdown

-- The Phantoms are 36-33-4 this year for 76 points. From December 17, 2010 to the end of last year they posted a record of 28-17-9. That is a combined record of 63-49-12 in the past season-and-a-half (121games played).

-- Adirondack is 22-13-1 on home-ice this year for one of the best advantages in the league. Their 22 home wins are second in the Eastern Conference trailing only league-leading Norfolk who has 25.

-- In last four months of 2010-11, Adirondack had a home record of 18-6-5. That's a combined home-ice mark of 39-19-6 since December 17, 2010. The Phantoms are also 29-13-1 at home since March 16, 2011.

-- Matt Ford has more points this year than any other Phantoms, 56. But only half of those have come with the Phantoms. For the Adirondack team scoring honor, Jason Akeson leads the way with 53 points followed by Denis Hamel who has 46. Akeson leads all AHL rookies in assists with 41, tied with Phil Varone of Rochester heading into the season's last weekend. Akeson is 7th among AHL rookies in total points.

-- Matt Ford leads the league in game-winning goals with nine including eight since joining the Phantoms on February 3. He has scored a career-high 29 goals in total this season which includes 19 in just 28 games with the Phantoms. On April 7 at Albany, Ford recorded his first ever professional hat trick.

-- Michael Leighton has 36 career shutouts to rate 6th all-time in AHL history and is tied for fourth all-time in league history with Nick Demore (1938-47) and Marcel Paile (1956-74). His next shutout will move him into a tie for third all-time at 37 with Bob Perreault (1951-69). Leighton has the most shutouts of any AHL goalie since 1975.

-- Michael Leighton is second in the league in total saves with 1,499 trailing David Leggio of Rochester by just 15 entering the culminating weekend of the 2011-12 campaign. Leighton is now second overall in total minutes played with 3,117 but is only six minutes behind Leggio for the league lead. His 27 wins are tied for third in the AHL.

-- Leighton is 12-6-1 since February 19 with a goals against average of 2.09 and a saves percentage of .936. Leighton has started the last eight consecutive games for Adirondack as well as 17 of the last 20.

--The Phantoms are 24-3-1 when leading after two periods and are an impressive 21-4-1 when leading after one period.

--The Phantoms are 29-11-2 when they score first. The Phantoms are 20-12-4 in one-goal decisions.

Phantoms Leaders (Goals - Assists - Points):
Matt Ford 29-27-56 (with ADK, 19-9-28)
Jason Akeson 12-41-53
Denis Hamel 23-23-46
Garrett Roe 8-31-39
Ben Holmstrom 12-26-38
Mike Testwuide 11-16-27
Shane Harper 13-14-27

Michael Leighton - 27-25-1, 2.60, .917
Jason Bacashihua - 8-10-1, 2.99, .902

Upcoming Opponents

Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackeets) -

Springfield at 34-34-6 for 74 points was eliminated from the playoff race earlier this week and would love for nothing more than to spoil Adirondack's post-season aspirations.

The Adirondack Phantoms are 7-0-0 all-time against the Falcons including 3-0-0 this year. Alexandre Giroux has over 360 career goals in the AHL, the most of all active players. He is second on the team this year with 27 goals and 53 points. Giroux had 60 goals for Hershey in 2008-09 and followed that up with 50 goals the following year.

Rookie talent Cam Atkinson from Boston College leads the team with 29 goals but was called up to Columbus for the final weeks of the regular season. Martin St. Pierre has 53 assists which is third in the AHL as well as 64 points. St. Pierre is an AHL veteran since 2004 with Norfolk (where he was teammates with Michael Leighton), Providence, Binghamton, as well as different leagues in Europe.

Long-time Detroit goaltender Manny Legace, 38-years-old, has spent 35 games between the pipes this year for Springfield. Second-year pro Paul Dainton has received most of the rest of the netminding time.

Springfield is 13th (out of 30) in total offense with 2.8 goals scored per game but defensively they are 25th at 3.1 goals allowed.

Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks) -

Like Springfield, the Sharks (30-31-12) have had their playoff hopes officially dashed earlier this week and are playing out the rest of the regular season for pride and the opportunity to eliminate a team ahead of them such as the Phantoms.

Roy Sommer recorded his 500th career win in the AHL earlier this season and with 14 years at the helm of the San Jose AHL affiliate, is the longest tenured head coach in the circuit. This has included stint with the Kentucky Thoroughblades followed by the Cleveland Lumberjacks and then their current AHL club in the San Jose organization, Worcester.

At 2.6 goals per game, the Sharks rate 24th in the AHL. They allow 2.8 goals a game which is 18th.

Boston native and Boston University product John McCarthy has had a good season with Worcester with a team-leading 20 goals and 46 points. Nathan Moon is perhaps their top rookie with 12 goals and 32 points after coming over from Kingston of the OHL.

Harri Sateri and Tyson Sexsmith are their goalies. 22-year-old Sateri from Finland spent a couple of seasons playing in Sweden before making his debut campaign in the U.S. with Worcester in 2011-12.

Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning) -

It has been an absolutely astonishing season for the Admirals who carry a 25-game win streak into the weekend, the longest in professional hockey history. They have since shattered the former AHL record 17-game win streak by the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2004-05 and Peoria's IHL win-streak of 19 in 1991-92.

Perhaps even more incredibly, the last 19 straight wins have all been in regulation. No overtime or shootouts necessary!

It's all gravy from here. Norfolk (52-18-3) has already clinched the regular season crown and home-ice advantage for the rest of the playoffs. If Adirondack qualifies for the post-season, the most likely scenario has them playing the Admirals in the first round Best-of-Five series in the 1-vs-8 matchup.

Second-year head coach Jon Cooper was just named the AHL's Coach of the Year and Corey Conacher has received top rookie honors. They are surely the first of several more honors to come. The AHL All-Star and All-Rookie Teams are certain to be littered with Admirals players.

Michael Leighton used to hold Norfolk franchise records for career wins (75) and consecutive wins (8) but both of those marks have since been broken by Dustin Tokarski.

Conacher's 35 goals are now second in the league to Matt Fraser of Texas who has 36. Conacher's 75 points are second to Chris Bourque of Hershey who has run away with the league's point-crown with 93.

Tyler Johnson is also lighting it up with 31 goals and 36 assists. Kind of scary that both Conacher (Canisius College) and Johnson (Spokane, WHL) are rookies!

Norfolk leads the league in scoring with 3.6 goals per game and are also very good defensively, allowing just 2.4 to rate 3rd. Their power play is second in the AHL at 22%.

Upcoming Events

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.

Saturday, April 14 (7:00) - Worcester Sharks at Adirondack Phantoms. Fan Appreciation Night with dozens of prizes for the fans including many autographed Phantoms items. 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.

Monday, April 16 (7:00) - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE at McGinny's. Special Guest, Phantoms Executive Vice President Chris Porreca chatting about the season and the big "I'm In" campagin. Also with Tim McManus of the Post-Star and Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck.

Wednesday, April 18 - To Be Announced?!?! Fingers-crossed. Playoff Push!!

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!




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