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Phantoms Weekly

January 25, 2012 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Adirondack Phantoms News Release

Upcoming Games

Wednesday, January 24, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Manchester Monarchs

Friday, January 26, 7:00 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms

Saturday, January 27, 5:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Monday, January 30, 7:00 - AHL All-Star Classic at Atlantic City, NJ

Phantoms Results

Friday, January 20 - Adirondack Phantoms 3 - Albany Devils 2

Saturday, January 21 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2 - Adirondack Phantoms 1

Sunday, January 22 - Binghamton Senators 4 - Adirondack Phantoms 3

Coming Up

The Phantoms conclude play prior to the league's All-Star break with three games this week including two on the road. Wednesday night is the team's first trip to Manchester, NH to face former Phantom Stefan Legein and the rest of the Monarchs. Friday night, the Phantoms play their lone home game of the week on a $2 draft-beer night as they look to avenge a loss against Bridgeport suffered just seven days prior. On Saturday at 5:00, Adirondack heads down to Albany for the sixth of the 10-game Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry series with the Devils.

Now past the midway point of the 2011-12 regular season, presented by Bud Light, the Phantoms find themselves in very tight races in the division and the conference in their second-half push for the playoffs. At 21-18-2, Adirondack has 44 points and sits in second place in the Northeast Division in a tie with Albany and Bridgeport. The Phantoms are just two points out of first and have a chance to move past the slumping Connecticut Whale this weekend. In the conference race, the 44 points are good for 9th place. The top eight posts will land spots in the Calder Cup Playoffs in April, but the division winners will be awarded the top three seeds.

The Phantoms home game on Friday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this weekend is expected to be another good one between the two divisional rivals. $2 draft specials on Bud Light and Labatt Blue Light will be available through the first intermission. Come see the Phantoms take on the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders! Call the Phantoms for ticket savings at 518-480-3355. Be Here!

After this week's games it's the AHL All-Star Classic in Atlantic City, NJ. Goalie Michael Leighton will be participating in the Skills Competition on Sunday, January 29 and in the game itself on Monday, January 30. It is Leighton's third AHL All-Star game of his career. He first appeared in the big event in 2002 as a member of the Norfolk Admirals in a game played in St. John's. And in 2008 on his way to Goaltender of the Year honors, he represented the Albany River Rats in the game played at Binghamton. Congratulations Michael! The 2012 All-Star Classic can be seen locally in Glens Falls on Time Warner Cable Channel 3 and HD-1803 and also on LookTV-8.

Roster Moves

Injuries to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday have offered a great opportunity for a couple of our Adirondack Phantoms players with the big club. Ben Holmstrom (C) and Tom Sestito (F) were called up to Philadelphia early Saturday evening and both played for the Flyers in their games on Sunday vs. Boston and Tuesday at Florida. Sestito recorded an assist in the Tuesday overtime win at the Panthers. Holmstrom, the Phantoms team captain and reigning team MVP from 2010-11, has now played in four games with the Flyers this year. Sestito has now played in five.

Cullen Eddy (D) and Andy Bohmbach (C) were sent to the ECHL last weekend for increased playing time. Eddy went to Greenville (SC) for three games where he scored one goal and two assists in his quick stretch. Andy Bohmbach went to Trenton and also played in three games last weekend, notching three assists.

Eddy has since been recalled from his loan to Greenville and is with the Phantoms again where he has spent the majority of the season. He is eligible to return to the lineup for the team's Wednesday night game at Manchester.

Phantoms Impact

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette has relied heavily on his prospects from his AHL team in Adirondack this season. The recent call-ups of Holmstrom and Sestito just continued a significant trend this year on Phantoms players notching plenty of ice-time in key games and situations.

No fewer than eight Phantoms from late last year and earlier this season have been in the lineup during the Flyers last three games. Those Phantoms getting the recent Philly ice-time have included; Marc-Andre Bourdon, Erik Gustafsson, Ben Holmstrom, Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo, Brayden Schenn, Tom Sestito, Harry Zolnierczyk.

Players currently with the Phantoms who have also spent time with the Flyers this season have included Kevin Marshall, Matt Walker and Eric Wellwood.

Northeast Division Standings

1. Connecticut Whale (46 pts)

2. Adirondack Phantoms (44 pts)

3. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (44 pts)

4. Albany Devils (44 pts)

5. Springfield Falcons (39 pts)

Week in Review

Friday, January 20 (Adirondack 3 - Albany 2)

Adirondack blasted away for 20 shots in a second period barrage with Tyler Brown, Jon Kalinski and Andrew Rowe all lighting the lamp in a 3-2 victory over the Devils. The final score was somewhat deceptive to the dominating performance turned in by the Phantoms in outshooting the Devils 36-20. Jason Bacashihua recorded the win for Adirondack as the team took a three games to two lead in the Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry series. The home team has won every game of the rivalry so far in 2011-12.

The win pulled the Phantoms to within one point of first place Connecticut in the division and actually vaulted Adirondack ahead of the Whale based on winning percentage.

Saturday, January 21 (Bridgeport 2 - Adirondack 1)

The Phantoms ran into red-hot Anders Nilsson who made 37 saves on 38 shots allowing Bridgeport to barely hang on for a 2-1 victory at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Jon Kalinski scored the lone goal for Adirondack while the rest of the team just couldn't quite finish on their many close chances. Michael Leighton took the tough-luck loss for the Phantoms as Bridgeport evened the season-series at two games apiece.

The win was the eighth in a row for the hottest team in the AHL, while the Phantoms had their four-game home-ice win streak snapped.

Sunday, January 22 (Binghamton 4 - Adirondack 3)

Adirondack raced out to a 3-1 lead by the midway point of the first period in their efforts to land their first victory against Mike McKenna and the Senators. But Binghamton battled back with a pair of power-play goals back-to-back at the end of the first and then scored the game-winner, also on the power play, in the opening seconds of the third.

The Phantoms had several chances on the Senators net for the rest of the third period but could not secure the equalizer.

Denis Hamel scored his 15th of the season to lead the Phantoms in his return to Binghamton. Hamel is the B-Sens all-time leading goal scorer in the history of their franchise with 203 goals in six season there. Jon Kalinski scored for his third game in a row. And Mike Testwuide tipped in a Tyler Brown chip for his 7th of the year.

Jason Bacashihua played particularly well, especially through a 16-save on 16-shot performance in the second period. But the Phantoms netminder was tagged with the tough-luck loss.

Phantoms Breakdown

-- The hottest Phantoms scorer is Jon Kalinski who has now lit the lamp in three straight games. Kalinski is in his fourth season with the Phantoms. The Minnesota State-Mankato product now has eight goals this year. His career high as a pro is ten.

-- Jason Akeson leads the team in points with 32 including 10 goals and 22 assists. He is fourth of among AHL rookies in helpers and is sixth in points. Akeson led the OHL in assists (84) and points (108) last year with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.

-- Denis Hamel has heated up again with four goals in his last six games and leads the Phantoms with 15 goals. He is well on his way to an amazing 10th season with 20 or more goals.

-- The Phantoms are 4-1 in overtime games this year and are 2-1 in shootouts for a combined record of 6-2 in games decided past regulation. All four Adirondack overtime wins have come on home-ice although the most recent one was at their home game played at Philadelphia in the outdoor game on January 6. Since an overtime loss at Hamilton on December 6, the Phantoms have won four straight games decided past regulation.

-- The Phantoms had outshot their opponents for eight straight games before the streak was finally snapped Sunday evening at Binghamton.

-- Adirondack is 4-1 in their last five home games and also are 6-2 in their last eight.

-- The Phantoms are 13th in the AHL in total offense now scoring 2.93 goals per game. They are 14th in total defense at 2.88 goals allowed.

-- The Phantoms penalty kill has slumped a little bit including three PPG's allowed on Sunday to fall to 14th in the AHL (out of 30) at 82.6%. Their home penalty kill is 9th at 84%.

-- Adirondack's power play is climbing fast and is now up to 15th in the AHL at 18.2%. They home-ice power play is 7th in the AHL at 19.6%.

-- Adirondack is 4-0-1 against the Western Conference (games against Rochester, Toronto and Hamilton) and are 2-0-1 against Canadian teams.

--The Phantoms are 15-1-1 when leading after two periods and are an impressive 11-1-1 when leading after one period.

--The Phantoms are 17-6-1 when they score first. The Phantoms are 12-7-2 in one-goal decisions.

--Adirondack is 14-7-1 at home this year. The Phantoms are 17-4-1 when they score three or more goals.

Phantoms Leaders (Goals - Assists - Points):

Jason Akeson 10-21-31

Denis Hamel 15-13-28

Ben Holmstrom 11-11-22

Mike Testwuide 7-14-21

Garrett Roe 5-16-21

Eric Wellwood 9-10-19

Tom Sestito 8-8-16

Shane Harper 6-9-15

Michael Leighton - 14-14-0, 2.64, .913

Jason Bacashihua - 7-5-1, 3.07, .901

Upcoming Opponents

Manchester Monarchs - Former Phantom Stefan Legein led the way for the Manchester victory on Sunday with a pair of goals including a shorthanded tally.

At 23-19-2 for 48 points, the Monarchs are in third place in the Atlantic Division and are just four points ahead of the Phantoms heading into this key Eastern Conference battle.

Marc-Andre Cliche leads the team with 27 points including 12 goals. Dwight King has 18 assists and 26 points.

Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff have shared the goaltending duties. Jones was a member of the World Juniors Team Canada squad in 2010 and was also WHL Goalie of the Year. Zatkoff is a fourth year pro out of Miami (Ohio) University.

The Phantoms lead the season series one game to nothing after their exciting 5-3 win a couple Saturdays ago, January 14. Harper, Hamel, Marshall, Wellwood and Holmstrom all lit the lamp in the balanced scoring attack.

Manchester's offense is 13th out of 15 in the conference and 24th out of 30 in the AHL at only 2.61 goals per game. More often than not, they get it done with defense and goaltending. The Monarchs are 2nd in the conference and 10th in the league at just 2.77 goals allowed per game.

The Monarchs power play is a fairly anemic 14.5% for 27th in the AHL. Their penalty kill is 13th at 82.8%.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) -

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have put together one of the most unlikely and dramatic turnarounds in the AHL this season, and they did it extremely quickly. Mired in last place in the Eastern Conference following a 2-10 month of December, the Sound Tigers must have been boosted by the New Year holiday as they have gone 8-0 in 2012 including a win at the GFCC last Saturday.

Bridgeport has allowed two goals or fewer in each game of their win streak to move into 16th in the league in defense at 2.93 goals allowed per game. They are 20th (out of 30) in offense at 2.8 goals scored per game.

The Sound Tigers' power play is 26th at just 15.1% and are 11th on the PK at 83.1%.

The surging Sound Tigers have vaulted out of the basement and have tied Adirondack and Albany with 44 points in the air-tight Northeast Division standings. Bridgeport is 20-17-4 overall including 10-6-2 at their home arena in Bridgeport, CT and 10-11-2 on the road.

The Sound Tigers and Phantoms are both just two points back of first place Connecticut in the division and are in a tough battle in the conference standings, currently tied for ninth place.

Kevin Poulin was AHL Player of the Week a couple weeks ago when he threatened the league's all-time shutout record. He had three shutouts in a row from January 4 through January 7 and racked up a total of 221 consecutive shutout minutes before falling just 28 minutes shy of the all-time record set by Hall of Famer Johnny Bower of the Cleveland Barons in 1957.

Poulin's goals against average was 3.27 before the streak and his saves percentage was .891. His numbers now stand at 2.77 and .905 along with his record of 11-12-0.

But it was Anders Nilsson who got the surprising start last Saturday in Glens Falls and it appeared first year head coach Brent Thompson made the right pick. Nilsson was spectacular in turning away 37 of 38 Phantoms' shots for a 2-1 victory over the Phantoms.

2010-11 leading scorer Rhett Rakshani is back from injury and is now third on the team in points with 21 including nine goals. A pair of talented rookies lead the young crew in scoring; Casey Cizekas (10-19-29) and Matt Donovan (4-18-22).

The season series is now even at two games apiece.

Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils) -

Albany is also in the three-way deadlock for second in the Northeast Division at 18-15-8 for 44 points including 10-6-6 at home while going 8-9-2 on the road.

The Phantoms lead the Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry series three games to two as the teams ready for game-six of the 10-game season stretch. Last year, the Phantoms were the champions of the Cup as they clinched with a win on their last home game of the regular season on April 4. The series last year was six games apiece but the Phantoms were awarded the Cup based on points.

The Devils had a pair of hat tricks last week. On Wednesday, it was Stephane Vellieux against Norfolk. Then on Saturday it was Joseph Whitney at Springfield with all three of his goals coming in the first period.

Matt Anderson returns from a 25 goal campaign from last year and had been the team's leading scorer in 2011-12 with seven goals and 15 assists prior to being passed by Whtiney on Saturday who now has 11 goals and 25 points.

Tom Sestito's older brother Tim Sestito skates for the Albany Devils.

Darcy Zajac, younger brother of Travis Zajac of New Jersey, has six goals and seven assists. Jeff Frazee is back between the pipes for Albany and is splitting time with a rookie out of Union College, Keith Kincaid.

Rick Kowalsky is in his second season as head coach in Albany after previously coaching their ECHL team in Trenton and, prior to that, having a standout career mostly in the ECHL with the Trenton Titans and Hampton Roads Admirals.

Albany's special teams are among the worst in the league. They are dead-last out of 30 on the power play at 13.4% and are 27th on the penalty kill at 77.8%. They are 25th in total offense at 2.59 goals and are 24th in defense at 3.07 goals allowed.


Jan 12 - Erik Gustafsson (D) Recalled to Philadelphia from loan to Adirondack

Jan 12 - Matt Walker (D) Loaned by Philadelphia to Adirondack

Jan 19 - Andy Bohmbach (D) Loaned to Trenton (ECHL)

Jan 19 - Cullen Eddy (D) Loaned to Greenville (ECHL)

Jan 21 - Ben Holmstrom (C) Recalled from loan to ADK by Philadelphia (NHL)

Jan 21 - Tom Sestito (F) Recalled from loan to ADK by Philadelphia (NHL)

Jan 24 - Cullen Eddy (D) Recalled from loan to Greenville (ECHL) by ADK

Phantoms Day-by-Day

Tuesday, January 24 - Practice at Rec Center (10:00am). Bus to Manchester

Wednesday, January 25 - Practice at Manchester (11:00am). Game at Manchester (7:00pm)

Thursday, January 26 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)

Friday, January 27 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am). Game vs. Bridgeport (7:00pm)

Saturday, January 28 - Practice at Rec Center (10:30am). Bus to Albany (2:00pm). Game at Albany (5:00pm)

Sunday, January 29 - Team Off. All-Star Break.

Monday, January 30 - Team Off. All-Star Break.

Tuesday, January 31 - Team Off. All-Star Break

Wednesday, February 1 - Practice at GFCC (10:00am)

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, January 25, 7:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Manchester Monarchs

Friday, January 27, 7:00 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Adirondack Phantoms. $2 draft-beer specials through first intermission.

Saturday, January 28, 5:00 - Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils

Monday, January 30 - No Phantoms Power Hour Show. All-Star Break

Friday, February 3, 7:00 - Norfolk Admirals at Adirondack Phantoms. $2 draft beers.

Saturday, February 4, 7:00 - Providence Bruins at Adirondack Phantoms. Jimmer Fredette Bobbleheads (first 3,000 fans)

Get great savings with the Phantoms when you bring your group of 15 friends or co-workers to a game. Group-rates available as low as $13 per person. Call the Phantoms to find out more at 518-480-3355.

Check out the Half-Price Discount Outlet at for great savings from some of our awesome Phantoms corporate partners. Get half-off cards to local restaurants and other stores!

Catch all the action of Phantoms hockey all season long on the team's flagship station, Classic Hits Q101.7 and on Bob Rotruck has the broadcast coverage 30 minutes prior to game-time with Countdown to Faceoff.. Be sure to follow the Phantoms on twitter @phantomshockey and on

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