Head Coach Terry Murray said he hoped the return
of Jason Akeson could help some of his big scorers
put the puck in the back of the net and potentially
bring an extra kick to the power play. And with
one click of the famous "That was Easy"
Button, Akeson was able to do just that in leading
the Phantoms to a 5-1 rout of the Bridgeport Sound
Tigers on Thanksgiving Eve at the Glens Falls
In his first game back with the team he led in
scoring a year ago he showed his play-making ability
by racking up three assists on his way to #1 Star
of the Game honors against a previously red-hot
affiliates of the New York Islanders that had
won five of their last six and fell to an overall
record of 10-5-0 with the one of their worst results
of the season.
Five different Phantoms scored goals, three of
which came on a revitalized power play attack,
and the Phantoms put them in from every direction
on Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin. Harry Zolnierczyk,
Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Tye McGinn and
Shane Harper all got it done for Adirondack.
It was the perfect way to begin the Thanksgiving
Feast Homestand for the Phantoms as they enjoy
the support of the home crowd for their first
game in Glens Falls in two-and-a-half weeks.
But the story of the game was the return of the
popular Jason Akeson who had 55 points including
41 assists to lead Adirondack last year. He began
this season in the ECHL with Trenton so he could
log the most minutes possible for the first few
weeks of the year. And then set up the first three
Phantoms goals in a quick nine-minute spurt in
the second period. His last assist came on a fine
cross-ice pass from the left circle finding Brayden
Schenn on the right dot to bury a one-timer and
give the Phantoms a 3-1 lead.
"I like playing here and it was great to
be back out here," Akeson said. "Our
line had some good chemistry there. Playing with
Coots (Sean Couturier) is a real treat. The guy's
a good player in the NHL so it's really exciting
to play with him. The power play was clicking
tonight. It's the guys I'm playing around. I like
to make plays and when they finish them off it
makes you look good."
The second-period barrage saw the Phantoms out-shoot
the Sound Tigers 18-6 in perhaps their most dominating
20-minute stretch of hockey this season.
Not surprisingly, head coach Terry Murray liked
what he saw. "Good to get a win at home and
I really liked the effort tonight," Murray
said. "I thought the guys were focused from
the start of the game. There were smart plays
coming out of our own end. Our defensemen were
really good at moving the puck up. And we got
the forecheck going and had some pressure in the
offensive zone and scored some timely goals."
After a scoreless opening frame as the Phantoms
felt out the opponents, it took just 13 seconds
into the second period for Akeson to find Harry
Zolnierczyk busting into the Bridgeport zone and
shoot one home while falling to his back and sliding
to the corner. That even-strength goal was ALMOST
a power play tally but Brisgeport had returned
to full strength just three second prior.
In the ultra-weird-stat department, all four of
Harry Z's goals have been the first goal of an
Adirondack home game. It was only the fifth home
game of the year for the Phantoms, and Zolnierczyk
has the first Adirondack goal in four of them.
A minute-and-a-half later, Sean Couturier drifted
across the slot during a 5-on-3 advantage and
while drawing the goalie Poulin over from left
to right saw an opening to pull a quick slapshot
against the grain where Poulin would not have
time to recover.
Nino Niedereiter would push it across the slot
to Jon Landry on a Bridgeport power play about
a minute later to get one of them back and make
the score 2-1.
But later in the period, it would be Akeson again
on the assist for his third of the period on the
impressive cross-ice vision for Schenn's one-timer.
"He (Akeson" made a nice play on Schenn's
goal" Murray said. "I thought the play
was a great set up by Gustafsson first of all
and then Akeson finds him. His play was good and
he played the game with tempo and he moved his
feet which was something I didn't see throughout
the training camp. He's quick and he's fast and
I like to see him play that way."
The power play not only benefited from Akeson's
play-making but also by the return of Tye McGinn
who had missed the last three games with injury.
The big body created necessary traffic that even
led to his own goal on the deflection of a Sean
Couturier drive in the third period making it
And the Phantoms closed the scoring late in the
third period on the hustle of Rob Bordson who
stole the puck from the goalie Poulin behind the
net and then connected nicely with the trailed
Shane Harper to slam his fourth of the season
into the mostly open net.
The Phantoms outshot Bridgeport 34-23. The Phantoms
scored a season-high three power play goals as
they went 3-for-7. Bridgeport went 1-for-4.
Scott Munroe was the winning goalie with 22 saves.
His 68th career Phantoms victory puts him three
behind Antero Nittymaki for second place all-time
in franchise history. Neil Little leads all Phantoms
goaltenders with 177 career wins.
Adirondack improved to 3-2-0 at home and 7-8-0
Cullen Eddy, Mike Testwuide and Shane Harper all
dropped the mitts and took five-minute fighting
majors with various members of the opposition.
Scratches for the Phantoms included Zack FitzGerald,
Eric Wellwood, Matthew Ford, Jeff Dimmen and Matt
The Phantoms homestand continues on Black Friday
against Norfolk and Saturday night against Hershey.
The Orange and Black Friday sale with amazing
discounts on tickets and merchandise takes place
at the GFCC from 6:00 AM until 12:00 PM. Then
game-time against the Norfolk Admirals is at 7:00
PM featuring $2 Draft Beer Specials. Saturday
against Hershey is Men's Cancer Awareness Night
with special mustache jerseys, a post-game jersey
auction, and a pre-game youth jersey giveaway
for the first 1,000 kids in attendance.
Here's a preview of our great jerseys presented
by the Parks Heritage Federal Credit Union for
the Men's Cancer Awareness Night game this Saturday.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1 at Adirondack Phantoms
5 - Status: Final
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic
Bridgeport 0 1 0 - 1
Adirondack 0 3 2 - 5
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Bourdon Adk
(hooking), 8:06; Wishart Bri (interference), 13:48;
Cantin Bri (delay of game), 18:10.
Friday, November 23 (7:00) -
Norfolk Admirals at Adirondack Phantoms - Annual
Black Friday Game. $2 Draft Beer Specials
Saturday, November 24 (7:00) -
Hershey Bears at Adirondack Phantoms - Men's Cancer
Includes Phantoms Youth Jersey Giveaway presented
by Glens Falls Hospital Rehabilitation Team. Phantoms
Mustache Jerseys and post-game auction presented
by Parks Heritage Federal Credit Union with portion
of proceeds to benefit Glens Falls Hospital Foundation
- C.R. Wood Cancer Center Capital Campaign.
Great Youth Jerseys to be given away to the first
1,000 kids in attendance (age 14 and younger)
on Saturday, November 24 presented by the Glens
Falls Hospital Rehabilitation Team. Be sure to
get there early!
Phantoms Have You Covered
We have all the latest interviews, game-recaps,
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Follow the Phantoms and join our online communities
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And, of course, check in frequently at our official
team website at phantomshockey.com
Phantoms Fight Cancer this month features players
and staff growing mustaches to raise awareness
and generate funds for men's cancer issues. Contribute
in the donation cans at the Phantoms game for
your favorite Phantoms mustache grower (even Dax!!)
The month will feature a Phantoms Mustache Jersey
in our November 24 game presented by Parks Heritage
Federal Credit Union with part of the proceeds
from the post-game jersey auction to benefit the
Glens Falls Hospital Foundation - C.R. Wood Cancer
Center Capital Campaign. Visit our special Movember
site at mobro.co/phantomshockey