Heeter Terrific Again But Phantoms Fall Short
Phantoms goalie Cal Heeter had another great game that would normally have been plenty to earn a victory but Adirondack fell by a 1-0 final for the second game in a row. This time it would be Bridgeport's Kenny Reiter to put the brakes on the Phantoms offense with a 34-save shutout win.
Adirondack hoped they might have pulled out a dramatic tie when the red-light briefly came on with just three seconds left in regulation but the referee signaled that the puck had gone off the post. Both teams stayed for a few minutes after the final buzzer had sounded while the officials attempted to consult the video-replay but the system was malfunctioning and the game was declared over allowing both teams to belatedly exit the ice.
"There was no video replay. It didn't work," Murray said. "The referee has to use his own judgment and that's the call. He waved it off immediately on the ice and the video system is not working tonight so he doesn't get another look."
Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom was on the ice late trying to help jam it in for the potential equalizer. "6-on-5 there and trying to get pucks to the net," Holmstrom said. "I didn't really see it. I was battling down low and was down on the ice for a second. I heard it hit the post but obviously it didn't go in. Just a little bit too late."
Anders Lee scored 12 minutes into the second period off the rebound of a Ryan Strome shot for the only tally of the night for either side. Heeter was terrific and perhaps faced more quality chances than his counterpart on some intercepts in the Phantoms zone. Heeter's best stop of the night perhaps came early in the third period when he slid to his right to deny the AHL's top rookie scorer, Ryan Strome, on the backdoor following a perfect cross-ice feed by Mike Halmo.
That isn't to say Adirondack didn't have their opportunities against Reiter. The Phantoms turned the pressure up especially high in the second period with a 17-shot attack that featured back-to-back power plays at the end of the frame. But Reiter made the big saves when the Sound Tigers needed him to and the Bridgeport penalty-kill came through with some timely intercepts and clears to interrupt Adirondack's power-play efforts.
In contrast to the 1-0 loss to Syracuse on Saturday when head coach Terry Murray felt the Phantoms played a sound game, he felt things were not as strong for his team in this contest.
"We had enough opportunities and we're having a tough time scoring," Murray said. "We got to dig in and got to get some real ugly ones I guess to get things turned around so we can get some confidence with the puck. That's one of our problems right now is that our best players are struggling to find the back of the net. They're over-handling the puck and trying to make plays that are not there."
For the Phantoms to get back on track, Holmstrom believes much of it is as simple as not straying from their own game-plan. "We got to be able to respond better," Holmstrom said. "We didn't play our game tonight and we got too be able to respond after we drop a game. If you lose one-nothing or you lose ten-nothing it's the same thing. It's not about how much you win or lose by. It's about playing our game. We weren't great but we weren't bad last Saturday. But tonight we weren't on our game."
After never having played to a 1-0 final in Glens Falls before, the Adirondack Phantoms have now had back-to-back 1-0 decisions at the GFCC. Both games are the first ever 1-0 regulation losses in the history of the Adirondack Phantoms. It was the fifth 1-0 final all-time for the Adirondack Phantoms who are now 2-2-1 in such games.
Adirondack's record stands at 9-10-2 while Bridgeport improved to 7-10-4. This was the second game out of eight in the regular season between the Phantoms and Sound Tigers but they do not meet again until February. The Sound Tigers do not return to Glens Falls until April.
Adirondack outshot Bridgeport 34-26. The Phantoms were 0-for-6 on the power play while holding the Sound Tigers to 0-for-5.
The Phantoms homestand continues this Friday and Saturday against the Hartford Wolf Pack and Utica Comets. Friday night is pregame Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7:00 with $2 beer specials. Saturday is the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night to benefit the Salvation Army of Glens Falls and is also Phantoms Poster Night presented by Glens Falls Printing featuring a post-game autograph session with the whole team in Heritage Hall. Order tickets in advance to save. Call the Phantoms at 518-480-3355.
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American Hockey League Stories from December 4, 2013
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