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Adirondack Splits Weekend Games, Briefly Tastes First Place

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
2009-10 Record: 4-3-1-0, 9 points (3-1-1-0 Home, 1-2-0-0 Road), Tied-Third Place - East Division

Week 4 Recap:
Adirondack had a brief taste of the top as they sat in first place of the East Division after skating past the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-2 on home ice Friday night.  David Laliberte struck quickly at 1:20 of the first period, the fastest goal to open a game so far this year by the Phantoms, giving Adirondack a 1-0 lead.  Hartford’s P.A. Parenteau tied the game with a power play goal four minutes later for a 1-1 score after twenty minutes.  Early in the second period Laliberte sent Jon Matsumoto off on a breakaway and the Phantoms center snapped a wrist shot over the glove of Wolf Pack goalie Chad Johnson to regain the lead.  Defenseman Oskars Bartulis then blasted home a power play goal for a 3-1 lead, but late in the second period Dane Byers pulled Hartford back within one with the team’s second power play goal of the game.  In the third period the Wolf Pack out-shot Adirondack 11-5, however they could not break through Johan Backlund’s defenses as the Swedish netminder held on for his third victory of the year.
Saturday night the Phantoms traveled to Albany for Round 2 of the Time Warner Cable Cup series with the River Rats.  Albany clearly had the momentum in the first period and took the lead on a Jacob Micflikier goal at 13:49.  Out-played for most of the frame, the Phantoms tied the score when Matsumoto made a beautiful pass to newcomer Stefan Legein for a one-timer at the far post with a mere 90 seconds left in the period.  Albany captain Pat Dwyer gave the home team the lead again at 16:43 when he poked in a rebound on a three-on-one counter attack at the end of a Phantoms power play.  Left wing Garrett Klotz tied the game at 2-2 with his first career professional goal at 9:24 of the third period, assisted by rookie defenseman Joonas Lehtivuori, who picked up his first career pro point.  Unfortunately the River Rats had the final response as rookie Zach Boychuk beat goalie Nic Riopel to the top shelf on another odd-man rush with six minutes remaining to give Albany a 3-2 win and a 2-0 lead in the Time Warner Cable Cup series.
Week 5 Preview:
Defenseman Oskars Bartulis had a whirlwind finish to last weekend’s schedule.  After playing in both games for the Phantoms on Friday and Saturday, he was recalled by the Flyers so he jumped in a car Sunday morning and drove to Wachovia Center.  Bartulis was recalled to play in Sunday’s game against San Jose, after Chris Pronger picked up an injury on Saturday against Florida.  However, Pronger was able to recover enough to play Sunday, meaning that Bartulis was a healthy scratch in Philadelphia’s 4-1 loss to the Sharks.  Monday morning the Flyers returned Bartulis to Adirondack, making for an extra long weekend for the Riga, Latvia native.
Another two-game week for the Phantoms in Week 5 as they begin by taking on their first Western Conference foe of the year.  Adirondack will travel north of the border as they meet Head Coach Greg Gilbert’s former team, the Toronto Marlies, Friday October 30th at Ricoh Coliseum.  After a long overnight drive back to Glens Falls, the team has a light practice scheduled for Saturday afternoon as they will try to reorganize their focus for Sunday’s 5:00 pm face off with the Syracuse Crunch at the Civic Center.
Week 5 Schedule:
(All games are broadcast LIVE on Classic Hits Q-101.7 FM and can also be heard for free over the Internet at and can be viewed via internet pay-per-view video on
Friday, October 30 – 7:00 pm – Ricoh Coliseum – Toronto, ON
@ Toronto Marlies (3-3-1-1, 8 pts)
Tied-Fifth Place, North Division
    •    After winning their first two games of the season, the Marlies have won just one game since, going 1-3-1-1 in their last six games.  Over those six contests Toronto has allowed 24 goals, an average of 4.00 goals-against per game; they currently rank 24th in the AHL in overall goals-against per game (3.50).  The Marlies are 4th in the league in penalty minutes per game (28.38), but rank 22nd in the AHL in penalty kill percentage (78.8%), having allowed 7 power play goals on 33 chances.  Adam Munro has started the last four straight games, after coming on to relieve starter Andrew Engelange on October 16th at Rochester.  Jiri Tlusty is on a four-game point streak (6 points).  The season series with Toronto will not take long to complete; the Marlies come to Glens Falls on November 18th, the only other game this season between the two teams.
    •    Leading Scorer: Jiri Tlusty (LW) – 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists) in 8 GP.
    •    Leading Goaltender: Adam Munro (G) – 2.71 GAA, 0.919 save pct., 1-2-1 in 5 GP.
    •    Who’s Hot: Jiri Tlusty (LW) – 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last four games played.  Christian Hanson (RW) – 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and a +2 rating in his last five games played.  Mike Zigomanis (C) – 5 assists and a +2 rating in three games played.
Jon Matsumoto had four points in two games over the weekend for the Adirondack Phantoms. (photo by Andy Camp)
Sunday, November 1 – 5:00 pm – Glens Falls Civic Center – Glens Falls, NY
vs. Syracuse Crunch (3-4-1-1, 8 pts)
Tied-Fifth Place, East Division
    •    Crunch have not been able to find a winning rhythm so far this season as they have not yet won back-to-back games.  Since beat Adirondack 6-1 in their home opener on October 10th, Syracuse has gone 2-2-1-1 and has been out-scored 21-15; they have allowed three or more goals in each of their last six contests.  The Crunch are ranked 2nd in the AHL in penalty minutes per game (30.11), while their penalty kill ranks 20th (79.5%), having allowed 9 power play goals on 44 attempts.  Syracuse must travel to Norfolk for an East Division battle with the Admirals on Friday night before heading up to Glens Falls on Sunday, the first of four trips to the Glens Falls Civic Center by the Crunch this season.  Right wing Pascal Pelletier, who is tied for the team lead in points (8), has just two assists over his last six games.
    •    Leading Scorers: Alexandre Picard (LW) – 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) in 9 GP & Pascal Pelletier – 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) in 9 GP.
    •    Leading Goaltender: Dan LaCosta (G) – 3.59 GAA, 0.897 save pct., 2-3-1 in 6 GP.
    •    Who’s Hot: Derek MacKenzie (C) – 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +3 rating in his last five games played.  Tom Sestito (C) – 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) in his last five games played.  Maksim Mayorov (RW) – 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last five games played.
Week 4 Game Results:
October 23, 2009                    Hartford 2 @ Adirondack 3
October 24, 2009                    Adirondack 2 @ Albany 3
Phantoms Player of the Week: (Week 4)
Jon Matsumoto – C – #11  2 GP, 4 Points (1 goal, 3 assists), +4, 0 PIMs
Center Jon Matsumoto had a slow start to the 2009-10 season offensively, but really began to heat up in Week 4.  On Friday against Hartford the Ottawa, Ontario native set up the games’ first goal and second the second as the Phantoms beat the Wolf Pack 3-2.  Saturday in Albany Matsumoto assisted on both goals, including a beautiful cross-ice feed to set up a Stefan Legein one-timer, but Adirondack fell short to the River Rats 3-2.  Matsumoto finished the two game weekend with four points (1 goal, 3 assists) and a +4 plus-minus rating.  He currently leads the Phantoms in points (7) and assists (5) and is tied for the team lead in plus-minus (+4).
Phantoms Quick Hits:
·         SATURDAY STRUGGLES – Adirondack has not yet won a game on Saturday night during the 2009-2010 season.  The Phantoms are 0-3-1-0 on Saturdays, whereas they are a perfect 4-0-0-0 on the other days of the week thus far.
·         MORE FIRSTS – Second year left wing Garrett Klotz scored his first career professional goal on Saturday night at Albany.  Rookie defenseman Joonas Lehtivuori had the primary assist, his first career professional point, by sending a clever pass from the left corner to Klotz in the low slot for a one-timer over River Rats goaltender Justin Peters, tying the game at 9:24 of the third period; however a late Zach Boychuk goal would win the game for Albany.
·         NAIL-BITERS – The Phantoms have certainly been in some dramatic finishes so far this season, most likely adding a little stress and tension to their fans watching the games.  Six of Adirondack’s first eight games have been decided by one goal, including an overtime loss to Albany on October 17th.  So far in those one-goal games the Phantoms are 3-2-1-0.
·         LINE CHEMISTRY – The line of Jon Matsumoto, David Laliberte and Patrick Maroon had a strong weekend offensively and defensively.  The trio combined for ten points (2 goals, 8 assists) over the two games, with at least one of the line playing a factor in each of the Phantoms’ five goals scored.  Defensively they combined for a +10 rating, proving they are not just a one-way line.
·         FIRST FOR A DAY – After beating Hartford on Friday night, Adirondack sat in first place of the East Division for a day, but was then leap-frogged by Albany and Hershey on Saturday night.  Having played one fewer game than both teams, the Phantoms could reclaim the top spot if they win their game-in hand.
·         STATISTICAL ODDITY – In perhaps a testament of the Phantoms strong defense and goaltending, Adirondack has the second best winning percentage in the East Division (0.562), but they have scored the fewest goals in the entire AHL (19).  The Phantoms rank 27th in the league in goals per game (2.38), but are tied for 11th in the AHL in winning percentage.  Adirondack has been out-scored 22-19 by their opponents through 8 games this year.
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