Adirondack Dethrones Monarchs 3-1
GLENS FALLS, NY - Mika Pyorala scored his first career AHL goal, Jonathon Kalinski score the game-winner and Johan Backlund made 24 saves as the Adirondack Phantoms beat the Manchester Monarchs 3-1 Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Monarchs had the better start to the game, coming out with lots of energy and pushing the Phantoms back in their zone during the first few minutes. But Adirondack fought off the early wave and grabbed the lead at 3:43 when Mika Pyorala scored his first career AHL goal, tipping in a Joey Mormina shot from the blue line over the glove hand of Manchester goalie Jonathan Bernier. Pyorala's goal, also assisted by captain Jared Ross, ended Bernier's personal shutout streak at 152:17. The Phantoms settled into the game and got stronger as the period rolled on, creating scoring chances, but Bernier came up with several key saves to keep Adirondack from adding to their lead.
The Monarchs fought back in the second period, tying the game at 5:53 on a goal from Dwight King, who was unmarked in the low slot. King took a pass from behind the net and one-timed the puck under the blocker of Adirondack goaltender Johan Backlund, assisted by Kevin Westgarth and John Zeiler. But the Phantoms nosed in front 2-1 late in the period and a beautiful transition passing sequence. Ryan Dingle threw a long diagonal cross-ice pass up to Jason Ward through the neutral zone and Ward in turn gained the offensive zone before threading a pass through a Manchester defender to a wide open Jonathon Kalinski. Kalinski drew Bernier to his right and then cleverly slid a backhand shot inside the left post for his fifth goal of the season at 18:13.
Each team fired ten shots on goal in the third period, the Phantoms searching for some insurance, the Monarchs trying to equalize. Both Backlund and Bernier had to be at their best and the goaltenders each stopped breakaways during the frame. Late in the period Manchester pulled Bernier for an extra attacker, but the Phantoms leading scorer Jon Matsumoto would scored an empty net goal with 9.9 seconds left on the clock to seal the 3-1 win.
Johan Backlund turned in another superb effort in goal, stopping 24-of-25 shots to record his 15th win of the season as Adirondack improved to 23-22-2-2 on the season and reclaimed sole possession of fourth place in the East Division. Jonathan Bernier took the loss, making 29 saves on 31 shots as Manchester dropped to 29-16-2-5 and fell out of first place in the Atlantic Division. The Phantoms out-shot the Monarchs 32-25 and went 0-for-3 on the power play; Manchester was 0-for-2 with the man-advantage.
Saturday, February 6th the Phantoms will travel to Syracuse for a 7:30 pm face off with the Crunch at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter. Adirondack's next home game comes on Wednesday, February 10th as they host the Western Conference's Rochester Americans for a 7:00 pm face off at the Civic Center.
There is no better way to watch Phantoms Hockey than by sharing it with a group of your family and friends. Bring a group of 15 or more people to the Glens Falls Civic Center and qualify for incredible discounted ticket prices off the regular box office rates. For more information about group tickets, contact the Phantoms at (518) 480-3355 or online at www.phantomshockey.com.
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