Matsumoto, Phantoms Trap River Rats 4-2
ALBANY, NY - All-Star center Jon Matsumoto had a goal and two assists to lead the Adirondack Phantoms to a 4-2 win over the Albany River Rats Wednesday night at the Times Union Center in Round Five of the Time Warner Cable Cup series.
The game got off to an ugly start as just 3:23 after the opening face off Patrick Maroon was hit from behind by Nicolas Blanchard after play had stopped; Maroon was taken off the ice on a stretcher and Blanchard was given a five-minute major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct. Adirondack made Albany pay immediately and Jon Matsumoto found rookie defenseman Joonas Lehtivuori all along at the far post for an open net tap-in power play goal at 3:33, just ten seconds after the penalty began. The goal was Lehtivuori's first career professional goal and was assisted by Matsumoto and Andreas Nodl. River Rats rookie Zach Boychuk answered back at the midway point of the first period by skating free down the right wing and firing a wrist shot from the right wing around goaltender Johan Backlund and into the bottom left corner of the net at 10:39. Overall in the period Adirondack out-shot Albany 18-9.
The Phantoms continued to out-shoot the River Rats in a closely fought second period. Both teams were looking to nose out in front and David Laliberte was the one to get the job done. Laliberte took a pass from Matsumoto in the low slot and in one motion he spun around and fired the puck through the pads of Albany goaltender Justin Peters at 15:03 to give the Phantoms a 2-1 lead. With one minute left in the period, and Adirondack already on the power play, River Rats defenseman Zack FitzGerald took a delay of game penalty by clearing the puck from his defensive zone into the seats to give the Phantoms a two-man advantage. It took just 17 seconds for the Phantoms to cash in as defenseman Joey Mormina blasted home a power play goal, his second goal of the year, assisted by Lehtivuori and Laliberte. Adirondack out-shot the Rats 14-6 in the frame, 32-15 overall, and carried a 3-1 lead into the third period.
The Phantoms defended their lead well in the final stanza, limiting the River Rats shots on Backlund. However, with just over two minutes left in the game Mike Angelidis tipped in a shot from Zach Boychuk to cut Adirondack's lead to 3-2 at 17:59. Phantoms All-Star center Jon Matsumoto was not going to let Albany spoil the night as he scored an empty net goal with 29 seconds left, his 14th goal of the season, to seal a 4-2 Adirondack win, their first win in the 2009-2010 Time Warner Cable Cup series.
Goaltender Johan Backlund won his third straight start by stopping 17-of-19 shots as the Phantoms improved to 15-14-2-0 on the year. Justin Peters took the loss in goal for Albany, making 38 saves on 41 shots as the River Rats fell to 18-14-1-2. Adirondack out-shot Albany 42-19 in the game and scored twice on the power play; the River Rats did not score a power play goal in the game.
Adirondack now returns home for the second half of their home-and-home series with the Albany River Rats on Thursday, December 31st for a special 3:00 pm face off; Round Six of the Time Warner Cable Cup series at the Glens Falls 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 visit www.phantomshockey.com.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from December 30, 2009
- Rampage Crunch Syracuse With 3-2 Come-From-Behind Victory - San Antonio Rampage
- Crunch Run Over By Rampage - Syracuse Crunch
- Falcons Conclude 2009 At Hartford - Springfield Falcons
- Wolves Glide By Aeros 5-1 - Chicago Wolves
- Wolf Pack Triumph Over Falcons 5-3 - Connecticut Whale
- Bulldogs Shut Down Amerks In 4-1 Win - Hamilton Bulldogs
- Marlies Survive Late Rivermen Push - Peoria Rivermen
- Amerks Fall From First In Loss To 'Dogs - Rochester Americans
- Matsumoto, Phantoms Trap River Rats 4-2 - Adirondack Phantoms
- Phantoms Earn First TWCC Win 4-2 - Albany River Rats
- Dallas Assigns Fabian Brunnstrom And Maxime Fortunus To Texas - Texas Stars
- Vishnevskiy Becomes Second Texas Star Selected For All-Star Game - Texas Stars
- Rampage Sign Ryan Weston To PTO - San Antonio Rampage
- Labatt Celebrity Bartending Series Begins At Change Of Pace January 4 - Syracuse Crunch
- Voynov Named To AHL All-Star PlanetUSA Team - Manchester Monarchs
- Griffins Ready To Ring In The New Year - Grand Rapids Griffins
- P-Bruins Receive Pair Of All-Stars - Providence Bruins
- Jon Matsumoto Selected To AHL All-Star Classic - Adirondack Phantoms
- Former Phantom Oskars Bartulis Named To Latvian Olympic Team - Adirondack Phantoms
- Santorelli, Sulzer Recalled By Nashville - Milwaukee Admirals
- Admirals Ring In The New Year Friday At 6:00 - Milwaukee Admirals
- Defenseman David Phillips Loaned To Toledo - Rockford IceHogs
- Wolf Pack's Bobby Sanguinetti Earns AHL All-Star Classic Berth - Connecticut Whale
- Rampage's Sean Sullivan Named To 2010 AHL All-Star Team - San Antonio Rampage
- Shirokov Named To PlanetUSA Team For 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic - Manitoba Moose
- Junland And Eller Named To PlanetUSA All-Star Roster - Peoria Rivermen
- Cullen And Skille Named All-Stars - Rockford IceHogs
- Wolves Sterling Selected To AHL PlanetUSA All-Star Team - Chicago Wolves
- Khudobin, Noreau To AHL All-Star Game - Houston Aeros
- Gogulla Named To German Olympic Team - Portland Pirates
- Marlies' Forward Christian Hanson Named To PlanetUSA Roster - Toronto Marlies
- Salak Named To PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team - Rochester Americans
- Dan Fritsche Named To PlanetUSA All-Stars - Syracuse Crunch
- Weber And Gerbe Named To PlanetUSA AHL All-Stars - Portland Pirates
- Aucoin, Carlson And Neuvirth Named To PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team - Hershey Bears
- Rissmiller Named To PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Admirals Rw Brandon Bochenski Named An All-Star Starter - Norfolk Admirals
- 2010 PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Roster Unveiled - AHL
- Blues Recall Derek Armstrong - Peoria Rivermen
- B-Sens Recall Goaltender Chris Holt From Elmira - Binghamton Senators
- AHL Announces Front-Office Additions - AHL
- Amerks Receive De Gray On Loan; Release Schulz - Rochester Americans
- AHL Quick Hits - AHL
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.