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Hats Off to Jason Akeson!
March 9, 2013

Down but not out. Trailing 3-1 with less than six minutes remaining, the Adirondack Phantoms staged a late and dramatic comeback on Saturday night capped by Jason Akeson's first career professional hat-trick in a 4-3 thriller over the Connecticut Whale at the Glens Falls Civic Center. What a way to win it in the team's last home-game before a long two-week and seven-game road-trip.

Jason Akeson and Eric Wellwood scored back-to-back goals 29 seconds apart with under six minutes left to tie the game at 3-3. And then Akeson dove head-first into the crease on an extended and wild scramble in front to chip in the game-winner with 2:48 left. The goal had to be confirmed by video-review and then the fans had to wait for the announcement to confirm it indeed was Akeson who had scored. But on their next opportunity, the fans provided the second-year pro with the traditional showing of hats thrown onto the ice.

From there, Adirondack had to claw their way through to the finish-line including a 4-on-6 kill for the last 42 seconds with a penalty and a pulled-goalie for the Whale.

What a game this was.

"At the end of the day, we ended up potting a couple there late at the end," Akeson said. "They don't really ask how...they just ask how many. It was good. The boys bounced back here in the third which was what we needed."

"Skating and a lot of speed," head coach Terry Murray said about Akeson's explosiveness in the game. "He's got full speed and he's a guy who can shoot the puck. When he starts to attack with authority and starts to play with the top-end speed that he can, he can eliminate a lot of other opponents from the game because he is that fast and that quick."

Akeson sped up the left-wing in the first period on a give from Garrett Roe as Adirondack struck first 1-0. The Phantoms eventually improved to 16-5-0 in games in which they score the first goal although this one did not look like it was going to contribute positively to that stat for much of the game.

Connecticut scored a pair of goals before the first break to re-take the lead. Brandon Mashinter deflected a shot from the point by Dylan McIlrath. And then Logan Pyett blasted a 5-on-3 slapper from center-point for the Whale to take the lead.

Brandon Segal converted on a scramble after a near-miss in the second period for his team-leading 18th of the year as Connecticut stretched the lead to 3-1 against Scott Munroe.

And it would stay 3-1 until the closing minutes when the Adirondack comeback train would get rolling. Jason Akeson blasted another one from the left-circle with 5:48 left to make the score 3-2. And then Eric Wellwood drove home his 7th of the year from the right-circle just 29 seconds later to tie the score.

With under three minutes remaining, Jon Sim shook his way free off the end-boards from a Kris Newbury check and attempted a wide wrap-around on Connecticut goalie Cameron Talbot. The puck stayed out but was loose in the blue-paint with everyone rushing in on the big chance all at once. Akeson nudged it across the goal-line for the game-winner that was eventually confirmed after video review as the GFCC contingent went bananas

"The guys are pretty excited," Akeson said. "Hopefully we can carry that momentum into tomorrow (against Albany)."

Akeson's hat trick is the second one this season. Brayden Schenn had a hat trick on November 14, 2012 at Manchester in a 4-1 win. It was the first at the Glens Falls Civic Center in about a year-and-a-half. Brayden Schenn scored three goals in a home game on October 14, 2011 in the second game of the season during a 6-3 victory over Bridgeport.

It is the ninth Adirondack Phantoms hat trick all-time and the fifth at the GFCC as he joins Schenn, Michael Ryan, Denis Hamel and Mike Testwuide in that exclusive group.

Akeson leads active Phantoms with 11 goals and 33 points now. He has 88 career points putting him just 12 away from becoming the first ever Adirondack Phantom to reach 100 career points.

The first 2,500 fans received Phantoms T-Shirts courtesy of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Bartlett Industries. A crowd of 4,205 raised the roof with the noise-level during the incredible comeback.

Adirondack out-shot Connecticut 32-28. The Phantoms were 0-for-5 on the power play while the Whale went 1-for-4. The Phantoms are 2-1-1 against the New York Rangers affiliate this year with two more games remaining in the season series on March 23 in Hartford and on April 13 in Glens Falls.

It was the last home-game in two weeks for the Phantoms who will not return to the Glens Falls Civic Center until Sunday, March 24. Coming up is a seven-game road-trip to six different cities which begins Sunday afternoon at Albany at 3:00. The Phantoms then travel to Portland (Wednesday), Binghamton (Friday) and Hershey (following Sunday) before heading to Norfolk for a pair of games the following week.

Connecticut Whale 3 at Adirondack Phantoms 4 - Status: Final
Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Connecticut 2 1 0 - 3
Adirondack 1 0 3 - 4

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Akeson 9 (Roe), 8:49. 2, Connecticut, Ferriero 5 (Kreider, McIlrath), 10:25. 3, Connecticut, Pyett 7 (Segal, Newbury), 13:53 (PP). Penalties-Eddy Adk (boarding), 12:13; served by Ford Adk (bench minor - too many men), 13:10; Klassen Ct (boarding), 16:43.

2nd Period-4, Connecticut, Segal 18 (Yogan), 6:13. Penalties-Klassen Ct (delay of game), 3:17; Thomas Ct (hooking), 6:57; Kreider Ct (hooking), 18:46.

3rd Period-5, Adirondack, Akeson 10 (Roe, Syvret), 14:08. 6, Adirondack, Wellwood 7 (Lilja, Bordson), 14:37. 7, Adirondack, Akeson 11 (Roe, Sim), 17:12. Penalties-Lauridsen Adk (tripping), 19:18; Kreider Ct (tripping), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Connecticut 7-7-14-28. Adirondack 8-14-10-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 1 / 3; Adirondack 0 / 5.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 21-24-1 (32 shots-28 saves). Adirondack, Munroe 12-14-0 (28 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Dave Lewis (46), Jeff Smith (49).
Linesmen-Rich Patry (52), Steeve Lemay (64).



Sunday, March 10 (3:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Wednesday, March 13 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Portland Pirates

Friday, March 15 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Binghamton Senators

Sunday, March 17 (5:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Hershey Bears

Sunday, March 17 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Hershey Bears

Tuesday, March 19 (7:15) - Adirondack Phantoms at Norfolk Admirals

Wednesday, March 20 (7:15) - Adirondack Phantoms at Norfolk Admirals

Saturday, March 23 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Connecticut Whale

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

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