It was Comeback City for the Adirondack Phantoms
in the last game of 2012 as three straight goals
earned the team a standings point against the
Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The traditional New Years'
Eve game would eventually be taken by Bridgeport
in a shootout 4-3.
Jeff Dimmen, Sean Couturier and Brandon Manning
lit the lamp for the Phantoms who stayed unbeaten
in regulation against the Sound Tigers this year
at 2-0-1. Goalie Cal Heeter entered in relief
of Scott Munroe and allowed nothing to get past
him until the shootout thus garnering the valuable
point in the team's first shootout loss of the
Adirondack hit the ice looking extra-dapper and
snazzy as well as a touch outrageous in their
orange, pin-stripe Tuxedo Jerseys. The formal
look for the team was presented by Scoville Jewlers
with proceeds of the post-game jersey auction
to benefit the WAIT House of Glens Falls; Welcoming
Adolescents in Transition.
The Phantoms spotted Bridgeport a 3-0 cushion
before turning up the heat and mounting the comeback
in the wildly exciting, back and forth game.
"It was a good third period. We had an opportunity
to come back and win the game" Phantoms Head
Coach Terry Murray said. "There were four
or five really quality scoring chances, also in
the overtime. And that's all you're looking for;
To keep going and get the looks that will give
you the chance to win it. It was a good effort
to come back and tie the game up."
Matt Watkins jammed one in for a wrap-around goal
on Scott Munroe just 27 seconds into the game.
Adirondack could have trailed by more at the first
intermission but made several nice plays and caught
a couple lucky breaks on a full two-minute 5-on-3
penalty kill for Bridgeport. Matt Konan was out
for four minutes on a high-sticking double minor.
And Brayden Schenn got tagged for a cross-check
on a short-handed rush right after that.
Oliver Lauridsen, Rob Bordson and Danny Syvret
were pinned in their zone for a good chunk of
the 120 seconds and made a couple big blocks.
Bridgeport defenseman Jon Landry had a couple
blasts which got past Munroe but found the post
on the other side and rang back out. The Phantoms
had dodged a couple of bullets and were still
only down 1-0.
Johan Sundstrom scored on the power play early
in the second period for Bridgeport and then a
John Persson shot would be deflected by Jeff Dimmen
and take an unlucky spin almost in slow-motion
and end-over-end tumble as it just eluded Scott
Munroe. Suddenly, Adirondack found themselves
in a 3-0 hole.
Cal Heeter came on for Munroe and was quickly
tested and made a back-to-back impressive saves
which seemed to spark the rest of the team.
"I make the change for a reason and it's
not necessarily the goaltender," Murray said.
"You get down by three and you need to change
momentum. I believe in the momentum part of it
and Heeter came in and made a couple of very big
stops. He made one stop there which was from side
to side that was an excellent save. He kept everybody
energized on the bench because of it."
And at that point, Coach Murray's team had a big
challenge ahead of them.
"It's time to push," Murray said. "The
third goal deflected off our defenseman's stick
and just knuckleballed on (Munroe). Everybody
realizes that we gotta get back into the game
Tye McGinn and defenseman Jeff Dimmen weaved their
way into the Sound Tigers zone and Dimmen's blast
from the left circle for his second of the year
got the Phantoms on the board at 9:48 of the second
to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Eric Wellwood nicely set things up from behind
the goal as he found an open Sean Couturier knifing
in from the right circle for a perfect chance
to bury his ninth of the year.
And with under two minutes remaining and the teams
playing 4-on-4, another defenseman would join
the offensive attack and capitalize. This time
it was Brandon Manning who won the puck on the
forecheck in behind the Bridgeport goal and then
carried it out in front for several whacks off
the pads of goalie Anders Nillson.
Eventually, Manning was able to muscle it in there
with his non-stop poking and jamming to get his
fourth goal of the season and tie the game at
"We need to contribute from our back-end"
Manning said of his decision to step into the
forecheck and generate the goal with his second-effort.
"That's part of my game that hasn't quite
been there this year. I feel like I could contribute
a bit more. 4-on-4 like that is a great opportunity
for D-Men to step in. Fortunately for me I was
able to help out tonight."
The Phantoms had all the momentum at that point
and could have won the game on several occasions
in a third-period during which they outshot the
Sound Tigers 14-7. But new Bridgeport goalie Kevin
Poulin stayed strong and also had a couple lucky
breaks of his own.
Tye McGinn missed on a back-door opportunity for
a wide-open net after a perfect centering pass
from Jason Akeson emanating from the right-wing
corner. Another shot glanced off the top of the
cross-bar and yet another one was off Poulin's
Eric Wellwood seemed to be everywhere and generated
multiple chances, particularly in the second and
the third periods. Brayden Schenn had some close
In the end, the game would go to overtime with
more big saves from both relief goalies who went
through the rest of the game unscathed until the
Jason Akeson had a dirty curl-move on his shootout
goal but it would be the only Adirondack tally
on Poulin in four tries while three different
Sound Tigers scorers would beat Heeter to garner
the additional point.
Bridgeport improved to 8-1-2- in their last 11
as they recorded their first victory against the
Phantoms this year and moved to 17-12-3 overall.
Adirondack fell to 2-1 in shootouts and 3-2 overall
in games decided past regulation (overtime or
shootout). The Phantoms are 13-16-2 overall.
The Phantoms outshot the Sound Tigers 38-35. Adirondack
was 0-for-5 on the power play while Bridgeport
was 1-for-6. The game was the third out of six
in the season series between the two division
rivals but the Phantoms and Sound Tigers do not
meet again until March.
Adirondack opens play in calendar 2013 on Friday
night at the Connecticut Whale. The first Phantoms'
home game of 2013 is Saturday also against Connecticut,
AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. The first
1,000 kids in attendance will receive Phantoms
drawstring backpacks courtesy of UniFirst.
Get your tickets in advance and save. Call the
Phantoms at 518-480-3355.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4 (SO) at Adirondack Phantoms
3 - Status: Final SO
Monday, December 31, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic
Friday, January 4 (7:00) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Connecticut Whale
Saturday, January 5 (7:00) -
Connecticut Whale at Adirondack Phantoms. Phantoms
drawstring backpacks for the first 1,000 kids
in attendance presented by UniFirst.
Monday, January 7 (7:00) -
Phantoms Power Hour LIVE on Q101.7 returns! Player
Friday, January 11 (7:05) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, January 12 (7:05) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
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