Adirondack Phantoms 1 at St. John's IceCaps 2
The Adirondack Phantoms had chance after chance on the road in St. John's including perhaps three drives that hit the post and several other close calls. But in the end, they would fall 2-1 on Friday night in the home opener for the IceCaps, the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets.
Andrew Johnston scored midway through the second period on a deflection of an Eric Wellwood drive for his first professional goal. And Scott Munroe played a tremendous game between the pipes for the Phantoms who outshot St. John's 33-26.
But the story of this game involved the near-misses.
Danny Syvret beat St. John's goalie Eddie Pasquale and hit the pipe with big drives from the blue-line on two different occasions. And Brayden Schenn backhanded one off the base of the metal just wide of the left-leg of St. John's Pasquale.
For his part, Pasquale was extremely good for the IceCaps and made a number of key stops including several in a 15-shot Phantoms barrage in the second period as he was able to keep the game deadlocked.
Later, the Phantoms benefited from a power-play opportunity with less than three minutes to go that they eventually turned into a 6-on-4 opportunity with goalie Scott Munroe pulled to the bench. Another close-call developed with a little over a minute remaining when Brayden Schenn cut his way through a couple of defensemen and found Tye McGinn in front who just missed on his chance to equalize.
The game began not as strongly for the Phantoms who fell behind 1-0 on a tip by Max Macenauer. After that, Adirondack was able to hang on in their own zone on a couple of St. John's rushes but head coach Terry Murray decided to use his one timeout at that early juncture of the game to thwart IceCaps' momentum and prevent St. John's from turning it into a multi-goal advantage.
The timeout followed by the first intermission appeared to make a significant difference for the Phantoms who came out on fire in the second period and appeared to never look back.
They outshot the IceCaps 15-5 in that frame, hit the post twice, scored to tie the game at 1-1, and seemed to have everything going in their favor. All the while St. John's seemed to be clinging for life and their sellout crowd of 6,700 was somewhat silenced and less involved.
The third period was more evenly played with the Phantoms outshooting the IceCaps 11-9. Back-and-forth tic-tac-toe passing through the slot would set up Travis Ramsey with the goal from the right circle at 9:11 of the third.
The Phantoms killed off an important St. John's power play with 8:35 left. And then were granted a huge opportunity at 17:13 when Macenauer was banished for hooking. Despite a few more good chances in there, the IceCaps were able to kill off the different phases of the disadvantage through the remaining 2:47 of the game. The Phantoms began with 5-on-4 and then had almost a minute of 6-on-4 followed by the closing 40 seconds at 6-on-5.
Brayden Schenn had some of the best opportunities as well as creations of the night. He had six shots on goal from pretty much every angle out there plus hit the post on his point-blank backhander on a rebound in the crease.
Both teams' penalty-kills came up with vital stops throughout the contest with lots of blocked shots and tipped passes. Adirondack and St. John's were both 0-for-5 on the power play.
Phantoms defenseman Cullen Eddy's shoving match with Spencer Machacek after the whistle late in the first period quickly developed into a flurry of punches with Eddy landing several shots throughout the bout before Machacek battled back at the end. Both took five-minute fighting majors in the only scrap of the night.
Adirondack's record now stands at 1-2-0 while St. John's improved to 2-1-0.
Scratches for the Phantoms included Marc-Andre Bourdon, Mike Testwuide, Shane Harper, Zack FitzGerald and Tyler Brown.
A pair of University of Maine products both made their season debuts and both played well. Winger Matt Mangene created some good opportunities up front. He played in five games for Adirondack at the end of last season as he begun his professional career. Jeff Dimmen played in his first game with Adirondack after being a part of a Calder Cup Championship team in Norfolk a season ago.
The game was the first ever meeting between the Phantoms and the IceCaps. The Phantoms had not visited St. John's since 2004 which was a meeting of the Philadelphia Phantoms vs. the St. John's Maple Leafs.
The last encounter of Adirondack vs. St. John's was in 1999 when the AHL rival Red Wings and Leafs squared off.
Phantoms assistant coach Riley Cote played for the St. John's Maple Leafs for two months in 2003-04.
Adirondack and St. John's will play the weekend finale of their two-game series Saturday night at 6:00 pm Eastern Time (which is 7:30 Newfoundland Time). This trip is Adirondack's lone visit to St. John's. The IceCaps' first ever game in Glens Falls will be on Wednesday, November 28.
Friday, October 19, 2012 - Mile One Centre
Adirondack 0 1 0 - 1
St. John's 1 0 1 - 2
1st Period-1, St. John's, Macenauer 2 (Redmond, Arsene), 11:31. Penalties-Lauridsen Adk (hooking), 7:26; Gustafsson Adk (holding), 14:49; Eddy Adk (fighting), 18:19; Machacek Stj (fighting), 18:19.
2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Johnston 1 (Wellwood, Ford), 12:25. Penalties-Chiarot Stj (hooking), 3:08; Burmistrov Stj (cross-checking), 5:56; Clark Stj (hooking), 13:31; Manning Adk (hooking), 15:49.
3rd Period-3, St. John's, Ramsey 1 (Maxwell, King), 9:11. Penalties-Rinaldo Adk (roughing), 4:01; Macenauer Stj (delay of game - faceoff violation), 9:13; Zolnierczyk Adk (hooking), 11:25; Macenauer Stj (holding), 17:13.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 7-15-11-33. St. John's 12-5-9-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 5; St. John's 0 / 5.
Goalies-Adirondack, Munroe 1-1-0 (26 shots-24 saves). St. John's, Pasquale 1-1-0 (33 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Joe Maynard (24), Jim Vail (5).