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Phantoms and Pirates Love to Shoot in Record-Breaking Valentine's Game

February 14, 2014

A crazy night of wide-open offense and spectacular goaltending would break a few records during a wild Valentine's Night game at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The visiting Portland Pirates withstood the 55-shot attack of the Adirondack Phantoms to pull out a 3-2 win in a shootout. Adirondack earned a standings point with their first shootout loss since October but they certainly deserved the win.

Jason Akeson finally broke through Mark Visentin with 3:39 left on Adirondack's 52nd shot of the game (out of 55 total) when he scored directly off a faceoff win to tie the score at 2-2 ultimately earning Adirondack the standings point.

Mark Visentin for Portland and Yann Danis for Adirondack made one showstopping save after another on their way to a combined total of 95 saves in the game. The Adirondack Phantoms established a new team-record with their 55 shots in the game breaking the old mark of 53 shots against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on January 27, 2012. The all-time Phantoms franchise record for shots in a game held up though; The Philadelphia Phantoms had cranked out 60 shots on January 6, 1999 against the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.

The 100 combined shots on goal is an all-time record for the Phantoms franchise breaking the old mark of 98 shots set on March 24, 1998 when the Philadelphia Phantoms and Hamilton Bulldogs had 49 apiece.

Looking back at some of those old marks of the 1990s that were challenged or broken in this contest brings to mind the old-school feel of the throwback-style game.

Visentin's 53 saves in a spectacular effort almost single-handedly stealing the win for the Pirates was the most saves by an AHL goalie in over four years. Alexander Salak of Rochester was the last goalie to produce a 53-save effort doing so against Binghamton on February 6, 2010.

"A lot of shots and a lot of work for the goaltenders," Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said. "There was a lot of good play in the offensive zone. We had very good scoring opportunities. Give their goalie (Visentin) some credit. He made some very big stops for them. I like the way we stuck with it in the third period. I thought our second period we really got away from it and they had some power plays and we lost some composure. I thought we reloaded and recovered and things got better in the third again."

And did they ever. The Phantoms out-shot the Pirates 21-6 in their dominating third-period performance and it was something of a head-scratcher how Visentin was able to prevent the Adirondack from snagging the win.

The offensive tone was set early in the game when Adirondack blasted away on Visentin for 10 shots in just the first five minutes on their way to an 18-shot total in the opening period. Visentin held strong and stopped everything thrown his way allowing Portland to surge back and eventually score the game's first goal in the closing seconds of that period. Chris Brown's rebound on an extended power-play scramble in front of Yann Danis gave the Pirates the 1-0 advantage at the first break.

The Phantoms evened the score less than two minutes into the second period with their own power-play goal when Ben Holmstrom chopped downward the right-point drive of Kris Newbury. Holmstrom's 10th of the year at 1:25 into the second tied the score at 1-1.

The power-play goal was part a five-minute major stemming from a boarding penalty and game misconduct to Mathieu Brodeur of the Pirates. Tyler Brown for the Phantoms left the game immediately after the hit and did not return. The Phantoms briefly had a 5-on-3 during their extended power-play but that soon-after became a 4-on-3 when another penalty was called. Adirondack was not able to take the lead out of that and the Pirates were able to escape with only one goal allowed in the long Phantoms' advantage.

Adirondack nearly took the lead with a shorthanded push a few minutes later but shortly after Visentin denied Brandon Manning's wrap-around attempt, the Pirates would speed back into the Phantoms' zone and young talent Tobias Rieder would chip home a drive as he was crashing towards the net.

Portland held their 2-1 lead through drive after drive of the Phantoms. Visentin scrambled and dove his way from one side to the other to deny the Phantoms over and over. Included among his stops were a handful of somewhat remarkable efforts from the first-round pick of the Coyotes of a couple years ago out of Niagara of the OHL. Not to be outdone, Yann Danis made several tremendous saves as well in the spectacular goaltenders' duel.

On perhaps a designed play, Kris Newbury won a clean faceoff straight to Jason Akeson who scored on a one-timer past the right-skate of Visentin to tie the game at 2-2. Akeson's team-leading 18th goal of the season as part of a two-point night extended his point-streak to nine games. He holds the longest active point-streak in the AHL currently with five goals and eight assists in his stellar scoring surge.

The Phantoms kept up the pressur ein the closing minutes of the third and had a few more chances to take the lead. With 1:02 remaining, former Philadelphia Phantom threw an elbow at Jason Akeson trying to get past him for a loose puck and the interference penalty put Adirondack back on the power play with a chance for the win. The man-advantage carried over into the overtime but the Phantoms were unable to finish the night successfully. After that, it was Yann Danis making some more tremendous stops as Portland outshot Adirondack 8-1 in the extra period. Portland appeared to have pushed the puck into the goal on a scramble in the crease in the closing seconds but Andy Miele's late effort came after the buzzer had sounded.

After the spectacular goaltending in the 65 minutes of game-play, the skaters would finally find their stride in the shootout with three Portland Pirates out of five lighting the lamp on Danis including a fourth-round Lucas Lessio lamplighters that wold hold up as the game-winner. Adirondack's Petr Straka and Kris Newbury struck in the second and third rounds of the shootout. But Brandon Alderson in the fourth round and Tye McGinn in the fifth round were unable to push one past Visentin who was able to hold on for the win.

Portland's 45 shots represented the highest total Adirondack has allowed in 2013-14. The previous season-high was a 39-shot effort by Providence on December 28. Yann Danis' 42-save night was the most for a Phantoms' goalie since March 20, 2013 when Scott Munroe turned aside 45 out of 48 shots at Norfolk.

Adirondack finished 1-for-7 on the power play while Portland was 2-for-6. Portland's power-play goal late in the first period ended Adirondack's penalty-kill streak at 21. The Phantoms record moved to 22-23-3 with the shootout loss while the Pirates improved to 18-21-9.

The Phantoms had lots of Valentine's Fun at the game as well. Fans played the Newlywed Game on the ice during the second intermission with in-house emcee Jason hosting the silliness. Dax was set up for a semi-intimate evening for two at center-ice until he saw that his companion was wearing a Portland Pirates T-Shirt. He bailed on her and nicely went for the girl in the Phantoms jersey instead.

Before the game, the fans gave a nice ovation for AHL Hall of Fame inductees Bill Dineen (not in attendance) and John Slaney who were announced by Dan Miner on the public-address system. Dineen was the much beloved coach of the Adirondack Red Wings in the 1980s. John Slaney was a former Philadelphia Phantoms standout defenseman from 2001-07 (and captain from 2005-07) who is now an assistant coach for the Portland Pirates.

The exciting game coming on the other side of the AHL All-Star Break during which no teams were allowed to hold any practices was the first meeting of the year between the Phantoms and the Pirates. The two teams will quickly put an end to the season series when they meet again in just a couple days in Lewiston, Maine on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates will have a distinct advantage in that Sunday game as they benefit from the schedule with a day off Saturday.

The Phantoms play the middle-game of their three-in-three weekend on Saturday evening at the Albany Devils with a 5:00 start at Times Union Center. Adirondack is 3-2-0 at Albany this year but the Devils hold a 5-4 edge in the season series. The 10th out of 12 total games in the Northway rivalry this season will be Adirondack's sixth, and last, visit to the Capital District in 2013-14.

The Phantoms return to the Glens Falls Civic Center next Friday night against the Albany Devils. Adirondack will wear special Olympic Themed Red, White and Blue jerseys on almost exactly the 34th anniversary of the Lake Placid Miracle on Ice game. The awesome looking stars-and-stripes uniforms will be worn for one game only and then fans will have the opportunity to own their piece of history during the postgame jersey auction. Call the Phantoms for more information and to order your tickets in advance at 518-480-3355.

Portland Pirates 3 (SO) at Adirondack Phantoms 2 - Status: Final SO
Friday, February 14, 2014 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Portland 1 1 0 0 - 3
Adirondack 0 1 1 0 - 2

1st Period-1, Portland, Brown 12 (Todd, Gormley), 19:42 (PP). Penalties-Hagel Por (roughing, fighting), 2:43; Lauridsen Adk (fighting), 2:43; Manning Adk (cross-checking), 10:03; Cousins Adk (goaltender interference), 15:15; Brown Por (roughing), 15:51.

2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Holmstrom 10 (Newbury, Akeson), 1:23 (PP). 3, Portland, Rieder 16 (Brown, Miele), 8:24 (PP). Penalties-Brodeur Por (major - boarding, game misconduct), 0:29; Summers Por (tripping), 3:24; Jones Por (roughing), 3:36; McGinn Adk (roughing, roughing), 3:36; Bordson Adk (roughing), 7:24; McGinn Adk (tripping), 14:13; Holmstrom Adk (kneeing), 15:17; Yip Por (interference), 19:38.

3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Akeson 18 (Newbury), 16:21. Penalties-Murphy Por (cross-checking), 0:37; served by Newbury Adk (bench minor - too many men), 6:22; Jones Por (interference), 19:02.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout - Portland 3 (Werek NG, Kennedy G, Miele G, Lessio G, Hextall NG), Adirondack 2 (Akeson NG, Straka G, Newbury G, Alderson NG, McGinn NG).
Shots on Goal-Portland 13-17-6-8-1-45. Adirondack 18-15-21-1-0-55.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 2 / 6; Adirondack 1 / 7.
Goalies-Portland, Visentin 12-15-4 (55 shots-53 saves). Adirondack, Danis 6-5-3 (44 shots-42 saves).
Referees-T.J. Luxmore (49).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Francis Trempe (56).


Saturday, February 15 (5:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Sunday, February 16 (4:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Portland Pirates

Tuesday, February 18 (7:00) - Phantoms Power Hour radio show LIVE at Recovery Sports Grill on Q101.7. Phantoms player guests to be announced.

Friday, February 21 (7:00) - Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms. Special Olympic-Theme Jerseys! Postgame Auction. Own your piece of history as the Phantoms wear Red, White and Blue

Saturday, February 22 (7:00) - Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms. At Philly

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.






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