Cal Heeter put forth a tremendous 25-save effort to open Adirondack's five-game road-trip and the Phantoms prevailed 2-1 at Rochester Friday evening. The victory for the rookie out of Ohio State represents the first time the Phantoms have won back-to-back games. And they have both come via magnificent goaltender performances with Scott Munroe's 4-0 shutout win against the Albany Devils last Saturday beginning the win streak.
Danny Syvret's power play blast in the second period tied the score at 1-1. And Garrett Roe's tumbler squeezed through Americans goalie David Leggio for the game-winner in the third to knock off the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.
Adirondack improved to 5-5-0 with the victory. And the Americans fell to 6-4-1. The Phantoms avenged their loss on their home ice suffered to the hands of the Amerks two weeks ago on October 27.
But the story of the game were the near-misses and big saves for both goalies all game long in the exciting back-and-forth contest featuring two explosive offenses. Both teams were slightly less explosive than they normally would be though with one NHL player sitting this out for each side. Sean Couturier for the Phantoms was under the weather and thus was a scratch for this game. And Rochester's Cody Hodgson was out with a hand injury.
Adirondack was especially reliant on Heeter in the first period. His 11 saves in the opening frame kept the duel 0-0 through 20 minutes despite several close call for the Americans.
The Phantoms stormed back to earn the better of the play for much of the second and into the third as well. Rochester had their chances and Luke Adam with Marcus Foligno had some near misses on give-and-go rushes into the Adirondack zone. And some juicy rebounds were cranked back at Heeter from close range a number of times but Heeter was always square to the puck and the big grade-A range slappers kept bouncing away.
Heeter also made a couple of important saves of the more acrobatic variety. He was frequently tested by a Rocheter team that entered action as the second-highest scoring team in the league at 3.9 goals per game.
But they only mustered one tally in this one as Heeter secured his second all-time professional victory. And even that goal almost was not. T.J. Brennan's power play slapshot from the right point early in the second period was initially stopped on the pads of Heeter. But the big blast had enough on it to just barely squeeze though and dribble just a couple inches across the goal-line. The slowly moving puck was almost saved from behind Heeter before crossing but by the time it was cleared out it was too late, the puck had crossed and Rochester had the early 1-0 lead.
Tye McGinn helped create Adirondack's first of the night even though he wasn't on the ice when the power play goal was scored. His pressure in the Rochester zone forced a couple of turnovers and eventually led to a cross-check from Matt MacKenzie for a Phantoms power play. And it only took a few seconds after a dump-in for Matthew Ford to intercept a puck in the corner, rattle it around to Marc-Andre Bourdon on the left point, and then give it across for Syvret's big one-timer to beat Leggio clean.
With the score tied 1-1, play got a bit nasty in the third period as Maxime Legault of Rochester dealt a big hit against Cullen Eddy in the corner of the Adirondack zone to spark a fight between Oliver Lauridsen of the Phantoms and Nick Tarnasky of the Americans. The fighting majors evened out and shortly after play resumed at 5-on-5, it would be Garrett Roe sending on a shot from the right wing wall aimed for the post. The puck somehow tumbled underneath the right should of Leggio and snuck in under his armpit to then bounce into the goal for the eventual game-winner.
After Roe gave the Phantoms the lead with his second of the year, Adirondack had to hold off a number of rushes from Rochester. But it would be the Phantoms who would come closest to scoring at the end. Tye McGinn hit the post from the left-wing wall with seconds remaining while the goalie was out. And two other shots from out in front by Schenn and McGinn were blocked by scrambling Rochester defenders who were forced into goaltenders' duties in the waning moments.
Adirondack returns to Rochester for the final time this season on December 7. Rochester's lone remaining visit to Glens Falls is not until April 6.
Scratches for the Phantoms included Sean Couturier, Mike Testwuide, Zack FitzGerald, Jeff Dimmen and Matt Mangene.
Adirondack Phantoms 2 at Rochester Americans 1
Friday, November 9, 2012 - Blue Cross Arena
Adirondack 0 1 1 - 2
Rochester 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Bourdon Adk (fighting), 12:54; Adam Rch (slashing), 12:54; Foligno Rch (fighting), 12:54.
2nd Period-1, Rochester, Brennan 5 (Rankin, Flynn), 2:40 (PP). 2, Adirondack, Syvret 1 (Bourdon, Ford), 9:02 (PP). Penalties-Rinaldo Adk (hooking), 1:16; MacKenzie Rch (cross-checking), 8:30; Mancari Rch (holding the stick), 16:54.
3rd Period-3, Adirondack, Roe 2 (Syvret), 7:49. Penalties-Lauridsen Adk (fighting), 7:37; Tarnasky Rch (fighting), 7:37.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 7-10-16-33. Rochester 11-7-8-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 1 / 3; Rochester 1 / 1.
Goalies-Adirondack, Heeter 2-3-0 (26 shots-25 saves). Rochester, Leggio 6-4-0 (33 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42).
Linesmen-Mike Hamilton (79), Joe DeMizio (3).