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Rivalry Renewed! Devils Hold Off Phantoms Comeback
January 18, 2013

It was a tale of two games for the Adirondack Phantoms against the Albany Devils on Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Trailing 4-2 after two periods, the Phantoms put on a ferocious comeback display outshooting their visiting opponents 21-4 but weren't able to come all the way back in a 4-3 final.

It appeared for an instant that Adirondack had actually scored an equalizing goal with just three seconds left when 37-year-old veteran Andreas Lilja in his first game with the Phantoms this year beat Albany goalie Keith Kinkaid. But referee Geno Binda ruled that he had already blown the whistle on a dislodged net and waved off the goal.

"I think that goal at the end was a legal goal even though their goalie knocked the net off," Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said. "I don't think it really matters if the net's on the moorings in those situations."

The game was an impressive and exciting start to a busy slate of games between the two Northway rivals in their battle for the Time Warner Cable Cup. Adirondack and Albany face each other four times over a nine day stretch running through next Saturday afternoon.

Jason Akeson (4th), Marcel Noebels (2nd) and Tye McGinn (10th) all scored for Adirondack while Cal Heeter made several fine stops especially in the first period in keeping the Phantoms in front with their early lead.

The difference in the shots on goal was striking. Albany was dominating in the first two periods with a 31-9 shot advantage including 15-5 in the first and then 16-4 in the second. But the Phantoms rallied in the third to out-shoot the Devils 21-4. Final shots on goal were 35-30 in favor of the Devils.

"It was a bad first and second. The puck possession, I think they had 31 shots after two periods and I think 18 of them came off our sticks with passing, turnovers, and we were just not managing pucks. They end up just hemming us in and we couldn't do a thing."

Matt Anderson deflected a Joe Whitney shot 3:22 into the game as Albany struck first.

But the Phantoms quickly responded with back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart on only three total shots. Harry Zolnierczyk rushed up the left wing with time winding down on a power play and when his shot trickled a little behind Albany goalie Keith Kinkaid, Jason Akeson was crashing in to slam it home while also barreling into the cage. The goal counted and the Phantoms had tied it at 1-1.

At 10:36 into the first period and less than two minutes after Akeson's goal, it was Akeson again this time taking a feed from behind the goal by Lilja and quickly flipping it out in front for Noebels to backhand score his second goal of the season and his second in his last two games. The 20-year-old prospect from Germany had given the Phantoms the lead at 2-1 at the first intermission.

Cal Heeter kept the Phantoms in front with some great stops. But Albany finally broke through in the second on goals by Harri Pesonen to tie and then back-to-back goals by Joe Whitney to take a 4-2 lead after two.

Then came the Phantoms' attack and several chances to pull off the comeback. Matthew Ford was awarded a penalty shot when Roman Hrabaranka fell on the puck in the crease preventing a goal. Ford had stolen the puck from goalie Kinkaid on a bad clearing attempt. But he was unable to score on the penalty shot as his drive went off the right leg-pad and away.

A couple minutes later, Jason Akeson's shot bounced off Kinkaid to the right-wing goal-line where Tye McGinn was able to convert on the sharp angle and close the score to 4-3 with his 10th of the year. McGinn had just returned to the Phantoms from Philadelphia Flyers' training camp the day before.

Rob Bordson and Jason Akeson came close to tying the score with about three minutes remaining. Bordson's shot speeding into the zone was kicked out to Akeson who had a nice rebound opportunity but missed.

Lilja had a chance on the back-door with a puck pushed to the left side of the crease with 50 seconds left but as the veteran defenseman came charging in to try for the score an Albany stick was barely able to push the puck over to the corner and break up the play.

Akeson made a great diving play back in the Phantoms zone to deny Tim Sestito of Albany of an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left and that set up the potential tying goal by Lilja with three seconds left that was waved off.

Like all teams in the AHL now, Adirondack is moving players around on different lines and has a different look to their lineup the past couple of weeks. In this game, it seemed that the Phantoms had a tough time fining their chemistry until their comeback effort in the third.

"We got a lot new people," Murray said. "You got guys up from the East Coast League looking to make their mark now. You got guys in critical situations that they haven't played in maybe ever...I don't know that....but certainly not this year. There's a big change going on but we have three games in three days so we'll have to make that adjustment quickly."

Adirondack played the last two periods without alternate captain Brandon Manning who left after the first intermissions when he came down sick. Zack FitzGerald switched back to defense from his forward position.

37-year-old Andreas Lilja played his first game for Adirondack and almost scored on three different occasions. He won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008. This was his first game at the Glens Falls Civic Center but he had been here for a couple practices earlier in the season. He had also played one game for the Adirondack Phantoms last year on a conditioning stint but that was on the road at Binghamton.

36-year-old goalie Brian Boucher was a scratch for the game. Scott Munroe dressed as the backup goalie.

Healthy scratches included Shane Harper and Blake Kessel. Injury scratches included Erik Gustafsson, Garrett Roe, Matt Konan and Ben Holmstrom.

The Devils outshot Adirondack 35-30. The Phantoms were 1-for-3 on the power play while Albany was 0-for-2.

The Phantoms travel to Worcester to play the Sharks Saturday at 7:00. Adirondack and Albany will meet again Sunday at 4:00 in Atlantic City.

Adirondack and Albany meet again two more times next weekend including the Phantoms' next home game next Friday on Pink in the Rink Night presented by Glens Falls Hospital with post-game jersey auction proceeds going to benefit the C.R. Wood Cancer Center.

Get special fundraising tickets for next Friday's game against Albany for only $15 with $5 from each ticket sold benefiting the C.R. Wood Cancer Center. Contact the Phantoms for more information at 518-480-3355.



Albany Devils 4 at Adirondack Phantoms 3 - Status: Final
Friday, January 18, 2013 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Albany 1 3 0 - 4
Adirondack 2 0 1 - 3

1st Period-1, Albany, Anderson 6 (Whitney, Burlon), 3:22. 2, Adirondack, Akeson 4 (Syvret, Zolnierczyk), 8:55 (PP). 3, Adirondack, Noebels 2 (Lilja, Akeson), 10:36. Penalties-served by Pesonen Alb (bench minor - too many men), 6:58; Lilja Adk (boarding), 13:05; McKelvie Alb (fighting), 16:03; Eddy Adk (fighting), 16:03; Lilja Adk (holding), 17:51.

2nd Period-4, Albany, Pesonen 7 (Sislo, Burlon), 9:05. 5, Albany, Whitney 7 (Zalewski, Gelinas), 12:39. 6, Albany, Whitney 8 (Sislo), 17:14. Penalties-McKelvie Alb (goaltender interference, fighting), 6:29; Eddy Adk (fighting), 6:29; Zajac Alb (fighting), 12:52; Lauridsen Adk (fighting), 12:52.

3rd Period-7, Adirondack, McGinn 10 (Akeson), 10:04. Penalties-Hrabarenka Alb (delay of game), 4:12.

Shots on Goal-Albany 15-16-4-35. Adirondack 5-4-21-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 2; Adirondack 1 / 3.
Goalies-Albany, Kinkaid 12-8-3 (30 shots-27 saves). Adirondack, Heeter 6-11-1 (35 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Marty Demers (79).


Friday, January 18 (7:00) - Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms. Presented by Glens Falls Plastic Surgery. Time Warner Cable Cup Rivalry Game. $2 Draft Beer Specials

Saturday, January 19 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Worcester Sharks

Sunday, January 20 (4:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils (at Atlantic City, NJ)

Monday, January 21 (7:00) - Phantoms Power Hour LIVE on Q101.7 with scheduled guests Marcel Noebels and Ian Slater.

Friday, January 25 (7:00) - Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms. Pink in the Rink Night presented by Glens Falls Hospital with jersey-auction proceeds to benefit C.R. Wood Cancer Center.

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