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Holmstrom Fire-Up Inspires Phantoms to Thanksgiving Eve Win

November 27, 2013

Adirondack Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom raised his hands to the fans following a late first-period fight helping lead what may have been one of the most inspired games of the year in a 3-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night in Glens Falls.

Brandon Manning, Petr Straka and Chris VandeVelde scored for Adirondack in the Thanksgiving Eve victory while Yann Danis turned away 27 of 28 Penguins' shots to earn Number 1 Star honors in an impressive rebound from a frustrating loss in his last start. The Phantoms improved to 8-8-2 with the win while the Penguins fell to 12-5-2 as they dropped a decision for just the second time in their last seven.

The Captain dropped the gloves with Bobby Farnham of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with under a minute remaining in the first and both combatants swung away wildly and connected several times. After the two were separated, Holmstrom whipped off his helmet and raced off the ice to the locker-room while raising his hands to a couple of different sections of fans calling for even more raucous support.

The game was one of dominating stretches for each side. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton received five power plays in the first period and the Phantoms scratched and clawed their way in survival mode to the end of the frame in a 1-1 tie. Early in the second, the Penguins led in shots 21-3. But they would not record another official shot on goal for the next 30 minutes of game play as the Phantoms would dominate possession as well as the shots category with the next 20 shots in a row in an amazing turnaround.

Brandon Manning scored a few minutes into the game for his third of the year blasting a power-play slapshot past Pens' goalie Jeff Deslauriers. Veteran captain Tom Kostopolous tied the game at 1-1 late in the first period with a back-door slam on an extended 5-on-3 advantage.

Jason Akeson had assisted on the Brandon Manning goal for his 83rd career helper with the Phantoms. Akeson passes Erik Gustafsson for the all-time lead in assists with the Adirondack Phantoms. Akeson is already the all-time points leader for the Adirondack Phantoms now with 120.

Then the possible turning point in the form of the Holmstrom fight and his rare display of raw emotion towards the Glens Falls fans who responded resoundingly in support of the team's all-time games leader. Ben Holmstrom will become the first to reach the 200-Game Milestone with the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday night in Albany.

The Holmstrom fight was not the only physicality of the evening. The farm-clubs of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins certainly got after it in a night befitting their parent teams' famous rivalry.

"I like it. That's a good hockey game," Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said. "Both teams want to play hard. They play the right way. We try to play the right way. That's what makes a great game to watch."

Rob Bordson chipped a slapshot rebound off the end-boards from the left of the crease over the Penguins goalie where Petr Straka was able to swing home his fourth of the year with a mid-air whap at it while the puck was mid-air just inches in front of the cage. The goal was initially waved off as a high-stick violation but the officials reversed the decision after a quick conference as the Phantoms took the lead.

The 21-year-old rookie from the Czech Republic was uncertain whether he would receive the goal or not. "Actually I wasn't sure," Petr Straka said. "I waited and waited as long as I could but at the same time I was skating away from the puck. So in one moment I just had to swing it. Luckily I hit it. When the ref said it was no goal I wasn't sure but at the same time I thought about it. The puck went straight into the net and it wasn't too high. They called it a good goal after the review so probably the rest of the refs saw it too."

Later in the period, Holmstrom's stick was tied up on an attempted chip in the slot but Chris VandeVelde was able to steer the puck into the net for his sixth of the season to take over the team-lead in goals.

Nick D'Agostino had a huge opportunity on a cross-ice feed that had Yann Danis caught on the wrong side. But D'Agostino's one-time blast from the right-circle that slammed off the inside of the far post and somehow stayed out. A shot of the post does not officially count as a shot "on goal" and Wilkes-Barre's lengthy drought without forcing Danis to make a save somehow continued.

The streak finally ended a couple minutes later. But the domination through those 30 minutes was impressive. 20-0 in shots from early in the second period until midway through the third period. About a 30 minute stretch without an official. shot on goal. And all of that after the Phantoms were outshot badly in the first 23 minutes of the game by a 21-3 margin.

Momentum changes indeed. "Sometimes the best defensive part of the game is playing in the other end," Terry Murray said. "I thought we did a pretty good job of getting pucks deep and recovering pucks. There were a lot of foot-races going on. The guys had two hands on their stick and they competed hard and recovered them and that's where that defensive play comes from."

Yann Danis finished the night with a spectacular glove save with a little over four minutes left robbing defenseman Scott Harrington on his big slapshot from the high slot.

A nice-sized Wednesday night turnout braved the inclement weather to cheer for their Phantoms on Thanksgiving Eve with several fans taking advantage of the team's $10 Ticket Special that was announced earlier in the day. Others in the house received free tickets for that night's exciting action due to the Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive and also the annual Blades for Grades Night awarding free tickets to hundreds of the area's top students.

The Phantoms held Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to 1-for-8 on the power play including 1-for-5 in the first period. Adirondack was 1-for-7. The Penguins outshot the Phantoms 28-26 after all the smoke had cleared in the back-and-forth contest. The season series between the Phantoms and Penguins is now even at 1-1. Game 3 of the four-game series this year is January 10, 2014 when the Penguins make their final visit to Glens Falls.

The Phantoms have their biggest sale of the year early Friday morning on their annual Orange and Black Friday Sale with big specials on tickets and merchandise beginning at 6:00 AM. Tickets to Saturday's game will be available for only $7 at the beginning of the big Orange and Black Friday.

Adirondack travels to the Albany Devils for a Friday night game and returns home on Saturday night hosting the Syracuse Crunch.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1 at Adirondack Phantoms 3 - Status: Final
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - Glens Falls Civic Center

W-B/Scranton 1 0 0 - 1
Adirondack 1 2 0 - 3

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Manning 3 (Akeson), 5:25 (PP). 2, W-B/Scranton, Kostopoulos 8 (Zolnierczyk, Gibbons), 17:41 (PP). Penalties-Alderson Adk (holding), 1:13; Samuelsson Wbs (boarding), 5:09; Alt Adk (slashing), 13:05; Manning Adk (tripping, cross-checking), 15:04; Akeson Adk (interference), 16:30; Farnham Wbs (fighting), 19:17; Holmstrom Adk (fighting), 19:17; Letourneau-Leblond Wbs (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:31; Newbury Adk (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:31.

2nd Period-3, Adirondack, Straka 4 (Bordson, Manning), 6:57. 4, Adirondack, VandeVelde 6 (Holmstrom, Eddy), 17:14. Penalties-Stevenson Wbs (tripping), 10:44; Harrington Wbs (boarding), 13:54; Kostopoulos Wbs (closing hand on puck), 15:17; Manning Adk (boarding), 15:57.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Dumoulin Wbs (delay of game), 7:39; Gervais Adk (boarding), 10:37; Kostopoulos Wbs (roughing), 12:10; Akeson Adk (roughing), 12:10; Lauridsen Adk (roughing), 15:50; Gibbons Wbs (cross-checking), 18:22; Letourneau-Leblond Wbs (unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:58; Lauridsen Adk (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:58; Newbury Adk (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:58; Farnham Wbs (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 16-5-7-28. Adirondack 3-15-8-26.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1 / 8; Adirondack 1 / 7.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Deslauriers 10-4-2 (26 shots-23 saves). Adirondack, Danis 4-3-2 (28 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22), T.J. Luxmore (49).
Linesmen-Robert St. Lawrence (10), Jim Harper (59).

Orange and Black Friday is Coming
Big sale this Friday morning at 6:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. From 6:00 until 8:00 AM you can purchase $7 tickets for the game on Saturday night. Plus, prices will be slashed on select Phantoms merchandise up to 50% off. The earlier you arrive, the more you save. But we'll still have great bargains for you all the way until the end of our sale at noon. Also receive a 14-Game Flex Pack for the price of a 10-Pack. We're throwing in four free tickets. As low as $10 per game when you take advantage of this tremendous value.
The annual "Orange and Black" Friday sale is only at the Glens Falls Civic Center box office. No phone call orders for this sale please. We'll see you nice and early this Friday!


Friday, November 29 (6:00 AM - 12:00 Noon) - "Orange and Black" Friday Sale. Huge discounts on tickets and merchandise. The earlier you arrive, the more you save. $7 tickets for Saturday night and 50% off select Phantoms merchandise the featured early bargains at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Friday, November 29 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Saturday, November 30 (7:00) - Syracuse Crunch at Adirondack Phantoms
Town of Corinth Night. Movember Celebration Conclusion!

Call the Phantoms for tickets at 518-480-3355

25 Terrific Seasons
Glens Falls is celebrating its 25th season hosting an AHL team and in so doing now joins an elite group of just 9 other active markets who can make such a claim. It's a great hockey tradition with an old-school feel that began with the Adirondack Red Wings in 1979. In their 20-year tenure at the Glens Falls Civic Center through 1999, the Red Wings won four Calder Cups. The Adirondack Phantoms began play in Glens Falls in 2009-10 and are in their fifth season bringing exciting AHL action to the North Country.


25 Terrific Seasons

Glens Falls is celebrating its 25th season hosting an AHL team and in so doing now joins an elite group of only 12 other cities who can make such a claim. It's a great hockey tradition with an old-school feel that began with the Adirondack Red Wings in 1979 who won four Calder Cups in their 20-year run at the GFCC. The Adirondack Phantoms began play in Glens Falls in 2009-2010 and are beginning their fifth season.






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