Week 8 Recap:
The Phantoms started Week 8 with a very solid defensive effort at home, blanking the Toronto Marlies 2-0 and improving to 6-2-1-0 at the Glens Falls Civic Center this year. Jon Matsumoto scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season and Matt Clackson tallied his first of the season in support of goaltender Johan Backlund, who made 25 saves for his second shutout of the year. Adirondack then hit the road for their first matchup with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. After a scoreless first period, the Penguins exploded for three second period goals and out-shot the Phantoms 17-3. Adirondack struck back in the third period with rookie defenseman Kevin Marshall’s second goal of the year, but in spite of out-shooting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 21-9 in the final frame, the Phantoms could not get any closer. Backlund was equally sharp in the 3-1 loss to the Penguins, stopping 33-of-36 shots on the night, but suffered his fourth regulation defeat as Adirondack’s offense could only muster the one goal.Week 9 Preview:
The Phantoms had not even returned home from their weekend trip to Pennsylvania when the news came down that two more Flyers suffered injuries in their game against Phoenix. To fill the void, Philadelphia recalled captain Jared Ross and left wing Andreas Nodl on Sunday and they joined Phantoms teammates David Laliberte and Oskars Bartulis in Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. The latest wave of call-ups leaves the current Phantoms roster with exactly 20 players, which is enough to fill a game-night lineup, but without any extra bodies.
Because of the call-ups look for right wing Jason Ward and defenseman David Sloane to get into the action this week as Adirondack begins a very busy schedule over the next month. The Phantoms start their week on November 26th by traveling to Binghamton for the Senators annual Thanksgiving game at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Thursday’s game commences a grueling 12-game in 24-day schedule for Adirondack and a three-in-three set this week. After playing in Binghamton, the Phantoms return home to host the Hershey Bears at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Black Friday at 7:30 pm and then both teams travel down to Hershey for a Saturday night 7:00 pm game at the Giant Center. Friday night’s home game is Phantoms Thunder Sticks Night as the first 3,000 fans in the building will receive a pair of Phantoms Thunder Sticks courtesy of Pyrofax Energy.Week 9 Schedule:
(All games are broadcast LIVE on Classic Hits Q-101.7 FM and can also be heard for free over the Internet at www.phantomshockey.com and can be viewed via internet pay-per-view video on www.ahllive.com.)
Thursday, November 26 – 6:05 pm – Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena – Binghamton, NY @ Binghamton Senators (9-8-2-1, 21 pts)
Tied-Second Place, East Division
In their first of ten meetings this season the Senators shutout the Phantoms 5-0 on November 13th at the Civic Center; it was Adirondack’s worst home loss of the season. Binghamton is known for their run-and-gun style which leads to goal-fests and lots of shots; the B-Sens lead the AHL with an average of 35.2 shots on goal per game, but they also have allowed 31.5 shots on goal per game, which ranks 24th in the league. Binghamton ranks 7th in the league with 3.05 goals-per-game, but have allowed 3.10 goals-per-game (21st). Ryan Keller leads the AHL in goals (14) and ranks 4th in the league in points (22), while Martin St. Pierre is 5th in the AHL in points (21). Goaltender Andy Chiodo has won three of his last four appearances, while number one netminder Mike Brodeur is 1-2-1 in his last four starts, including the 5-0 shutout of the Phantoms. The Senators have alternated winning and losing in their last nine games, posting a 5-3-0-1 record over that span.
Leading Scorer: Ryan Keller (RW) – 22 points (13 goals, 9 assists) in 20 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Mike Brodeur (G) – 2.92 GAA, 0.898 save pct., 5-4-1 in 15 GP.
Who’s Hot: Ryan Keller (RW) – 7 points (5 goals, 2 assists) and a +3 rating in his last four games played. Martin St. Pierre (C) – 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) and a +3 rating in his last five games played. Denis Hamel (LW) – 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in his last five games played.
Friday, November 27 – 7:30 pm – Glens Falls Civic Center – Glens Falls, NY vs. Hershey Bears (13-5-0-1, 27 pts)
First Place, East Division
Saturday, November 28 – 7:00 pm – Giant Center – Hershey, PA @ Hershey Bears (13-5-0-1, 27 pts)
First Place, East Division
Adirondack won the first meeting this season with Hershey, beating the Bears 2-1 in a fantastic defensive battle at the Civic Center; rookie Kevin Marshall’s first career pro goal was the third period winner on October 16th. The Bears have received excellent goaltending from both Jason Bacashihua and Michal Neuvirth; Neuvirth has won five straight starts and posted a 0.942 save percentage over that span, while Bacashihua is 5-1-0 this season with a miniscule 1.84 goals-against average. Hershey had their five-game winning streak snapped by a 2-1 shootout loss to Springfield on Saturday. The Bears are an impressive 9-1-1 in their last 11 games played and lead the Eastern Conference with a 0.711 winning percentage (ranks 3rd overall in the AHL). Hershey’s potent offense ranks tied for third in the league (3.53 goals/game), but their defense has been equally strong with a 2.11 goals allowed/game average (4th in AHL). Alexandre Giroux is second in the AHL in points (26) and tied for fourth in the league in goals (10). The Bears penalty kill is the second best in the AHL with a 93.0% success rate; they have allowed just 5 power play goals in 71 shorthanded chances.
Leading Scorer: Alexandre Giroux (LW) – 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 15 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Jason Bacashihua (G) – 1.84 GAA, 0.936 save pct., 5-1-0 in 6 GP.
Who’s Hot: Dustin Jeffrey (C) – 7 assists and a +4 rating in his last five games played. Luca Caputi (LW) – 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +1 rating in his last five games played. Chris Lee (D) – 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) in his last four games played. Week 8 Game Results:
November 18, 2009 Toronto 0 @ Adirondack 2
November 21, 2009 Adirondack 1 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3
Phantoms Player of the Week: (Week 8)
Johan Backlund – G – #31
2 GP, 1-1-0, 1.53 GAA, 0.951 Sv.%, 1 Shutout
Goaltending has continued to be one of the Phantoms strong points early in the season as Johan Backlund’s play has been exemplary. Backlund recorded his second shutout of the season on Wednesday as he blanked the Toronto Marlies 2-0 and finished with 25 saves. Saturday night the Swedish-born Backlund made 33 saves on 36 shots, but the Phantoms offense sputtered and lost 3-1 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. For the week Backlund posted a 1.53 goals-against average and a 0.951 save percentage; he is tied for fourth in the AHL with two shutouts this year.Phantoms Quick Hits:
· 900 CLUB – Phantoms Head Coach Greg Gilbert recorded his 900th career game as a head coach on Wednesday as Adirondack beat his old team, the Toronto Marlies, 2-0. In 901 games as a bench boss in the NHL, AHL and OHL, Gilbert has a career record of 409-355-76-61 (0.530 winning percentage). He has coached in 576 career AHL games and has a 0.551 winning percentage (276-217-40-43).
· SECOND CLEAN SHEET – Goaltender Johan Backlund posted his second shutout of the season with a 25 save effort in the Phantoms 2-0 win over Toronto on Wednesday. It was Backlund’s 33 career shutout as a pro, with 31 of them coming in his native Sweden. He is currently tied for fourth in the AHL in shutouts.
· OFF THE MARK AND ON THE MARK – Right wing Matt Clackson scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday night against the Marlies. It was Clackson’s fourth goal of this professional career. He is two games away from his 100th career Pro and AHL game played.
· NEARLY A GORDIE HOWE – Rookie defenseman Kevin Marshall is a very bright prospect in the Flyers organization and his early success in Adirondack has only confirmed that fact. On Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Marshall recorded his first career professional fight, trying to spark his team after a dismal second period. He then scored the Phantoms only goal in the game, but was one assist short of his first professional Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
· FEEDING THE FLYERS – With a rash of injuries in Philadelphia, the Phantoms have certainly been called upon to help fill the Flyers’ roster. Six players have been recalled from Adirondack so far during the regular season: Oskars Bartulis, Johan Backlund, Marc-Andre Bourdon, David Laliberte, Jared Ross and Andreas Nodl. Backlund served as Ray Emery’s back up and Bourdon was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the season, the others have (or soon will have) seen NHL action this year.
· THE POWER-KILL? – Adirondack conceded their first shorthanded goal of the season on Saturday night to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain Wyatt Smith at 18:36 of the second period. The Phantoms have scored twice while shorthanded this year: Jon Matsumoto & Stefan Legein
· NO SHOTS, THEN LOTS OF SHOTS – The Phantoms had a bizarre week in the shots on goal department. In both games they had one period where they tied their season low with just three shots on goal (they have done that three times this season). However, on Saturday against the Penguins, Adirondack followed up a 3-shot second period with a 21-shot third period, which tied their season-high.