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One of Largest AHL Crowds Cheers Phantoms
February 22, 2013





The Phantoms packed them in. 19,561 of them in fact as part of a big sellout crowd at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. And the host Phantoms were able to cling to a 1-0 lead for the first 53 minutes of their nail-biter against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. But the Penguins rallied late and finally were able to break rookie goalie Cal Heeter for a 2-1 victory on Friday night.

Bobby Farnham's second career goal with 6:26 remaining followed shortly by Brian Gibbons winner with 4:39 left put a late damper on an otherwise great evening playing in the home of their parent-club Philadelphia Flyers.

The exciting and chippy contest featured a number of skirmishes and also some potentially breakout games but the youngest talents on the team. Most of the fans in Philadelphia have not really heard of the up-and-coming rookies with the Phantoms such as Ian Slater, Marcel Noebels, Matt Mangene and Cal Heeter. But they sure are paying attention to them now after all of the above contributed in big, positive ways in the Phantoms' effort.

Adirondack had just killed off three straight Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power plays to push the Penguins to 0-for-7 on the night while maintaining the 1-0 margin. That included a diving play by Jason Akeson without a stick to hand-pass it out of the zone. And a number of shorthanded opportunities.

But all the P.K.'s perhaps took their toll as Philip Samulesson picked one off at the blue-line and found Farnham in the right-circle for his tying goal and big momentum changer.

And Gibbons scored the winner a couple minutes later after it was lofted across the slot and his shot was able to trickle through Heeter who took a tough loss after making so many fine stops on everything thrown at him fo rhte first 53 minutes.

Marcel Noebels scored midway through the first period for a goal that would hold up for most of the night, but not all of it. A 5-on-3 had just ended but Syvret was able to get one down low to Matt Mangene whose sharp-angle shot got Penguins' goalie Brad Thiessen moving and out of position leaving a juicy rebound opportunity for Noebels to score his 6th of the year and his first in a few weeks.

Tyler Brown had some of the best chances for Adirondack including a breakaway, another near-breakaway, and a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush. He showed quality energy in his first game in a couple weeks after recovering from the flu but unfortunately was unable to finish and was denied each time by Thiessen.

The crowd was one of the largest in AHL and also Phantoms history. They rocked and cheered and even did the wave for a good portion of an important penalty kill in the third period.

It is the 7th largest regular-season crowd in AHL history and the 3rd largest indoor crowd. The only other regular-season games in AHL history to draw more fans were Kenutcky at Carolina in 1997 (20,672) and Syracuse at the Phantoms in 2001 (19,730). This game unseats one of the Phantoms other games for 3rd largest indoor crowd; Kentucky at the Phantoms in 1999 (19,532).

It is the 4th-largest crowd in Phantoms' franchise history when including regular-season and post-season games. The largest all-time in AHL history came last year in the Phantoms' annual visit to Philadelphia which was played in the great outdoors at the Philadelphia Phillies baseball home, Citizens Bank Park, with 45,653 on-hand for the historic and record-setting night.

"It's always great to come back to Philadelphia," Terry Murray said. "It's a great hockey city. It's a great atmosphere. Great environment all the time. You come into this building in particular...there's no better place in the hockey world."

It's an opportunity for the Phantoms' players to show their stuff in front of their biggest crowd of the season. "I was really happy for the young guys to be able to play in that kind of environment," Murray said. "It's tremendous for them the experience that they're now going to take out of it as far as handling the focus, handling the pressure, handling the responsibility to come out and play well. And I thought we came out to play good in the first period. And as we got into the second period we got a little too far away from each other to get the support and they started coming through us."

Slater dropped the gloves with Farnham in the second period and the Phantoms' rookie out of Western Michigan made a number of fans in Philadelphia by connecting on quite a few of his punches. Tyler Brown dealt a huge check on Brian Gibbons in the second period and two fights broke out at the same time including a rare bout involving David Laliberte on Philip Samuelsson.

Laliberte was one of the Adirondack players having a Philadelphia homecoming. He scored 28 goals with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2008-09 in his top season. Danny Syvret, Jon Sim, Scott Munroe and also assistant coach Riley Cote are other former Philadelphia Phantoms now with Adirondack.

The Phantoms broke out dazzling retro-style jerseys with purple shoulder and orange numbers harkening back to their Philadelphia Phantoms' look.

Adirondack continues their Pennsylvania swing on Saturday night at the Hershey Bears. The Phantoms return to Glens Falls Sunday at 5:00 against the Binghamton Senators as they celebrate Dax's birthday by wearing specialty Dax Jerseys. Call the Phantoms for Sunday Family 3-Packs at 519-480-3355.

Terry Murray Post-Game - Feb 22, 2013

 




Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2 at Adirondack Phantoms 1 - Status: Final
Friday, February 22, 2013 - Wells Fargo Center

W-B/Scranton 0 0 2 - 2
Adirondack 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Adirondack, Noebels 6 (Mangene, Syvret), 9:59 (PP). Penalties-Payerl Wbs (holding), 3:59; Reese Wbs (interference), 7:58; served by Holzapfel Wbs (bench minor - too many men), 11:07; Lilja Adk (hooking), 11:50; Konan Adk (tripping), 17:23; Megna Wbs (roughing), 19:54; Sestito Adk (cross-checking), 19:54.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lilja Adk (cross-checking), 1:30; Uher Wbs (holding the stick), 4:12; Reese Wbs (cross-checking), 5:07; Mangene Adk (roughing), 5:07; Farnham Wbs (fighting), 10:37; Slater Adk (fighting), 10:37; Smith Wbs (boarding), 11:27; Sim Adk (interference), 11:59; Kostopoulos Wbs (roughing, fighting), 15:25; Samuelsson Wbs (fighting), 15:25; Brown Adk (fighting), 15:25; Laliberte Adk (fighting), 15:25.

3rd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Farnham 2 (Samuelsson), 13:34. 3, W-B/Scranton, Gibbons 7 (Megna), 5:21. Penalties-Smith Wbs (slashing), 2:04; Eddy Adk (interference), 6:15; Manning Adk (double minor - high-sticking), 8:36.

Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 10-10-8-28. Adirondack 14-3-13-30.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 0 / 7; Adirondack 1 / 7.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 11-9-1 (30 shots-29 saves). Adirondack, Heeter 7-12-1 (28 shots-26 saves).
A-19,561
Referees-Chris Cozzan (18), Ryan Fraser (14).
Linesmen-Bob Fyrer (72), Jud Ritter (34).

 



UPCOMING

Saturday, February 23 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Hershey Bears

Sunday, February 24 (5:00) - Binghamton Senators at Adirondack Phantoms. Dax's Big Birthday Bash and Celebration! Dax Jerseys with Post-Game Jersey Auction. Dax's Mascot Friends plus Mascot Hockey. Also: Sunday Family 3-Pack for only $43 - Exceptional Value!

Call the Phantoms in advance for tickets and Sunday Family Fun Packs and SAVE! 518-480-3355


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