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Chubak Dazzles in First AHL Start

December 28, 2013

Rookie goalie Carsen Chubak's first career AHL start could hardly have gone any better. The rookie goalie from Niagara University turned in a spectacular 38-save performance against the Providence Bruins in an exciting 3-1 victory on Saturday night. The Adirondack Phantoms and Chubak were also boosted by a large and occasionally deafening crowd in the big win.

Providence came out firing. And had Chubak scrambling and diving from one side of the net to the other through a full two-minute 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period. But the Niagara University product made a handful of remarkable saves to propel the Phantoms through the disadvantage and then was rewarded for his efforts with multiple standing ovations by the incredulous fans hanging with every amazing stop.

Kyle Flanagan, Jason Akeson and Brandon Alderson scored power-play goals for the Phantoms for the offense. Adirondack's three power-play goals are the most they have recorded in a single game this season. The Phantoms pulled out the win with a make-shift lineup in which three of their top defensemen were absent. Matt Konan, Bruno Gervais and Cullen Eddy are all sidelined with injuries. Enter Steven Delisle, Maxim Lamarche and newcomer Mike Matczak who was signed earlier in the morning and arrived to Glens Falls just before game-time after a six-hour drive from Reading, Pennsylvania where his ECHL squad, Kalamazoo, was scheduled to play. But the Phantoms put forth a gritty effort with their new lineup and Chubak was able to dive and scramble and sprawl back and forth with some remarkable stops to save the day.

Craig Cunningham scored in the first period to give Providence the initial lead but that would be all the offense for the defending Eastern Conference Champions.

The large turnout of 4,466 roared for several of Chubak's bigger stops and generated some of the loudest noise heard in the Glens Falls Civic Center this season. Chubak showed his appreciation after the game when taking his curtain-call as the #1 Star by offering a quick ovation to the fans as a thanks for their help and support on his magical night.

Chubak has had a frustrating start to his professional career having seen action in only three games so far. He played in two ECHL games in October and then had one relief appearance with Adirondack a couple weeks ago entering for Cal Heeter midway through a game on December 14. He has been patiently waiting for his opportunity since his call-up to Adirondack on November 30 one day after Yann Danis was sidelined with an injury. But he has mostly been watching from the sidelines as Cal Heeter has made the last 10 starts in a row.

“It obviously went pretty well," Chubak said of his big day. "First period was tough, might have taken a little too many penalties but at the end of the day I’ll take it....(On the 5-on-3) It was a lot of shots pretty quick there but you kind of expect that. You just kind of have to barrel down for two minutes. The boys really came through and it was a team effort.”

For the team's third game in three days, head coach Terry Murray was reluctant to start his top netminder, Cal Heeter, yet again due to concerns of fatigue which has been heightened by the lack of practices for the team earlier in the week during the Holiday Break. So the reigns were turned over to Chubak and the table was set for a magical night for him in front of the large home crowd. Tested early, he denied a couple of Providence breakaways before the Bruins would eventually strike on an extended 6-on-5 attack from a delayed Phantoms penalty.

After the Providence goal seven minutes into the game, Terry Murray used his timeout to address the team and their defense. And Chubak made some nice saves in the first that would end up looking almost routine compared with the acrobatics to come in the middle period.

Kyle Flanagan appeared to try to snap a pass to the middle from the left-point on the power play with Ben Holmstrom in front. Instead, Holmstrom acted as a screen on Providence goalie Malcolm Subban and the puck made it's way through all the traffic for Flanagan's third goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1.

Adirondack was charged with three straight penalties later in the period setting up the most dramatic moments of the night. A few big blocks by Rob Bordson and Jason Akeson as well as Chubak somehow propelled the Phantoms through the extended 5-on-3 as well as the 5-on-4 that followed.

“It's where you have to dig and get the job done," head coach Terry Murray said of his team's penalty kill and Chubak's performance specifically. "Your goaltending has to be good. Chubak I thought in the second period there on those penalty kills...Man he was very good. He made some big stops. Not to take anything away from the guys on the ice in front of him, he’s your last line so very good.”

After somehow surviving that extended penalty-kill stretch undamaged, it would be time for Adirondack to go on the man-advantage again and Jason Akeson would strike with a big one-timer from the right circle on a perfect set-up by Brandon Manning with just 19 seconds left in the second period that put the Phantoms out in front at 2-1.

Brandon Alderson was hit in the mouth by his own teammates shot on a third-period power play. He checked his mouth, determined while the play was still happening that he was okay to stay in, and then accepted Mark Alt's give from center-point which he was able to turn into a backhand goal from the slot tucked around Subban's right-skate. Right after celebrating the goal which put the Phantoms up 3-1, Alderson went to the locker-room to receive some stitches on his upper-lip on the right side.

The Phantoms were able to cruise from there to the victory and finished their tricky 3-in-3 stretch right out of the Holiday Break with a 2-1-0 record.

Providence outshot the Phantoms 39-26. Adirondack was 3-for-7 on the power play while the Bruins finished 0-for-4. Adirondack improved to 15-13-2 with the win. The Phantoms are 6-3-0 in their last nine games and are also 14-9-0 in their last 23 games played since October 26.

Adirondack is now in sole possession of ninth-place in the Eastern Conference after Syracuse lost. The Phantoms remained three points back of eighth-place St. John's (the postseason cutoff) who won their game.

The contest was the lone Glens Falls appearance of the year for the Providence Bruins.

The Phantoms are beginning a five-game homestand, their longest of the season. Adirondack hosts the Worcester Sharks on New Year's Eve with a Tuesday game at 5:00 PM. All tickets for Tuesday's game are available for only $10. Adirondack is at home the first weekend of 2014 facing Hershey and Albany back-to-back. Saturday, January 4 is Big Face Fitzy on a Stick Night presented by Liberty Graphics paying tribute to tough-guy Zack FitzGerald. Call the Phantoms for ticket information at 518-480-3355

Providence Bruins 1 at Adirondack Phantoms 3 - Status: Unofficial Final
Saturday, December 28, 2013 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Providence 1 0 0 - 1
Adirondack 0 2 1 - 3

1st Period-1, Providence, Cunningham 11 (Camper, Cross), 7:47. Penalties-Bordson Adk (boarding), 0:09; Robins Pro (hooking), 2:06.

2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Flanagan 3 (Holmstrom, Alt), 4:13 (PP). 3, Adirondack, Akeson 7 (Manning, Newbury), 19:41 (PP). Penalties-Youds Pro (holding), 3:11; Cousins Adk (tripping), 13:36; Holmstrom Adk (high-sticking), 14:05; Manning Adk (interference), 15:36; Robins Pro (high-sticking), 18:37.

3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Alderson 5 (Alt, Flanagan), 12:18 (PP). Penalties-Florek Pro (high-sticking), 5:48; Camara Pro (slashing), 10:45; Camper Pro (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:18; Bordson Adk (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:18; served by Downing Pro (bench minor - too many men), 18:13; Cherniwchan Pro (elbowing), 19:17.

Shots on Goal-Providence 12-17-10-39. Adirondack 5-8-14-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 4; Adirondack 3 / 7.
Goalies-Providence, Subban 4-6-2 (27 shots-24 saves). Adirondack, Chubak 1-0-0 (39 shots-38 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (45).
Linesmen-Mike Emanatian (69), Steeve Lemay (64).



Tuesday, December 31 (5:00) - Worcester Sharks at Adirondack Phantoms
All tickets are $10! Traditional New Year's Eve Game in Glens Falls.

Friday, January 3 (7:00) - Hershey Bears at Adirondack Phantoms
First game of 2014!! Pregame Happy Hour - $2 Beer Specials 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Saturday, January 4 (7:00) - Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms
Zack FitzGerald Tribute Night! Big Face Fitzy on a Stick for first 2,500 fans courtesy of Liberty Graphics


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.






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