If the NHL lockout comes to an end this week,
we may have seen the last of Sean Couturier in
Glens Falls. If so then what a swan-song! The
20-year-old blasted home a one-timer from the
right circle in overtime to propel the Phantoms
past the Connecticut Whale on Saturday night.
A large and boisterous crowd of 4,634 enjoyed
the intense match.
What a night. And what a win. When Couturier's
10th goal of the season was blasted home after
Danny Syvret slid it right over to him it triggered
a massive celebration for the Phantoms beginning
with a pretty hard tackle from Tye McGinn.
"It was a big power play for us late in the
game," Couturier humbly stated. "We
haven't been too good on the power play this season.
But when we have a chance to create something
we have to capitalize and it was a big goal in
a key situation.
Head Coach Terry Murray was pleased with his team's
composure in the dramatic finish. "It was
a good set-up. The guys took their time. They
won the face-off right away. That's obviously
the critical thing at the start of it. You move
the puck around and get some movement and shoot
The game was the 2013 home debut for the Phantoms.
And comes just one day after the big announcement
that the Phantoms would return to Glens Falls
in 2013-14 for a 25th season of American League
Hockey in the North Country. The fans responded
to the news and the big Saturday night game by
coming out in full-force to watch their Phantoms
tangle with the AHL affiliate of the New York
It was perhaps the last game of the Lockout-era
version of the AHL in which the fans have enjoyed
the highest caliber of hockey ever seen in the
North Country due to the influx of so many current
NHL players on the Phantoms and all of their opponents.
Adirondack played well throughout the contest
and picked up big saves from winning goalie Cal
Heeter when they needed him in the clutch. For
the rookie out of Ohio State, it was his first
win in Glens Falls and he was most deserving after
is 30-save effort.
The Phantoms almost won the game on a few earlier
chances. Danny Syvret's blast from the right point
rang off the post. And late in the third-period,
Couturier slid a shot from the left ring that
clanged off the base of the far-post and stayed
"I thought we had some good looks tonight
just putting pucks to the net," Murray said.
"There was some really good recovery of pucks
and we moved our feet well. We stayed hungry and
stayed after it."
Couturier wouldn't miss on his next big chance
though as Adirondack improved to 2-1 in overtime
games this season and 4-2 in games decided after
regulation (overtime or shootout).
Adirondack was especially strong on the boards
and won many puck battles from the Whale. Through
much of the first and second periods, they appeared
to have Connecticut on the ropes with lots of
continuous puck possession while the Whale struggled
to get the puck out of their zone.
The Phantoms kept on coming and coming. But they
could not push past their 1-0 lead which they
enjoyed since the three-minute mark of the game
when Tye McGinn wristed the night's opening tally
from the right circle after an intercept by Rob
Bordson. It was McGinn's 9th of the year.
Murray frequently emphasizes the importance of
getting a good, quality start right from the drop
of the first puck. That goal three minutes into
the game came not long after a new line-combo
provided an early spark. "The energy line
gave us a good start with (Ian) Slater, (Tyler)
Brown and (Zac) Rinaldo. I thought they did a
nice job with their purpose and what they needed
to do for the team here tonight. To get pucks
in and get after it, recover pucks. And give us
high energy and I thought everyone followed up
For center Ian Slater, it was his Adirondack Phantoms
debut following a reassignment from Trenton (ECHL).
The Western Michigan University product had a
couple near-misses to scoring a goal in his first
Connecticut hung around in the game thanks to
some nice stops from Cam Talbot. They broke through
late in the second period with a goal by Chad
Kolarik on the rebound to the left of the goal
that needed to be confirmed via video-review.
Cal Heeter's best stop of the night happened in
the second period when Tommy Grant received a
chip up the ice and was clear for a breakaway.
Heeter slid to his left to go with the shooter
and got a leg-pad on the attempt in one of his
several fine stops on the game.
"Heeter was good. I thought he was much better
tonight than last night although I liked his game
last night," Murray said. "Obviously
I came back with him for back-to-back games which
was the first time for him this year. He was a
little more under control, more composure, and
maybe it was because he played in back-to-back.
It demanded that he stay in better positions and
be more composed in those situations."
It was a nice way to kick-off play at home in
2013 for the Phantoms. With a great crowd truly
enjoying the moment and perhaps the last games
in the North Country for some talented NHL players
like Couturier and Schenn.
And if it truly was the swan-song for those players
and perhaps a few others in Glens Falls if the
lockout does end? "I was reading before the
game it looks like things are pretty positive,"
Murray said. "That's good for hockey. We
need to get back and play at the NHL level. We'll
see what happens from there and hopefully the
deal is going to be done really soon and it's
going to be a long time before we see this again."
The Phantoms don't play again until next Friday
and Saturday when they travel to the Binghamton
Senators and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins back-to-back.
Adirondack's next home game is Friday, January
18 against the Albany Devils presented by Glens
Falls Plastic Surgery for a Time Warner Cable
Cup rivalry game. Friday, January 25 is Pink in
the Rink Night featuring pink jerseys and a post-game
auction. Call the Phantoms for tickets at 518-480-3355.
Pictures courtesy of Andy Camp.
The game-winning goal from Couturier! You can
barely see the puck above the knob of the goalies
stick. And the water-bottle on top of the goal
has moved. Great pic, Andy!
The Phantoms celebrate the first goal of the night
by Tye McGinn.
Photographic proof that the video-review was indeed
correct on the only goal that Connecticut scored
in the game. That distance between the puck and
the line was precisely how close Cal Heeter came
to his first career pro shutout.
Connecticut Whale 1 at Adirondack Phantoms 2 (OT)
- Status: Final OT
Saturday, January 5, 2013 - Glens Falls Civic
Connecticut 0 1 0 0 - 1
Adirondack 1 0 0 1 - 2
1st Period-1, Adirondack, McGinn 9 (Bordson),
2:57. Penalties-McIlrath Ct (fighting), 2:59;
Lauridsen Adk (fighting), 2:59; Kolarik Ct (cross-checking),
3:46; Ford Adk (interference), 8:53; Parlett Ct
(roughing), 19:02; Bordson Adk (roughing), 19:02.
2nd Period-2, Connecticut, Kolarik 14 (Segal,
Newbury), 16:25. Penalties-Haley Ct (fighting),
8:06; FitzGerald Adk (fighting), 8:06; Zolnierczyk
Adk (slashing), 9:17; Segal Ct (slashing), 9:20;
Pyett Ct (interference), 10:56; Collins Ct (tripping),
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Jean Ct (roughing),
11:04; Lauridsen Adk (roughing), 11:04.
OT Period-3, Adirondack, Couturier 10 (Syvret,
Schenn), 3:08 (PP). Penalties-Haley Ct (slashing),
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 9-9-11-2-31. Adirondack
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 2; Adirondack
1 / 5.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 12-15-0 (36 shots-34
saves). Adirondack, Heeter 5-10-1 (31 shots-30
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Steeve Lemay (64).
Monday, January 7 (7:00) -
Phantoms Power Hour returns LIVE on Q101.7 This
week we welcome player guest Zack FitzGerald!
Friday, January 11 (7:05) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, January 12 (7:05) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Friday, January 18 (7:00)
- Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms
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