Cal Heeter and John Gibson cranked up the Wow-Meter
in one of the great goaltender duels of the season.
But the other players on each side were pretty
exciting to watch too. A high-paced and energetic
game that easily could have produced nine total
goals instead turned into a low-scoring nail-biter
with the visiting Norfolk Admirals eventually
prevailing in the shootout by a 2-1 final score.
Phantoms netminder Cal Heeter made several spectacular
and eye-popping saves in what may have been one
of the best games of his still-early professional
career. 20-year-old John Gibson of Norfolk perhaps
did not make quite as many 10-Bell style saves
as Heeter turned in, but he was quite good on
his end as well in a contest that remained goal-less
for 51 minutes.
Nick Cousins scored for the Phantoms with nine
minutes left to cap one of the several exciting
back-and-forth transition sequences. But Norfolk
rebounded with a power-play goal by newcomer Matt
Bailey with just five minutes left, the first
of his professional career. Andre Petersson scored
for Norfolk in the first round of the shootout
and then Gibson would shut out all five Phantoms
shooters to preserve the important win for the
Admirals who are battling with Hershey for the
last remaining playoff spot.
Perhaps partly due to the importance of the game
in the standings for Norfolk, the AHL affiliates
of the Anaheim Ducks, the game seemed to actually
take on a certain type of playoff intensity bringing
out some high-quality efforts from both sides
to delight the Glens Falls Civic Center contingent.
"I liked the game," Phantoms head coach
Terry Murray said. "A lot of good things,
playing against a team that are trying to get
into the playoffs, that are one point out. They're
a veteran hockey club with an excellent goaltender.
And I thought we hung in there, dug in, competed,
played hard, and had our looks. Finally found
a way to break the seal on them with a nice goal
by Cousins. And we lose a face-off on a P.K. and
it's tied up. Overall, a good competitive effort."
And yes, this was perhaps just an appetizer to
the big weekend homestand. The Phantoms are beginning
a stretch of three home games in less than 48
hours with more to come at the Glens Falls Civic
Center on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
This would be Adirondack's second consecutive
overtime and shootout game as the team also played
a thriller last Saturday against Springfield on
Fan Appreciation Night. Both were toss-ups right
to the very last round of the shootout. It was
also the second straight time the Phantoms had
a third-period lead on home-ice but were unable
to secure the W in the end.
There was certainly a lot to like about this
one. The 1-1 tie after 65 minutes was hardly an
ordinary or routine kind of game. This was one
of the higher-paced and more exciting battles
of the season with both teams speeding up and
down the ice on multiple occasions with big chances.
On Heeter's end were a number of point-blank saves,
last-millisecond reactions on quick shots, and
a lot of help in front from some diving and scrambling
Phantoms skaters making even more big plays to
preserve the scoreless deadlock past the midway
point of the third period.
Even the goal that Adirondack scored to take
the lead would come right after another one of
Norfolk's great scoring chances. Mark Alt on the
point had tried to keep the puck in but ended
up losing his balance in his first shift back
after a big double-hit when he was sandwiched
by Max Sauve and Zack Stortini had briefly sent
him out of the game. Norfolk gobbled up the turnover
and raced back at Heeter with a 3-on-1 but Max
Friberg's big drive from the left-circle missed
the goal and took a hard rebound off the end-boards
to send Adirondack flying back the other way.
Nick Cousins sped up the left-wing on Adirondack's
3-on-1 and buried an impressive blast high-glove,
far-post on John Gibson to give the Phantoms the
lead. Cousins 10th goal of the season had finally
broken the scoreless goaltenders' duel.
Norfolk was pressuring a few minutes later and
their top scorer Devante Smith-Pelly found himself
the recipient of a turnover while he was all alone
in the high-slot ready to move at Heeter. Seemingly
out of nowhere, Derek Whitmore rushed from behind
to dive across and break up the play knocking
the puck with his stick. Somehow, Whitmore was
called for a tripping penalty on the play. And
after one furious scramble after another with
the Phantoms barely hanging on, Norfolk converted
shortly after a faceoff win with Alaska-Anchorage
product Matt Bailey deflecting the pass in the
slot from the right-wing boards over to the far-post
past the blocker of Heeter to equalize.
More excitement would follow through the remaining
five minutes of regulation and then into overtime
when the Phantoms benefited from a penalty call
to receive their own power play. Adirondack was
never able to significantly challenge Gibson during
that glorious 4-on-3 opportunity though and that
allowed Norfolk the chance to pull out the win
in the shootout.
Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom echoed his coach's
sentiments that the team's quality of play was
extremely high. "I think we played a pretty
good (65) minutes," Holmstrom said. "We've
been talking about coming back after four or five
days off, since our last game was Saturday. I
think we did a pretty good job of coming out and
being ready. Maybe the second half of the first
period we let up a little bit but I'd say it was
one of our better all-around efforts."
Adirondack out-shot the Admirals 33-32. Norfolk
finished 1-for-6 on the power play while Adirondack
was 0-for-6. Those power-play numbers were a tad
skewed however as both teams had a pair of power
plays that were only three seconds long due to
consecutive penalties being whistled. The Phantoms
finished the season series with Norfolk at 1-2-1.
Just eight games remain with only four home games
left for the Adirondack Phantoms. And two of those
remaining home games are in the next two days.
The Phantoms host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
on Saturday at 7:00 and then welcome the Albany
Devils to the Glens Falls Civic Center for the
final time on Sunday at 3:00. Order your Phantoms
Family FunPacks for only $43 to receive 3 tickets,
3 hot dogs, 3 sodas plus popcorn and a program.
Add to your package for only an additional $15.
Call the Phantoms at 518-480-3355.
Norfolk Admirals 2 (SO) at Adirondack
Phantoms 1 - Status: Final SO
Friday, April 4, 2014 - Glens Falls Civic Center
Norfolk 0 0 1 0 - 2
Adirondack 0 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Steckel Nor
(boarding), 0:41; Goumas Adk (hooking), 8:54.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Flanagan Adk
(hooking), 4:32; Alt Adk (roughing), 10:38; Karlsson
Nor (delay of game - faceoff violation), 10:41;
Yonkman Nor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:34;
Alderson Adk (tripping), 15:34; Manning Adk (unsportsmanlike
3rd Period-1, Adirondack, Cousins 10 (Whitmore),
11:03. 2, Norfolk, Bailey 1 (Gagne, Eminger),
14:29 (PP). Penalties-Petersson Nor (high-sticking),
0:58; Yonkman Nor (fighting), 4:25; Delisle Adk
(fighting), 4:25; Stortini Nor (fighting), 6:49;
FitzGerald Adk (instigating, fighting, misconduct
- instigating), 6:49; Karlsson Nor (high-sticking),
6:52; Eminger Nor (slashing), 8:44; Whitmore Adk
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Eminger Nor (tripping),
Shootout - Norfolk 1 (Petersson G, Blacker NG,
Karlsson NG, Etem NG, Smith-Pelly NG), Adirondack
0 (Cousins NG, Whitmore NG, Akeson NG, Goumas
NG, Flanagan NG).
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 9-11-9-2-1-32. Adirondack
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 6; Adirondack
0 / 6.
Goalies-Norfolk, Gibson 21-17-4 (33 shots-32 saves).
Adirondack, Heeter 15-24-2 (31 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Nic Leduc (12).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Frank Murphy (29).
Saturday, April 5 (7:00) - Bridgeport
Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms
Sunday, April 6 (3:00) - Albany Devils
at Adirondack Phantoms - Sunday Family FunPacks
for only $43!
Sunday, April 13 (5:00) - Utica Comets
at Adirondack Phantoms - Sunday Family FunPacks
for only $43
Friday, April 18 (7:00) - Bridgeport
Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms - Fond Farewell
Last Adirondack Phantoms Home Game
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.