Adirondack completed a perfect three-for-three holiday weekend at home with another solid defensive effort as they turned away the Hershey Bears 3-1 on Saturday night. Scott Munroe picked up the victory for the third game in a row as the Phantoms moved past the .500 mark for the first time since opening night by improving to 9-8-0.
Tye McGinn, Tyler Brown and Sean Couturier all scored in the win. For Couturier, who sealed the game with an empty-netter with a few seconds remaining, it was a goal in his third straight game all of which came on the homestand.
Terry Murray knew a concerted group effort would be necessary for this one as the Phantoms were playing their third game in four nights including back-to-back while Hershey was fresher after having the night off Friday.
"You need everyone contributing significant minutes in significant ways," Murray said. "I thought the line with Roe, Brown and Testwuide tonight did a big job. They were physical. They were intense on the puck and ended up scoring a huge goal as a result of their hard work."
Another key to the game was the Phantoms defense and the penalty kill. Adirondack put themselves in tough positions a couple of times with their penalties. But the shorthanded crew would grind their way through each and every Bears' advantage and hold Hershey to 0-for-7 on the night. And, of course, Munroe kept making the big saves every time the Phantoms needed him to.
For Munroe, it was his third straight game allowing just one goal as the Phantoms have won by scores of 5-1, 2-1 and 3-1 on the homestand taking care of Bridgeport, Norfolk and Hershey in order. Munroe has 72 saves on 75 shots in this homestand. And going back to his 26-save shutout of Albany on November 3, Munroe now has 98 saves on 101 shots for a sparkling .970 saves percentage and 0.75 goals against average in his last four home games going 4-0-0.
Munroe is also now just 39 saves away from 4,000 for his terrific AHL career that has spanned the Phantoms, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and now back with the Phantoms in Adirondack.
One of the few new players to the Adirondack Phantoms, Scott Munroe is actually the eldest player on the roster at 30 years old. And he also has experience in a Phantoms jersey long before most of his teammates even arrived in the AHL. He began his career with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2006 and now has 70 victories in a Phantoms jersey, third all-time in franchise history just one behind Antero Nittymaki for second place. Neil Little has the most ever with 177.
The game also featured the first ever Mustache Jerseys in the American Hockey League presented by Parks Heritage Federal Credit Union and the unique and fun look proved to be a huge success among the fans and players alike. Part of the proceeds of the post-game jersey auction went to benefit the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital.
Kids also received great looking Phantoms Youth Jerseys courtesy of the Glens Falls Hospital Rehabilitation Team. So orange was a more popular color than usual in the stands as 1,000 kids were all wearing their brand new Adirondack shirts.
Zach Hamill began the scoring 6:30 into the game with his shot from the right-wing boards finding part of the post behind Munroe and sneaking in to give Hershey a 1-0 lead.
The Phantoms equalized late in the first period with Tye McGinn and Brayden Schenn weaving their way into the zone. It was a give-and-go but when Schenn got it back he decided one more pass was the best option and when he slid it across from the right side of the slot he found a wide open McGinn cutting in from the left circle with an easy one-timer into the open net past the flailing Hershey goalie Dany Sabourin.
For the third straight home game, the Adirondack Phantoms just kept coming and coming and dominating for the middle period. Once again, for long stretches they had the opposition pinned in their own end and had great puck possession. The lone goal of the period came on the rebound of a Danny Syvret shot from center-point that was gobbled up by Tyler Brown off the left leg-pad of Sabourin for his first of the year. Garrett Roe also assisted on the goal.
"The D-men I thought were very involved," Murray said. "It was a great play by Danny (Syvret) to block the blue-line and get a simple wrist-shot through to the net. Rebound is laying there and Brownie is doing the right thing. Hard off the boards and looking for something loose. And he finds it. Good play."
The Phantoms might have been back a little on their heels in the third period as they tried to protect the one goal lead as they only acquired three more shots on goal for the rest of the way after blasting away for 15 shots in the second period. But the penalty kill and Munroe's big stops got them through the closing seconds when Sean Couturier would eventually seal the night with an empty-net tally for his sixth goal of the season and his third in as many nights.
Schenn had a pair of assists to raise his point total to 22, first in the Eastern Conference and third in the AHL.
Hershey took their fourth straight loss to fall to 6-10-1.
The game marked the return of a couple of long-time former Adirondack Phantoms in Kevin Marshall and Matt Clackson who both skate for the Bears now. Another former Phantoms, Jonathon Kalinski, is also on Hershey's team but missed this game with injury. For both Marshall and Clackson it was their first game back in Glens Falls since they played for the Phantoms.
The game actually just marks the midway point of Adirondack's longest homestand of the season. Coming up, the Phantoms do it all over again with three more home games. And just like this past week, the games are on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday against three different opponents.
Hershey Bears 1 at Adirondack Phantoms 3
Saturday, November 24, 2012 - Glens Falls Civic Center
Hershey 1 0 0 - 1
Adirondack 1 1 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Hershey, Hamill 5 (Syner, Sabourin), 6:30. 2, Adirondack, McGinn 5 (Schenn), 16:48.
Penalties-Bordson Adk (slashing), 1:51; served by Clackson Her (bench minor - too many men), 7:11; Gustafsson Adk (holding), 10:19; Berry Her (closing hand on puck), 13:46.
2nd Period-3, Adirondack, Brown 1 (Syvret, Roe), 14:03.
Penalties-Clackson Her (cross-checking), 1:22; Brown Adk (slashing), 9:20; Rinaldo Adk (slashing), 18:45.
3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Couturier 6 (Schenn), 19:35 (EN).
Penalties-Gustafsson Adk (high-sticking), 1:52; Rinaldo Adk (charging), 5:16; Kane Her (boarding), 11:27; Gustafsson Adk (interference), 13:44.
Shots on Goal-Hershey 9-7-8-24. Adirondack 12-15-3-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 7; Adirondack 0 / 4.
Goalies-Hershey, Sabourin 2-4-0 (29 shots-27 saves). Adirondack, Munroe 6-4-0 (24 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Chris Ciamaga (24), Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Frank Murphy (29).