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
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
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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