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Whitmore Strikes Twice But Not Enough in Comeback Effort at Bridgeport

March 16, 2014

The newest Adirondack Phantom scored a pair of goals in just his third game with the team but an early deficit would prove to be too much to overcome on the road as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers hung on for a 5-4 victory. Adirondack trailed 3-0 in the Sunday afternoon contest at Webster Bank Arena and were able to cut Bridgeport's lead down to a single goal on three different occasions thanks partly to Derek Whitmore's two tallies but, in the end, the Phantoms were unable to climb all the way back to even.

Nick Cousins (8th) and Brandon Alderson (8th) also added power-play goals for the Phantoms in their second-period come-from-behind effort. The rookie forwards were teammates last year with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. The power-play unit of Cousins, Alderson, Whitmore and also Kyle Flangan and Mark Alt accounted for three of the team's goals, all in the second period. Kyle Flanagan had assists on all three power-play goals in the second period.

Derek Whitmore's big day for the Phantoms came in his first ever weekend with the team. Acquired on a loan from Hershey last Wednesday in a mutual deal with Kris Newbury heading to the Bears, Whitmore had arrived on Friday just a couple hours before the beginning of the team's road-trip opener in Hartford. It looks like he quickly was able to become acquainted and familiar with his new teammates based on his successful play. Whitmore had scored 28 goals two seasons ago with Rochester and 27 goals the year before that with Portland and he looked every bit the pure goal-scorer for the Phantoms as well in this Sunday contest.

It was the second straight visit to Bridgeport where the Phantoms found themselves on the wrong end of 5-4 final. The two teams have been involved in some wild and exciting contests this year.

The Sound Tigers received a pair of goals from Jeremy Langlois, the first of his AHL career, and also a couple goals from Andrew Clark. It was Scooter Vaughn who started the scoring almost eight minutes into the game blasting home a one-timer in the slot off a centering-pass from behind the goal on a tip and a steal by Dmitri Antipin and Chris Langkow. A few minutes later, it was Langlois converting back-door on the first of three straight 5-on-3's for the Sound Tigers in the opening period.

So Adirondack was forced to battle from behind in this one partly due to their early penalty trouble. The Sound Tigers received four power plays in the first period including three different 5-on-3's that pretty much came consecutively. It wasn't the good start to the weekend finale the team had been looking for. But considering the predicament which they found themselves, the 2-0 deficit actually wasn't as bad as it could have been and the Phantoms were actually still in the game having somewhat survived the opening 20 minutes.

But an early second-period strike by Andrew Clark that made it 3-0 put the Phantoms into a hole that would ultimately be too much for them to overcome. Clark was point-blank on Phantoms goalie Yann Danis when he smartly chipped home the hard centering-pass from the right boards.

The second-period scoring had just gotten started though as the Webster Bank Arena crowd would be treated to a total of five goals in the next six minutes. Two minutes after Clark extended the lead to 3-0, Brandon Alderson put Adirondack on the board off of Kyle Flanagan's power-play drive from the left point had bounced back out off the left shoulder of winning goalie Kevin Poulin. Both Alderson and Whitmore were there for the rebound chance but it was Alderson who was able to get to it first and deposit his eighth of the year.

Then less than a minute-and-a-half later, Derek Whitmore would tally his first as a Phantom with a nifty deflection of a Mark Alt drive from center-point. Whitmore popped the low liner almost straight up for the "bar-down" goal on the power play and before the midway point of the game the Phantoms were back in it at 3-2.

Perhaps a slight let-down right after that goal would allow Bridgeport to strike back right away. Just 20 seconds after Whitmore's tally, it was Andrew Clark rushing to the crease again for a goal strikingly similar to his crease-crashing chip of a few minutes earlier. And with that, Bridgeport was back in front 4-2 at the nine-minute mark of the second period.

The Phantoms made it a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play to begin the game when they received another opportunity a couple minutes later. This time it was a sharp give from the left point by Kyle Flanagan that connected with Nick Cousins for the one-timer from the right circle to narrow the margin again to a single goal at 4-3. Cousins has scored a goal in each of the last four weekends in a row after going through a bit of a scoring drought previous to his recent surge. The 20-year-old rookie who was a third-round selection of the Flyers in 2011 now has eight goals this season.

And with that came the end of a wild-flurry of goals in the second period with a combined total of five lamp-lighters in just a six minute stretch. It began with Andrew Clark's first at 5:27 of the period that made it 3-0 leading to four more goals in fairly rapid succession and finally ending with Nick Cousins blast at 11:25 that made the score 4-3.

Things slowed down a bit in the third period. Jeremy Langlois shot in a one-timer on a give from behind the goal at the four-minute mark of the third for a valuable breathing-room strike giving Bridgeport a 5-3 lead.

Derek Whitmore's second of the game came with 7:10 remaining on a terrific shot rushing up ice to the left side of the slot and going off the underside of the top of the cage and straight down. Rob Bordson up the right-wing boards was able to connect perfectly with Whitmore for the goal on a play that was set up equally impressively by Bruno Gervais winning the puck way back on the left D spot and then finding Bordson well down the ice on the right-wing side.

Adirondack was within one again at 5-4 but everyone was running on fumes in the closing minutes of the long three-game weekend. The Phantoms were awarded another power play with six minutes left and had the pulled goalie for the extra attacker in the final minute as well but Bridgeport was able to scramble and block their way along to keep the visitors from seriously threatening Poulin. The Sound Tigers pushed the puck back out to center as the time ran out and Bridgeport was able to barely claw their way to the finish line and hold off the Phantoms.

Bridgeport out-shot the Phantoms 33-28 in the game. Adirondack finished 3-for-5 on the power play while Bridgeport was 1-for-5. The Phantoms equaled their season-high for power-play goals in a game which they have done two other times.

Adirondack has another three-in-three on tap next weekend but at least two of those games will be back at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Phantoms conclude their stretch of five consecutive away games next Friday night at the Utica Comets.

Adirondack's next home games are Saturday, March 22 and Sunday March 23 at 5:00. The March 22 game is Firefighters Appreciation Night and the March 23 game is a Sunday Family FunDay featuring a postgame skate with the Phantoms players. Call the Phantoms for tickets and Sunday Family Fun-Packs at 518-480-3355.

Adirondack Phantoms 4 at Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5 - Status: Final
Sunday, March 16, 2014 - Webster Bank Arena

Adirondack 0 3 1 - 4
Bridgeport 2 2 1 - 5

1st Period-1, Bridgeport, Vaughan 6 (Langkow, Antipin), 7:49. 2, Bridgeport, Langlois 1 (Quine, Broda), 11:36 (PP). Penalties-Matczak Adk (delay of game), 9:37; Eddy Adk (tripping), 10:23; Alt Adk (high-sticking), 11:47; served by Clarkson Adk (bench minor - unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:47.

2nd Period-3, Bridgeport, Clark 6 (Newton), 5:27. 4, Adirondack, Alderson 8 (Flanagan, Cousins), 7:29 (PP). 5, Adirondack, Whitmore 5 (Alt, Flanagan), 8:52 (PP). 6, Bridgeport, Clark 7 (Langlois, Martin), 9:12. 7, Adirondack, Cousins 8 (Flanagan, Alt), 11:25 (PP). Penalties-Pedan Bri (slashing), 6:12; Finley Bri (roughing), 8:43; Mangene Bri (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:13; served by Clark Bri (bench minor - too many men), 12:42; Eddy Adk (fighting), 15:25; Persson Bri (fighting), 15:25; Alt Adk (interference), 18:53.

3rd Period-8, Bridgeport, Langlois 2 (Newton, Clark), 4:14. 9, Adirondack, Whitmore 6 (Bordson, Gervais), 12:50. Penalties-Mathers Adk (fighting), 6:58; Finley Bri (fighting), 6:58; Noebels Adk (fighting), 9:26; Diamond Bri (fighting), 9:26; Antipin Bri (tripping), 13:53.

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 6-15-7-28. Bridgeport 11-13-9-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 3 / 5; Bridgeport 1 / 5.
Goalies-Adirondack, Danis 8-11-4 (33 shots-28 saves). Bridgeport, Poulin 1-5-0 (28 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Dave Lewis (46).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Luke Galvin (2).


Tuesday, March 18 (7:00) - Phantoms Power Hour Radio Show LIVEat Recovery Sports Grill. With special guests Rob Bordson and Cullen Eddy

Friday, March 21 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Utica Comets

Saturday, March 22 (7:00) - Hartford Wolf Pack at Adirondack Phantoms - Firefighters Appreciation Night. MacBoston vs. FDNY/Hazmat1 Charity Game at 1:30

Sunday, March 23 (5:00) - Syracuse Crunch at Adirondack Phantoms - Postgame Skate with the Players! Sunday Family FunDay for only $43 to receive 3 tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3 sodas, 1 large popcorn and 1 program

Saturday, March 29 (7:00) - Springfield Falcons at Adirondack Phantoms - Community Recognition Night offering a unique opportunity to raise awareness and funds for your organization. Fan Appreciation Night as we thank you fans for your wonderful support and give away a CRAZY amount of great prizes!

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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