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Phantoms Go Pink, Fall to Hartford in Third

January 26, 2014 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Adirondack Phantoms News Release

The Adirondack Phantoms took to the ice with some terrific pink jerseys on Pink in the Rink presented by Glens Falls Hospital and raced out to a 3-1 lead. But the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack pulled off a third-period rally for a 6-3 win at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Sunday evening.

Tye McGinn scored twice for the Phantoms (9th and 10th) and Jason Akeson added his team-leading 15th goal of the season. But rookie Jesper Fast tallied a pair of goals including the game-winner with less than five minutes remaining. The Wolf Pack added a pair of empty-net goals in the final two minutes of the game to complete the victory.

Adirondack's pink jerseys were part of the team's efforts to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer issues and treatment. Area breast cancer survivors were honored through the day and accompanied the players during the post-game jersey auction in which partial proceeds would be donated to the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital.

It was a feel-good day for the team as well as the fans in support of this great cause. Some of the players got into the theme of "Think Pink" even more with pink sticks during pregame warmups and pink laces on their skates. A couple players even kept their pink sticks DURING the game!

The Phantoms raced out of the starting gates with a goal in the first shift when Tye McGinn dangled around a defenseman in the right-circle and then shot over the glove of Hartford goalie Dov Grumet-Morris. Adirondack led 1-0 just 42 seconds into the game.

Later in the period, Jason Akeson would pounce on a rebound of a Marc-Andre Bourdon shot after a series of blasts had the Wolf Pack scrambling. Akeson's 48th career goal with the Adirondack Phantoms moved him into a tie for the all-time team lead with Denis Hamel who also had 48 goals from 2010-12.

Bourdon now has assists in consecutive days in his first games back since returning to the lineup for the first time in 14 months following his post-concussion symptoms. Later in the day, the popular defenseman received a nice ovation from the crowd when he was announced as the Saratoga Spine Player of the Week for successfully battling through his injury and making it back to the team.

The Phantoms appeared to be in full control with a 2-0 lead after one period and then led again by two when the teams traded goals in the opening minutes of the second period. But after taking the 3-1 advantage before the midway point of the game, the Phantoms would be unable to find the back of the net again.

"Really good early, and not so good late," head coach Terry Murray said. "Too many missed opportunities in the first half of the game in offensive situations. And they put a huge push on to win the game."

Jesper Fast blasted a one-timer from the top of the left circle in the opening minutes of the second period as Hartford took advantage of their carry-over power-play time to make the score 2-1. Tye McGinn responded from the left circle when Brandon Manning neatly connected across the ice from the right point.

Marek Hrivik pulled Hartford to within a goal again with another power-play strike with less than two minutes remaining in the second period shooting the puck barely into the net from the right-wing end-line after a nice cross-ice pass from their captain, Aaron Johnson, on the left point.

The Phantoms led 3-2 heading into the third period but Kyle Beach benefited from the rebound of a shot-block by Marc-Andre Bourdon who went down to impede Michael Haley's drive from the right circle. The carom bounced perfectly onto Beach's stick who was able to unload from the slot going five-hole on a moving Cal Heeter. Hartford tied the game at 3-3 just five minutes into the third.

Hartford turned up the pressure later in the third period and bombarded Cal Heeter with several shots in a row to set up their go-ahead goal. Heeter made back-to-back tremendous saves point-blank with his left leg and then knocked away another big drive from the slot by Ryan Bourque. But Adirondack was not able to clear the zone and finally Jesper Fast picked up the rebound of another shot and was able to curl a backhander around Heeter with 4:41 left. Fast's second of the game put Hartford in the lead for the first time in the game at 4-3.

"Their tying goal is a blocked shot," Murray said. "The same thing on the fourth that they get, the winning goal. It's a blocked shot and it comes to their guy driving off the left defenseman's side. They got a couple bounces but they worked hard to get them. They took their game up to a level and we weren't matching it."

The Phantoms had a late power-play opportunity on a cross-checking penalty by Dylan McIlrath with 2:52 to go and a little bit into the advantage pulled goalie Cal Heeter to set up a 6-on-4 attack to try to attain the equalizer. The Phantoms had a couple close calls to tying the game on that power play. Former Hartford Wolf Pack Kris Newbury shot for a partly open net from the left circle after Grumet-Morris had gone down but Newbury missed the net with his shot allowing the puck to be picked up on the other side and cleared away.

Danny Syvret, in another return to his former home arena, launched a long clear from deep in their own zone which took a fortuitous roll to curve directly into the empty-net and advance Hartford's lead to 5-3. Kris Newbury took exception to Syvret's subsequent celebration of the goal which was directed at some of the fans behind the visitors' bench. Newbury shoved and grabbed Syvret and both players were assessed 10-minute misconducts. Coincidentally, those two players had been traded for each other just this past summer when Danny Syvret was dealt from the Philadelphia Flyers organization to the New York Rangers in exchange for Kris Newbury.

McIlrath returned from the box with under a minute remaining and was on the receiving end of a long stretch-pass by J.T. Miller for a breakaway at an entirely open net. His fourth of the year was Hartford's second empty-netter of the game and provided for the 6-3 final score.

Shots in the game were even at 29-29 and, in fact, were even in each period as well. Both teams had eight shots in the first, nine in the second and 12 in the third. Hartford was 2-for-2 on the power play while Adirondack went 0-for-4 to provide for one of the significant differences in the end-result. The six goals equals the most allowed by the Phantoms in a single game this year as does the four goals allowed in a single period. Adirondack surrendered two empty-net goals in the same game for the first time this season. Adirondack is 2-3-1 against Hartford this season with four games remaining in the season series.

The game was the opener of a home-and-home series between the two teams. The Phantoms travel to Hartford, CT for a Wednesday night engagement. Adirondack returns home Friday night against the Hershey Bears on Pack The House Night presented by John Ray and Sons. Special discount tickets are available now as the Phantoms and the community look to show the rest of the league the special product we have in Glens Falls as we strive for our third sellout of the season. The ticket price will be increasing soon so fans should call right away to receive the best discount: 518-480-3355.

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