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Akeson Snipes 2 Shorties in 4-3 Win

March 21, 2014

Jason Akeson sniped home a pair of shorthanded goals in the third period leading the Phantoms to victory at the Utica Comets and inking his name into the Phantoms Record Book yet again. The leading scorer for the team became the first ever in the 18-year history of the Phantoms' franchise to score two shorthanded goals in the same game while Adirondack escaped from Utica with a 4-3 win. It seemed the only guy who could stop Jason Akeson in the third period was his own teammate Tye McGinn who was so excited after the second of the shorties that the smaller Akeson had to protect himself in the corner during their celebration as McGinn landed on top of him!

It was a great night for the Phantoms' special teams who scored two goals on the power play from Ben Holmstrom and Tye McGinn and then added their other two goals when they were down a man courtesy of Akeson's perfect pinpoint precision. Adirondack had previously been dead-last in the league with only two shorthanded goals scored all season but they were able to double that total in just the third period alone at the sold-out Memorial Auditorum in Utica.

The Phantoms were out-shot in the third period by a 21-4 margin, but the Phantoms made the most of their precious few opportunities and were able to make good on three of their four blasts at Joacim Ericksson. (photos courtesy Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets)

Both of Akeson's shorthanded goals came at key and exciting times. Adirondack was preserving a 2-1 lead with over 10 minutes left in the third but were down two-men for 80 seconds after Rob Bordson was tagged for an interference penalty way away from the puck. The Phantoms scrambled, dove and grinded their way along to kill the first part of the 5-on-3 and then shortly after a Mark Alt win in the corner, Akeson was able to race the other way when the Phantoms were still down by one man. So right on the other side of killing Utica's big 5-on-3 chance, it would be Akeson from the right-circle on a 2-on-1 with Kyle Flanagan racing up the middle. Akeson took the shot himself and converted to extended Adirondack's lead to 3-1.

With just 4:54 left in the game and protecting a precarious 3-2 lead while Utica was blasting away on Yann Danis from all angles, the Comets benefited from another Phantoms' penalty. Akeson beautifully sniped home the back-breaker from the left-circle rattling his shot off the far-post and then the underside of the netting. After his terrific goal, he had to look out for the over-excited Tye McGinn who was on top of his teammate in celebration before Akeson could even figure out what was happening! Thankfully, Akeson emerged from the over-exuberant embrace of McGinn apparently unscathed.

Akeson also assisted on an earlier goal for a three-point night. With 56 points this season, Akeson is now just six points away from the single-season record for the Adirondack Phantoms of 62 points by Jon Matsumoto in 2009-10.

The game originally started as a goaltenders' duel between Joacim Ericksson of Utica and Yann Danis for the Phantoms. The score was still 0-0 late in the second period when Ben Holmstrom broke through with just 2:10 remaining in the middle frame on a give into the middle by Kyle Flanagan.

Adirondack stretched their lead to 2-0 early in the third period on another power play when Bruno Gervais checked a man into the boards in a race up the right-wing wall. His chip over to a wide-open Tye McGinn gave the big winger all day to pick his mark on Ericksson. McGinn converted top-shelf for his 19th of the year to give the Phantoms a 2-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Brandon DeFazio scored on the rebound of a Frank Corrado slapper to pull the Comets to 2-1.

Utica was peppering away on Danis. And then back-to-back penalties gave the Comets their 5-on-3 opportunity. It was on the table and right there for the taking for the home team but it was the Phantoms who stepped up their play and eventually set up the first of Akeson's shorthanded snipes.

Adirondack was out-shot 17-2 at one point past the midway point of the third period, but both of the Phantoms' shots had been converted for goals and somehow Adirondack had a 3-1 lead.

Utica veteran defenseman Kent Huskins, a former Philadelphia Flyer (among other teams) from last year rushed into the slot to receive a pass from behind the net and slam home a one-timer in the low-slot. With just 6:02 remaining, the Phantoms lead was cut down to 3-2.

Then another power play and another chance for the Comets but it was Mike Matczak winning the puck on the penalty-kill on the boards to send Akeson flying again for his second shortie.

Colin Stuart scored an extra-attacker goal with 29 seconds remaining to give the Comets a chance. Rob Bordson for Adirondack almost scored an empty-netter with 10 seconds left but his drive from behind his own goal just hit off the outside of the post.

Utica out-shot the Phantoms 39-25. The Phantoms were 2-for-4 on the power play while holding the Comets to 0-for-6. And Adirondack had the two shorthanded goals as well. The Phantoms improved to 3-0-0 against the Comets this season with one more meeting scheduled between the two teams next month in Glens Falls.

Andrew Johnston centered the fourth line for the Phantoms wearing #10 in his first game with the team since November, 2012. The second-year pro had been Orlando in the ECHL this season. Kyle Bushee made his Phantoms debut on the blueline. The 28-year-old ECHL veteran has played in 390 games in that league as he joins his eighth career AHL squad. Bushee had been on a professional tryout with Utica just two weeks ago and played in a couple games.

Brandon Manning sat out the game due to illness. The Phantoms have been bitten by the injury-bug rather hard of late. Injury scratches in the game included 3 Marc-Andre Bourdon, 5 Steven Delislie, 6 Matt Konan, 7 Oliver Lauridsen, 24 Petr Straka, 26 Chris VandeVelde.

The Phantoms return home on Saturday and Sunday against the Hartford Wolf Pack and Syracuse Crunch. Saturday night is Firefighters Appreciation Day featuring a Charity Game at 1:30 between the MacBoston Local group of firefighters against the FDNY. The Phantoms will tangle with the Wolf Pack after that at 7:00. Then Sunday's game at 5:00 is another Sunday Family FunDay including a postgame open-skate with the players. purchase your Sunday Family FunPacks for only $43 to receive 3 tickets, 3 hot dogs, 3 sodas, 1 large popcorn and 1 program. Make it a 4-pack for another $15 to receive another ticket, hot dog and soda. Call the Phantoms at 518-480-3355.
Adirondack Phantoms 4 at Utica Comets 3 - Status: Final
Friday, March 21, 2014 - Utica Memorial Auditorium

Adirondack 0 1 3 - 4
Utica 0 0 3 - 3

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Akeson Adk (holding), 5:01; Lain Uti (hooking), 7:26; O'Reilly Uti (tripping), 11:56.

2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Holmstrom 11 (Flanagan, Alt), 17:50 (PP). Penalties-Eddy Adk (hooking), 10:53; Biega Uti (interference), 16:17; Eddy Adk (hooking), 18:23.

3rd Period-2, Adirondack, McGinn 19 (Gervais, Akeson), 3:59 (PP). 3, Utica, DeFazio 13 (Corrado, Huskins), 5:41. 4, Adirondack, Akeson 19 10:10 (SH). 5, Utica, Huskins 3 (Marshall, Pelletier), 13:58. 6, Adirondack, Akeson 20 (Matczak), 15:56 (SH). 7, Utica, Stuart 16 (Tommernes, Biega), 19:31. Penalties-O'Reilly Uti (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:03; Eddy Adk (interference), 7:59; Bordson Adk (interference), 8:39; Cousins Adk (slashing), 15:06.

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 8-13-4-25. Utica 8-10-21-39.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 2 / 4; Utica 0 / 6.
Goalies-Adirondack, Danis 9-11-4 (39 shots-36 saves). Utica, Eriksson 20-19-2 (25 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (45), David Banfield (77).
Linesmen-Andy Petrus (26), Francis Trempe (56).


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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