The Adirondack Phantoms hit the road for their first away game of the season, the first of four in a row that will take the team up to St. John's and then back to Albany. This game was at the Springfield Falcons, AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Phantoms were not able to enjoy the same offensive success that they had in their home opener and ran into a snake-bit afternoon of near misses and a hot goalie. Curtis McElhinney of the Springfield Falcons posted 31 saves in repeatedly denying the Phantoms to lead the Springfield Falcons to a 4-0 decision.
Less than 24 hours after the Phantoms made the goal-scoring look easy, they were unable to break the former Calgary and Anaheim net-minder who had Adirondack's number. Adirondack outshot the Falcons 31-20 in the game and also outshot Springfield in every period. But despite some impressive pushes towards the net with multiple-shot attacks, the team was just not able to get the goals like they did in the Opening Night contest.
Andrew Johnston came close to scoring his first professional goal on a beautiful opportunity in the third period but he just wasn't able to elevate his drive from the backdoor high enough and McElhinney had one of his more fortunate saves of the day as he tumbled over and came up with the puck. Erik Gustafsson had a quality try on net as well.
Cal Heeter out of Ohio State took the crease for his professional debut and made 16 saves in the game including a couple of dandies. His first save of his pro career had him lunging way across to his left on a big slapper from the left point and he used every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame to secure the impressive glove stop.
Ryan Johansen scored in the first period to stake the Falcons to a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Then an apparent blocked shot turned into a goal for Dalton Prout on a seemingly harmless drive from the blue-line to begin the second period. Heeter was unable to stop the puck then moved to his right perhaps on the tip and somehow found its way into the net.
Jonathon Audy-Marchessault scored five minutes later and then Cody Bass fed the puck across the crease to their captain, Ryan Craig, stationed on the backdoor who slammed in their last tally of the game a couple minutes later.
The Phantoms had the early momentum in the game while the Falcons had a steady parade to the penalty box.
Adirondack was unable to benefit from four power play opportunities in the first period including a pair of five-on-three's. They kept blasting away on the Springfield net with a couple of near misses, some other big saves, and a few key blocks by Springfield penalty killers. The Phantoms finished the game 0-for-7 on the power play while Springfield was 1-for-3.
A couple of altercations developed out of some of the battles in the corners. Marc-Andre Bourdon mixed it up with Cody Bass. Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom engaged with Michael Chaput of Springfield, who was previously a Flyers prospect and third-round draft choice.
Harry Zolnierczyk appeared to take an inadvertent high-stick to the face and did not return to the game.
The Phantoms fall to 1-1-0 with the decision while Springfield improves to 2-0-0 for the first time since 2005-06. The Adirondack Phantoms still dominate the all-time series over the Falcons holding a 7-2 advantage.
Scratches for the game included Mike Testwuide, Shane Harper, Zack Fitzgerald, Jeff Dimmen, and Matt Mangene.
Adirondack continues their four-game road-swing next weekend with a pair of games Friday and Saturday at St. John's, Newfoundland and Labradour to take on the IceCaps, the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets in their home-opening weekend. Both games next week are at 6:00 pm eastern time. St. John's time-zone is 1.5 hours later than New York.
The team will depart Tuesday evening from Glens Falls to catch a non-stop flight out of Montreal on Wednesday morning. The four-game away-trek concludes on Friday, October 26 at the Albany Devils in game 1 out of 12 of the Time Warner Cable Cup rivalry series.
The Phantoms next home game is Saturday, October 27 against the Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres. A Halloween Costume Parade on ice between periods will be featured and fans can enjoy an all-you-can-eat past buffet before the game in Heritage Hall for only $12. Call the Phantoms for tickets at 518-480-3355.
Adirondack Phantoms 0 at Springfield Falcons 4 - Status: Final
Sunday, October 14, 2012 - MassMutual Center
Adirondack 0 0 0 - 0
Springfield 1 3 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, Johansen 1 (Audy-Marchessault, Atkinson), 15:53. Penalties-Chaput Spr (interference), 5:49; Prout Spr (slashing), 7:05; Lauridsen Adk (interference), 10:01; Erixon Spr (holding), 10:42; Bourdon Adk (fighting), 12:08; Bass Spr (fighting), 12:08; Prout Spr (high-sticking), 12:08.
2nd Period-2, Springfield, Prout 1 (Craig, Bass), 0:30. 3, Springfield, Audy-Marchessault 1 (Atkinson, Savard), 5:44 (PP). 4, Springfield, Craig 2 (Bass), 7:17. Penalties-Manning Adk (interference), 5:35; Holmstrom Adk (fighting), 10:26; Chaput Spr (fighting), 10:26; Atkinson Spr (holding the stick), 10:53; Chaput Spr (roughing), 17:42; Manning Adk (roughing), 19:31; Chaput Spr (cross-checking), 19:31.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Holden Spr (slashing), 12:51; Lauridsen Adk (holding the stick), 17:53.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 11-8-12-31. Springfield 7-7-6-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 7; Springfield 1 / 3.
Goalies-Adirondack, Heeter 0-1-0 (20 shots-16 saves). Springfield, McElhinney 2-0-0 (31 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Dave Lewis (46).
Linesmen-Mike Baker (11), Rich Patry (52).