an overnight bus-ride from Syracuse to Bridgeport,
a road-weary Adirondack Phantoms team pushed their
way through the fatigue to snag their third straight
victory in a 3-2 decision at the Sound Tigers
Saturday night. It was the last game before the
holiday break for the Phantoms who now get a few
days away from the ice to spend with family and
Sean Couturier was vital on all three Adirondack
scores with one goal and two assists on his way
to #1 Star of the Game honors. Matt Ford scored
his first of the season and Eric Wellwood added
his third of the year and second of the week.
Adirondack held a relatively comfortable 3-0 lead
with less than seven minutes remaining when Bridgeport
would finally get one past Scott Munroe to break
the shutout. The Sound Tigers would score another
just 27 seconds later and suddenly the Phantoms'
were not so comfortable anymore. But Adirondack
was able to hang on to get their third consecutive
one-goal victory in the last four days.
The Phantoms were at a bit of a disadvantage in
the game not just from the lengthy travel but
also because they were facing a much fresher Bridgeport
team who had not played a game since Wednesday.
"It was a demanding game for us after getting
in at 5:00 in the morning," head coach Terry
Murray said. "Those trips always take a bit
of a toll on you but the guys responded emotionally.
I thought there was a good focus at the start
of the game. You get the lead and you know at
the end of the day you got a win. We need the
points. We need to keep climbing up the ladder."
Sean Couturier confirmed that the team is aware
of the importance of the points. "We saw
last week the standings," Couturier said.
"We knew that if we want to make the playoffs
we've got to make a push from now on. We've been
playing some pretty desperate hockey lately and
we've put a couple wins on the board and that
will put us right back in the race for the playoffs."
It was an emotional night at Webster Bank Arena
as the Sound Tigers' organization honored the
victims of the Newtown tragedies of December 14.
Bridgeport is only 19 miles from Newtown. A pregame
ceremony and moment of silence later made way
for a game in which the Sound Tigers players wore
the names of the victims on the back of their
jerseys instead of their own in a classy way to
In the game, the Phantoms mustered only 18 shots
on goal in the game, a season low. But Adirondack
made the most of their chances while Munroe turned
aside 34 of the 36 shots he faced including a
couple of breakaway stops to secure the win against
his former team. Munroe patrolled the pipes for
the Sound Tigers three seasons ago in 2009-10.
Adirondack only had three of the combined nine
shots on goal in the first period and it was perhaps
the lowest percentage shot of the entire night
that would find its way through for the first
goal of the game. Sean Couturier rushed up ice
almost on a breakaway but diving defenseman Brandon
DeFazio poked the puck off his stick and into
the corner. Couturier quickly retrieved it and
from a bit behind the goal-line in the corner
fired it at the net, deflecting it off the stick
of defenseman Aaron Ness and into the goal for
a lucky bouncer to give Adirondack a 1-0 lead
on his eighth goal of the season.
"It's not an unusual play. You're going to
see those kind of decisions made all of the time
and you're just hopinng something good happens,"
Murray said. "Whether the puck goes in the
net or somebody is driving through and there's
something loose in front of the crease. It's always
the right decision to make a play to go to the
net and this time it happened to find a way in."
Couturier fired a slapper from the right-point
in the second period directing his blast into
the slot for Matthew Ford who was able to change
direction of the blast with his chop to bounce
it past Anders Nilsson for a 2-0 lead. It was
Ford's first goal of the season after scoring
19 goals with the Phantoms last season and 29
For a talented scorer like Ford, it's been longer
than expected to get into the scoring column.
"It's nice to see him break the ice. I hope
now that he can break through and get on a roll,"
Murray said. "I'd like to see him over the
next dozen games or so score more. It would be
a good thing for him. It woudl be a good thing
for the team. He needed that one that's going
to break the ice and hopefully now he can kick
the door open."
The Phantoms added another in the first minute
of the third period when Couturier's wrap-around
try would rebound out to a wide-open Eric Wellwood
on the back-door for the easy one-timer to make
Couturier's assists setting up Wellwood and Ford
made it a three-goal night for his line-combo.
"We're finding good chemistry with each other,"
Couturier said. "We're finding each other
well out there and things are going our way and
hopefully things keep going well."
The Phantoms had three straight power plays in
the third period to try to deliver the knockout
punch but Bridgeport killed all of them off and
kept on charging in their efforts to get back
into the game. Scott Munroe had already denied
a couple of breakaway tries and made a bunch of
other fantastic saves.
Goals with less than seven minutes left were scored
27 seconds apart by Jack Combs and Johan Sundstrom
to make it 3-2 game. And the Sound Tigers just
missed on a couple more opportunities to tie it.
But eventually the Phantoms prevailed to equal
their longest win streak of the season at three
in a row.
It was the second game in a row in which Adirondack
let a 3-0 lead evaporate to almost cost them.
Friday night at Syracuse the Phantoms were in
front 3-0 and then battled back to win in a shootout
"We're getting good starts but maybe a little
let-down once in awhile," Couturier said.
"We've got to make sure we play 60 minutes.
We've got to learn from those mistakes and learn
how to play with the lead."
The Phantoms players head for home for a couple
of days for the AHL Holiday Break. Adirondack
returns to action on Friday night against the
Providence Bruins and then will play another home
game on Monday, December 31 at 3:00 against Bridgeport
in the traditional New Years' Eve home game. The
Phantoms will be wearing Tuxedo Jerseys presented
by Scoville Jewlers with a portion of the proceeds
to benefit the WAIT House of Glans Falls (Welcome
Adolescents in Transition).
Call the tickets to get your tickets in advance
and save at 518-480-3355.
Terry Murray Post-Game - Dec 22, 2012
Sean Couturier Post-Game Dec 22, 2012
Adirondack Phantoms 3 at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
2 - Status: Final
Saturday, December 22, 2012 - Webster Bank Arena
Saturday, December 22 (7:00) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
December 23-26 - Holiday
Break for the Team
Friday, December 28 (7:00) -
Providence Bruins at Adirondack Phantoms. Only
Glens Falls appearance for the "Baby Bruins."
$2 Draft Beer Specials.
Saturday, December 29 (7:00) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Portland Pirates (at Lewiston,
Monday, December 31 (3:00) -
Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms.
Traditional New Year's Eve Game in Glens Falls.
Specialty Orange Tuxedo Jerseys. Post-Game Jersey
Auction with the players live after the game.
Happy New Year!!
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