Adirondack Phantoms' Era Ends in Hershey
The official end of the Adirondack Phantoms era came on Saturday night with an away game at the Hershey Bears. Former Bear Derek Whitmore scored the last ever goal for the Adirondack Phantoms in a late rally effort but Hershey prevailed in their season-finale at Giant Center 2-1.
Joel Rechlicz and Jeff Taffe scored in the first and second periods for the Bears. For Rechlicz, the goal was his first in three years and just the third of his career. The goal that Whitmore scored late in the third period sort of brought the season around full circle for the veteran who was acquired by the Phantoms in March. Whitmore had scored here at Giant Center in the very first game of the season on October 5 but that shorthanded goal was while he was playing FOR the Bears and it came AGAINST the Adirondack Phantoms.
Rookie goaltender Tony Capobianco received the start once again in goal and played well making 24 saves but it wasn't enough to earn the victory. Highly touted and hyped newcomer Shayne Gostisbehere had several big chances but was unable to record his first professional goal. On a one-timer in the second period during a 5-on-3 power play, Gostisbehere was robbed on a diving, spectacular glove-save by David Leggio.
Gostisbehere also rushed in with a nice wrap-around try but was stopped on the left-skate of Leggio. Petr Straka had an earlier scoring opportunity but his mighty blast from the left-wing in the first period rang off the far post and away. A travel-weary and fatigued Phantoms' team was completing a stretch of five games in seven days to four different cities to conclude the regular season.
Adirondack Phantoms fans were represented well among the nearly 11,000 total at Giant Center in Hershey including a sizable contingent from Glens Falls who trekked to ChocolateTown to witness the historic last game ever for the team. This one lacked the energy and emotion that permeated the Glens Falls Civic Center the night before when the standing-room only record-breaking crowd enjoyed a celebration of their awesomeness and tremendous five-year run supporting the team. But this one was the official conclusion for the Adirondack Phantoms nonetheless.
Previously the Philadelphia Phantoms for 13 seasons from 1996 through 2009, the Glens Falls community served as wonderful hosts for their temporary team for five years from 2009 through 2014 while the team's new building in Allentown, Pennsylvania was being arranged and constructed. The 19th all-time season of the Phantoms' franchise in 2014-15 will be as the newly named Lehigh Valley Phantoms. But the team, players, staff and everyone involved will never forget their time in Glens Falls playing for the incredible die-hard hockey community of the North Country. And everyone involved in the organization has their fingers crossed that the foundation that has been established will indeed lead to the acquisition of a new team arriving at the Glens Falls Civic Center so that the Phantoms can make a grand return to the area as a visiting team.
The community was given its shot and opportunity to prove themselves to the hockey world. And the fans thrived in response with terrific support throughout the tenure.
Ben Holmstrom finishes as the all-time leader in games played for the Adirondack Phantoms having suited up 255 times for the team over the course of his five seasons. He and Marc-Andre Bourdon are the only players to have appeared in games in each of the team's five years.
Rob Bordson (236 games) and Cullen Eddy (218 games) each played for the Adirondack Phantoms for four years...and they were even roommates in Glens Falls and Queensbury for all four years!
Jason Akeson's 172 career points with the Adirondack Phantoms are the most of any player. Next on the list are Ben Holmstrom (122 points), Denis Hamel (96 points) and Erik Gustafsson (95 points).
Jason Akeson established a single-season scoring record with 64 points which he reached on his last-ever game at the Glens Falls Civic Center when he scored his second career hat trick on April 6 against the Albany Devils on one of the many great memorable home games for the team.
The first goal-scorer ever for the Adirondack Phantoms was Andreas Nodl on October 3, 2009 against the Worcester Sharks. Derek Whitmore scores the last goal for the team on April 19, 2014 at the Hershey Bears.
Thanks once again to all the fans for the amazing support over five tremendous seasons in Glens Falls. The passion you have shown for your hockey team has been a treat and has made a huge impression on the entire American Hockey League. We are proud to have represented you for these five years and can't thank you enough for serving as such wonderful hosts during our tenure. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help show the hockey world the kind of fan support and loyalty you can provide for your local team.
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