Ben Holmstrom's goal early in the second period
induced a storm of over 1,000 teddy bears inside
the Glens Falls Civic Center and the Phantoms
prevailed in their first ever game against the
Utica Comets 3-1 on Saturday night.
Teddy Bear Toss Night to benefit the Salvation
Army of Glens Falls is always a fun event. Holmstrom
got in tight with Rob Bordson and after a couple
of rebounds off Joe Cannata, Holmstrom was able
to flip one over the right leg-pad of the Utica
goalie allowing everyone in the stands, including
Dax, to throw their donated teddy bears onto the
ice. For the record, Holmstrom's Teddy Bear goal
was registered at 2:49 into the second period.
The goal was also the 100th career point for
the team's captain who now joins Jason Akeson
as the lone members of the Adirondack Phantoms
Jason Akeson scored a goal and an assist and
Kris Newbury also scored while Cal Heeter excelled
again although only had to make 18 saves on his
way to the victory. Adirondack held Utica to 19
shots on goal for the game, the lowest for any
Phantoms' opponent this season. And two of the
Phantoms' three goals came on the power play marking
only their second game scoring more than one PPG
in a game and their first time doing it since
an October 30 victory over Springfield.
Leading 1-0 after the Holmstrom goal, Adirondack
would embark on a power play later in the second
period and caught a couple of the Utica penalty-killers
cheating too far up the ice on their own attempt
for a shorthanded push into the zone. When Tye
McGinn deflected an errant Comets' pass to Jason
Akeson the Phantoms found themselves with a long
3-on-1. Jason Akeson waited patiently for his
opportunity and carried the puck towards the slot
from the right-wing before firing a crisp pass
to Kris Newbury on the backdoor who slammed home
his fifth of the season.
Darren Archibald had an intercept in front of
the Phantoms line just a couple minutes later
and drove a shot barely through the pads of Cal
Heeter and just across the goal-line for Utica's
lone score of the night.
Terry Murray's team got off to a sluggish start
in the opening period with only four shots on
goal before the 19-shot barrage in the second.
"Our game got to better in the second and
the third," Murray said. "I thought
the players really got their legs going skating.
Spent some time in the offensive zone that was
extended. I thought a big game from Flanagan's
line and Cousins' line. They move the puck around.
Did a good job in the offensive zone--five on
five. We got timely goals. Powerplay's been tremendous
the last two games."
On another power play about 12 minutes into the
third, Brandon Manning stopped an attempted clear
on the right point and found Akeson on the boards
whose blast went off the top of the glove of Cannata
and then had enough to make it through.
Akeson leads the Phantoms with 17 points on four
goals and 13 assists. The 23-year-old from Orleans,
Ontario has led the Phantoms in scoring the past
two season and now has 125 points on his career.
"I tend to want to make plays before shooting
the puck," Akeson said. "Sometimes that's
a downfall but at the same time that's the kind
of player I am so. But it worked out tonight.
Made a couple plays there and luckily Newbs finished
Akeson almost tacked on another but his attempt
for an empty-netter clanged off the outside of
the post and bounced away.
The Phantoms improved to 11-10-2 with the victory
and finished their four-game homestand with a
2-2-0 mark. Adirondack finished a busy stretch
of seven home games in 16 days with only one away
game in the run. Now the Phantoms get almost a
whole week off before returning to action next
Friday night at the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Cal Heeter's 18-save effort on 19 shots now gives
him 89 saves on 92 shots in the four-game homestand
for a 0.75 goals-against average and a save percentage
of .967. The numbers are eerily similar to his
four-game run in early November when he stopped
125 out of 128 for a 0.75 goals-against and a
.976 save percentage. Heeter entered the game
fourth in the AHL with a goals-against of 2.24.
He has taken over everyday goaltending duties
with the absence of Yann Danis who remains sidelined
with a lower-body injury.
The Phantoms are now 10-1-1 when they score the
first goal and they also improved to 6-2-1 in
games in which they score a power-play goal.
The Phantoms outshot Utica 29-19 in the game.
Adirondack was 2-for-3 on the power play while
Utica to 0-for-2. This was the first AHL game
between Adirondack and Utica in 20 years. On February
26, 1993 the Adirondack Red Wings defeated the
Utica Devils 7-3 in Glens Falls. The Phantoms
will make their first trip to the Mohawk Valley
in February. The Comets return to Glens Falls
on April 13.
The Phantoms travel to the Hartford Wolf Pack
next Friday and then return to Glens Falls on
Saturday night for their last home game before
Next Saturday Adirondack will host the Eastern
Conference leading Manchester Monarchs and the
game will feature a postgame skate for the fans
with all the players. Call the Phantoms for tickets
-- Ben Holmstrom is the 23rd player all-time in
Phantoms franchise history to reach 100 points
with the team. He is the second all-time with
the Adirondack Phantoms.
-- Rob Bordson continued his "ironman"
streak appearing in his 123nd consecutive Phantoms
-- Jason Akeson now has 125 points for his AHL
career, the most in Adirondack Phantoms' history
and now 14th all-time for the Phantoms franchise
tied with Stefan Ruzicka and moving ahead of a
15th-place tie with David Laliberte and Bruce
Coles (123 points each).
Utica Comets 1 at Adirondack Phantoms
3 - Status: Final
Saturday, December 7, 2013 - Glens Falls Civic
Utica 0 1 0 - 1
Adirondack 0 2 1 - 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Holmstrom 4 (Bordson,
VandeVelde), 2:49. 2, Adirondack, Newbury 5 (Akeson,
McGinn), 12:19 (PP). 3, Utica, Archibald 3 14:35.
Penalties-Eddy Adk (tripping), 5:41; DeFazio Uti
(interference), 11:03; DeFazio Uti (holding),
3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Akeson 4 (Manning),
12:03 (PP). Penalties-Cousins Adk (hooking), 7:06;
DeFazio Uti (hooking), 11:53.
Shots on Goal-Utica 6-5-8-19. Adirondack 4-19-6-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Utica 0 / 2; Adirondack
2 / 3.
Goalies-Utica, Cannata 2-5-0 (29 shots-26 saves).
Adirondack, Heeter 7-7-0 (19 shots-18 saves).
Referees-Kendrick Nicholson (76).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Francis Trempe (56).
Tuesday, December 10 (7:00) -
Phantoms Power Hour LIVE at Recovery Sports Grill
Player Guests This Week: Ben Holmstrom and Brandon
Friday, December 13 (7:00) - Adirondack
Phantoms at Hartford Wolf Pack
Saturday, December 14 (7:00) -
Manchester Monarchs at Adirondack Phantoms
Postgame Open Skate with the Phantoms Players!
Bring your own skates.
Friday, December 20 (7:00) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Norfolk Admirals
Saturday, December 21 (7:00) -
Adirondack Phantoms at Norfolk Admirals
When you order your tickets in advance, you save!
Call the Phantoms 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.