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Crunch Prevail in Penalty-Filled Game

March 23, 2014

Despite a flurry of early power-play chances in a penalty-ridden game, the Phantoms were shut out at the hands of the Syracuse Crunch by a score of 3-0 Sunday evening at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Within the first 22 minutes of play, Adirondack had already been on the man advantage eight times and also had a penalty shot, but they were unable to crack the Crunch's penalty kill.

Syracuse played aggressively while down a man, often stopping the Phantoms at the blue line and not allowing them to set up. Despite six power plays in the first period, Adirondack managed only nine shots on net.

The shots they did get through were handled by goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, who put forth an incredible effort in net for the Crunch. The Latvian net-minder, who saved 55 of 57 shots against Team Canada in the Olympic Games, was in similar form against the Phantoms Sunday. He stopped all 31 shots sent his way, including a penalty shot from Tyler Brown in the first period, and several odd-man rushes later on. The shutout was his fifth of the season for Syracuse.

"There was a big handful of missed opportunities, especially in the second period," said Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. "I think we probably could have had five grade-A scoring chances alone in the second period. It's there, and were not scoring, and we have to keep pushing away at it."

The Crunch, meanwhile, took advantage of their power play opportunities, going 2-for-4, and it made all the difference. Six minutes into the game, with the Crunch on their first man advantage, they took the lead for good.

Dmitry Korobov unleashed a heavy shot from the point that re-directed off the stick of Evan Rankin and into the net. It was Rankin's 13th goal of the season.

"They've got a really good power play," Murray said. "[They] move it very crisp with a real shot mentality."

The score remained 1-0 for a majority of the game, but the action was non-stop from the onset. Just nine seconds into the game, Adirondack's Mark Alt laid a heavy hit on Phillippe Paradis, starting what would be a period-and-a-half of physical, chippy play from both sides.

After nine combined penalties during play in the first, tempers finally boiled over with the horn at the end of the period. Punches were thrown along the boards and a line brawl seemed imminent when Brandon Manning and Charles Landry dropped the gloves, but the officials were able to quell the fracas and send both teams into their respective dressing rooms.

Cooler heads did not prevail in the second, however.

Phantoms' forward Zack FitzGerald and Crunch defenseman Artem Sergeev paired off six minutes into the second, toping off an opening 26 minutes of play that featured an incredible 114 penalty minutes.

By the end of the game, there were an even 150 combined penalty minutes-77 for Syracuse and 73 for Adirondack.

Derek Mathers and Dalton Smith, who squared off for the third and final fight of the game, led their respective teams with 17 penalty minutes apiece.

"It's a hockey game, that's the way it should be," Murray said. "It should be hard, should be heavy should be a compete situation. That's what you want."

The chippy play did have its consequences though, especially for the Phantoms, who already are dealing with some injuries. In the first period, Derek Whitmore took a slash to the leg from Nikita Nesterov, and crumpled to the ice in severe pain. After a few minutes, he was taken off the ice on a stretcher and did not return.

In the third period, the tempers settled down, but Syracuse's offense did not. They made an early third-period push, and scored two goals within two minutes of each other to cushion the lead to 3-0. The goals came from Brett Connolly on the power play (17th) from Paradis and Nesterov, and Paradis (4th) assisted by Mike Angelidis.

"The second one, I thought we had it, and it was just kind of a bouncing puck," Murray said. "I thought we were going to be able to clear it and it went right to them. The third one was a great breakout. It just comes off the man who was in the middle of the ice, off his stick, and we over skated it and they found a way to get it into the net."

Despite the three goals allowed, Phantoms' goalie Cal Heeter played a very sound game for Adirondack. He allowed just the one goal through the first 45 minutes of play, and saved 18 of 19 in the first period alone.

I thought Heeter did a good job," Murray said. He made some very big stops."

It was especially impressive since Heeter did not even know he would be playing until after warm-ups.

Yann Danis was originally supposed to start in goal, but suffered an injury while warming up that left him unable to suit up.

"I didn't see what it was but he hurt something with his knee and got checked out at the end of the warm-ups," Murray said. "The doctor and training staff didn't feel that he was able to play."

It has been a constantly evolving lineup for the Phantoms ever-shortening bench lately. The injuries have been mounting. Brandon Manning did return following his illness so that was some good news. But Bruno Gervais remained sidelined for this one as did fellow blueliners Steven Delisle and Oliver Lauridsen. Then matters seemed to only get more difficult through this Sunday scenario. Yann Danis went down during pregame warm-ups, Derek Whitmore left on a stretcher in the first period, and Derek Mathers exited the game after his fight in the second period. Adirondack was also without Tye McGinn who was called up to the Philadelphia Flyers just a few hours before game-time.

The Phantoms out-shot the Crunch 31-28. Adirondack finished 0-for-8 on the power play ending their hot streak in which they had scored seven power-play goals in the previous three games. The Crunch concluded at 1-for-5.

After playing three games in three days, the Phantoms will have two days off before returning to action Wednesday evening against the Springfield Falcons. And then Adirondack travels to Syracuse for a rematch with the Crunch on Friday. The Adirondack Phantoms return home again next Saturday, March 29 against the Springfield Falcons on Fan Appreciation Night with prize-giveaways galore throughout the game. Just six home games are left for the Adirondack Phantoms this season! Call the Phantoms for tickets: 518-480-3355.

Syracuse Crunch 3 at Adirondack Phantoms 0 - Status: Final
Sunday, March 23, 2014 - Glens Falls Civic Center

Syracuse 1 0 2 - 3
Adirondack 0 0 0 - 0

1st Period-1, Syracuse, Rankin 13 (Korobov, Marchessault), 6:25 (PP). Penalties-Angelidis Syr (roughing), 0:09; Paradis Syr (misconduct), 0:09; Manning Adk (interference), 4:49; Rankin Syr (double minor - high-sticking), 9:28; Connolly Syr (slashing), 11:04; Nesterov Syr (slashing), 12:26; Whitmore Adk (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:26; Heeter Adk (tripping), 16:52; Paradis Syr (charging), 18:40; Landry Syr (fighting), 20:00; Paquette Syr (roughing, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Smith Syr (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Witkowski Syr (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Eddy Adk (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Holmstrom Adk (roughing, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Manning Adk (fighting), 20:00; Mathers Adk (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Gourde Syr (cross-checking), 0:23; Connolly Syr (slashing), 1:10; Alderson Adk (cross-checking), 2:42; Sergeev Syr (fighting), 5:54; FitzGerald Adk (fighting), 5:54; Smith Syr (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 16:58; Mathers Adk (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 16:58; Heeter Adk (interference), 17:33.

3rd Period-2, Syracuse, Connolly 17 (Nesterov, Paradis), 2:34 (PP). 3, Syracuse, Paradis 4 (Angelidis), 4:24. Penalties-Noebels Adk (high-sticking), 1:18; Langelier-Parent Syr (hooking), 5:28; FitzGerald Adk (roughing), 5:28; Cousins Adk (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:39.

Shots on Goal-Syracuse 19-4-5-28. Adirondack 9-11-11-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 2 / 5; Adirondack 0 / 7.
Goalies-Syracuse, Gudlevskis 14-10-3 (31 shots-31 saves). Adirondack, Heeter 15-22-0 (28 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (45).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Francis Trempe (56).


Monday, March 24 (7:00) - Phantoms eBay Auction Concludes. Get bidding for your chance to win a game-worn jersey!

Wednesday, March 26 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Springfield Falcons

Friday, March 28 (7:00) - Adirondack Phantoms at Syracuse Crunch

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!

Friday, April 4 (7:00) - Norfolk Admirals at Adirondack Phantoms

Saturday, April 5 (7:00) - Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms

Sunday, April 6 (3:00) - Albany Devils at Adirondack Phantoms

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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