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On the Farm: Phantoms charging up AHL standings

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

Just like their parent club, the Adirondack Phantoms are turning around their season and climbing the standings in the American Hockey League.

Kris Newbury posted two goals and an assist, Tye McGinn had a goal and an assist, while Jason Akeson added two helpers to lead the Phantoms to a 4-0 victory on Saturday night over the Albany Devils.

The win was their fourth straight victory and improved their record to 18-13-0-2 for 38 points to sit in third place in the Northeast Division and eighth overall in the Eastern Conference.

The Phantoms have out-scored the opposition by a 10-2 margin during their current streak.

Goaltender Cal Heeter has been the backbone of the club during the resurgence. He has posted two consecutive shutouts, stopping all 62 shots he has faced.

"He's been moving his game along here in the last month I think," Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said following their win on Saturday.

"You know, we had a long break at Christmas. We came back and played three in a row. He played two very good games, even the game we lost in Albany last week; he's the one player that had a pretty good night. So his game is moving, and it's good to see. He puts a lot into it and it's good to see him rewarded."

Heeter was signed by the Flyers to a two-year contract on Mar. 6, 2012 out of Ohio State University.

Getting a majority of the starts for Adirondack, Heeter has posted a record of 13-10-0 in his second season of pro hockey.

He leads all AHL goaltenders with a .932 save percentage and is ranked second in the league with a 2.03 goals-against average in 23 appearances.

Since the injury to back-up goaltender Yann Danis, Heeter has started 13 of the last 14 games for the Phantoms, going back to Nov. 29.

Jason Akeson leads the Phantoms in assists (19) and overall points (27) and is currently riding a four-game point streak (2g-3a).

Brandon Manning leads the Phantoms D with 16 points (5g-11a) in 33 games so far and has recorded points in five of his last eight games.

The Phantoms success doesn't start with their current streak. The club is 9-3-0 in their last 12 games since December 6 and 17-9-0 in their last 26 games.

Flyers fans will get to see the future of the team when the Phantoms visit the Wells Fargo Center in February to take on the rival Hershey Bears on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. and again on Saturday, Feb. 22 when they face-off against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:30 p.m.

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