Phantoms Scare Away Falcons 2-1
Cal Heeter turned aside 27 Falcons shots and Adirondack picked up their second victory in a row as the Phantoms scared away the visiting Springfield Falcons on Halloween Costume Night in Glens Falls.
Kris Newbury (1st) and Chris VandeVelde (2nd) scored for Adirondack who had to hang on at the end in a wild finish that featured a 6-on-4 Falcons' Power Play and extra attacker for the final 53 seconds. Patrick McNeil blasted a long slapshot off the left-post with 34 seconds remaining as Springfield was just an inch away from tying the game late.
Springfield's speedy pursuit of the puck in the Phantoms zone generated some chances for the Falcons but the last line of defense was solid as a rock all night long for Adirondack. "Heeter was the guy there tonight that made some big stops to keep us in the game and give us an opportunity," Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said.
Adirondack's goals both came on the power play as the Phantoms got out of their recent drought of man-advantage tallies. "The power play works whenever you get pucks to the net on a more consistent basis," Murray said. "It's very hard to score goals that are going to be highlight reel goals on the power play....So tonight, more of the ugly goals. You know, get the puck to the net, go to the net, looking for second and third chances."
After a scoreless opening 35 minutes of the game with Cal Heeter and Jeremy Smith matching each other save-for-save, Kris Newbury broke through with a little lady-luck. His attempt at a shot-pass on the power play looking for a connection on the back-door appeared to instead deflect off the stick of Springfield's Andrew Joudrey and into their own goal for the first score of the night. Brandon Manning received the assist on the goal.
The first career Phantoms goal for Newbury was the 143rd of his AHL career in his 602nd game in the league. It was also his 149th professional goal all-time.
Chris VandeVelde snapped out of his snake-bit stretch to get into the goal column with a key power-play goal at 12:24 of the third period. His initial drive was knocked down but he stayed with the rebound and was able to slip it through Jeremy Smith from the left side of the crease for his second of the season. The University of North Dakota product briefly played for Springfield at the beginning of his professional career and then spent the past three season with Oklahoma City. Matt Konan and Mark Alt assisted on the tally.
"It was kind of a broken play," VandeVelde said. "Konan got the puck to me and I just kind of put a move on the defenseman. I got my shot off and I got my rebound. I have no idea how it went in. It just kind of squeaked in which is a good feeling."
The Falcons' goal scored by Lukas Sedlak less than a minute after VandeVelde had made it 2-0 came with less than 7:00 remaining in the game, The Falcons broke up Heeter's bid for his first career professional shutout on a goal that came after a breakaway push by Sean Collins was denied by Heeter. A pile of bodies crashed into the cage, knocking Heeter backwards and pushing the goal off the pegs as the puck was going in. The play was initially called a goal by the officials and the decision was upheld via video review.
Adirondack's first home victory of the season featured a Halloween Costume Parade on the ice between the first and second periods with dozens of kids and adults taking part in the fun. The Phantoms Wives were in the front lobby with face-painting and candy as well with charitable donations for the face-painting going to benefi the Salvation Army.
Adirondack outshot the Falcons 30-28. The Phantoms were 2-for-5 on the power play while holding Springfield to 0-for-6 including the big 6-on-4 power-play stop at the end of the game.
The Phantoms three-game homestand in four days continues Friday and Saturday nights against the Binghamton Senators and Albany Devils.
Friday night's game is Military Appreciation Night honoring our veterans and active military. Commemorative pucks will be on sale at the merchandise stand with proceeds to benefit onbehalf.org and Operation Adopt a Soldier. Saturday is Postgame photos on the ice with the Phantoms players on AYHA Night. The first 500 kids age 12 and younger will receive a free kids' meal to Olive Garden.
Adirondack is 1-0-1 against Springfield this year and the Northeast Division rivals will meet six more times including next Friday in the Phantoms' debut appearance at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. The Falcons do not return to Glens Falls until March.
After this Saturday's home game, the Phantoms do not return for another home game for almost three weeks on November 22.
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American Hockey League Stories from October 30, 2013
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