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Phantoms Weekly: Oct. 17-24

by Bob Rotruck / Philadelphia Flyers
This Week's Games
Friday, October 19 (6:00)
Adirondack Phantoms (1-1-0) at St. John's IceCaps (1-1-0)
Saturday, October 20 (6:00)
Adirondack Phantoms (1-1-0) at St. John's IceCaps (1-1-0)

Upcoming October Schedule
Friday, October 26 (7:00)
Adirondack Phantoms at Albany Devils
Saturday, October 27 (7:00)
Rochester Americans at Adirondack Phantoms
Sunday, October 28 (3:00)
Adirondack Phantoms at Syracuse Crunch

Hitting the Road
The Adirondack Phantoms are on the road this weekend for games two and three of a four-game road-swing that began this past Sunday. The Phantoms travel to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labradour for games on Friday and Saturday at 6:00 Eastern Time taking on the St. John's IceCaps, AHL affiliates of the Winnipeg Jets.

The Phantoms opened the season with a thrilling and fast-paced performance in front of a jammed, sold-out and electric crowd at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Adirondack trailed 3-2 late in the second period to the Portland Pirates but the Phantoms would score the next four goals in a row for a 6-3 victory. It was an amazing night made all the more incredible by the team's ninth GFCC sellout in franchise history. The place was crazy and it was a special night we'll never forget.

One win down and many more to go!
The road-trip began on Sunday at Springfield and is not just the beginning of a four-game stretch away from home. The Phantoms are also beginning a month-long run in which they will play 10 of their next 13 games away from the GFCC. It's a tough and long early-season test for Adirondack.

The Phantoms next home game is Saturday, October 27 against the Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres. The game will feature a Halloween Costume Parade on the ice between periods and fans can take advantage of the pregame All-You-Can-Heat Pasta Buffet in Heritage Hall for only $12. Get your tickets in advance by calling the Phantoms at 518-480-3355.

Sellout History
Saturday night's season opening game was the ninth sellout in Adirondack Phantoms history. Four of those sellouts have come in the calendar year of 2012 including three in the second-half of the 2011-12 season. Way to go, fans!

Phantoms GFCC Sellouts
Oct 3, 2009: 5,411 vs. Worcester Sharks
Jan 23, 2010: 5,309 vs. Albany River Rats
Mar 10, 2012: 5,163 vs. Albany Devils
Nov 27, 2009: 5,148 vs. Hershey Bears
Apr 10, 2010: 4,968 vs. Albany River Rats
Feb 4, 2012: 4,923 vs. Providence Bruins
Oct 17, 2009: 4,912 vs. Albany River Rats
Mar 5, 2010: 4,906 vs. Rochester Americans
Oct 13, 2012: 4,801 vs. Portland Pirates

Double-Check Your Watches
Heading to the Newfoundland Time Zone can be an adventure for the unprepared. It is not like the Atlantic Time Zone which is simply one hour later than Eastern Time. In St. John's, the time zone is actually 1.5 hours later than Eastern Time. So the games at St. John's are scheduled to start at 7:30 pm local time, which means they will get underway at 6:00 pm in New York. Broadcast coverage with the Pepsi Countdown to Faceoff on Q101.7 will commence at an earlier-than-usual 5:30 pm on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Phantoms Week in Review

Saturday, October 13 - Adirondack 6 - Portland 3
The Phantoms began the week with an impressive performance in front of a deafening sold-out GFCC crowd of 4,801. Adirondack poured it on for 48 shots on goal and special teams made the difference in a 6-3 win over the Portland Pirates to get the season started on the right foot. 19 year old Sean Couturier tied the game at 3-3 late in the second period with a 5-on-3 goal. And Tye McGinn added the go-ahead goal early in the third on a nice assist by Ben Holmstrom from the corner also on the power play.

The visiting affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes were ready to pounce on their late third period opportunity to equalize when they were granted a man-advantage with six minutes remaining, but Brayden Schenn weaved his way around a stunned Portland defenseman for a highlight-reel caliber shorthanded goal to help seal the victory. Schenn would add an empty-net goal a few minutes later. Scott Munroe was the winning goaltender in his return to the Phantoms with 30 saves on 33 shots faced.

The Phantoms went 2-for-8 on the power play while also adding a shorthanded goal. They also killed off a key 5-on-3 that Portland had while the game was still tied 3-3. The Pirates held that two-man advantage for 1:35 extending from the end of the second period to the beginning of the third but the Phantoms were able to battle their way through it and the critical kill helped swing momentum back their way.

Sunday, October 14 - Springfield 4 - Adirondack 0
The next game proved to be somewhat more challenging for the Phantoms who could not find the same goal-scoring touch. Despite 31 shots on goal, they were unable to break Curtis McElhinney in the Springfield Falcons net as they suffered a 4-0 defeat. Cal Heeter took the loss in net for the Phantoms while the Ohio State product was making his professional debut. The Adirondack Phantoms still dominate the all-time series however with a 7-2 advantage over Springfield since 2009.

A number of noteworthy firsts highlights the opening weekend festivities.

Andrew Johnston made his professional debut on Saturday night and the center looked strong and came dangerously close to scoring his first pro goal in Sunday's game at Springfield. He comes from the Junior-A Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where he led the Humbolt Broncos to an Anavet Cup title and scored a combined 39 goals in the regular and post-season.

Rookie Cal Heeter also made his pro debut when he got the start in goal for Sunday's away game. The St. Louis native comes to the Flyers organization from Ohio State where he went 13-11-5, 2.45, .918 for the Buckeyes in a season that was highlighted by a 41-save shutout of nationally ranked Miami (Ohio).

Young Flyers prospects Brayen Schenn and Sean Couturier are taking advantage of their opportunities to get additional playing time plus get experience in situations where they may not have seen as much action in the NHL last year. Couturier's 5-on-3 goal on Saturday night was the first power play goal of his still-brief professional career. And Schenn's tremendous shorthanded tally was also a professional first for him. (thanks to Mike Cignoli of the Saratogian newspaper for the research and the tip!)

The first goal this season was scored by Harry Zolnierczyk. Nothing particularly new there however as it was the 12th time he has scored for the Phantoms and the 15th goal he has scored in the pros.

Scott Munroe picked up his 65th career win for the Phantoms organization, but it was his first for the Adirondack Phantoms. Munroe had 64 wins previously for the Phantoms but they all came from 2006-09 when the team was still the Philadelphia Phantoms. Munroe is third all-time on the Phantoms in career wins and is just six shy of Antero Niittymaki for second place.

Upcoming Opponents

St. John's IceCaps (Winnipeg Jets), 1-1-0
The St. John's IceCaps opened the season with a two-game roadie to New England. After dropping their Saturday night opener at Springfield 4-2 they bounced back to post a 3-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Connecticut Whale. This Friday is the home opener for St. John's.

Spencer Machacek, 22, led the team in scoring last year with 18 goals and 32 assists while also playing in 13 games with parent-club Winnipeg and scoring two goals. Paul Postma is an offensive-minded defenseman entering his fifth season of pro hockey who scored 13 goals and 31 assists last year with the IceCaps.

Aleksandr Burmistrov is perhaps their most dangerous offensive threat now after two full seasons in the NHL with Atlanta and Winnipeg. The young prospect was drafted eighth overall in the 2010 draft by Atlanta. He represented Russia at the World Juniors Championships in 2010 and then went on to score six goals with the Atlanta Thrashers as a 19 year old. Last year he poured in 13 more goals with Winnipeg.

Goalie Eddie Pasquale returns to St. John's after going 23-11-4, 2.11, .910 a season ago. Mark Dekanich comes over from the Blue Jackets organization after an injury-plagued season limited him to just five games.

Keith McCambridge is in his fourth season as head coach of this team going back to two seasons with the Manitoba Moose before they moved to St. John's.

Phantoms Roster
The Adirondack Phantoms' 25 player roster features plenty of familiarity as well as experience. 20 out of those 25 have played for the Phantoms before including 18 last year. And 10 players on the roster have played in the NHL for the Philadelphia Flyers including nine last season. There's a lot of talent on this team including plenty of impressive NHL credentials.

The ten players on the Phantoms roster who played for the Flyers (either last season or in previous seasons) include: Marc-Andre Bourdon, Sean Couturier, Erik Gustafsson, Ben Holmstrom, Brandon Manning, Zac Rinaldo, Danny Syvret, Brayden Schenn, Eric Wellwood and Harry Zolnierczyk.

Welcome Head Coach Terry Murray
The new head coach for the Adirondack Phantoms is NHL veteran mentor Terry Murray. No coach in the history of the AHL has ever had more experience than Murray who has been at the bench for 1,012 NHL regular season games with Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington and Florida. He has posted a career record of 499-383-89-41 for a points percentage of .557 and is 19th all-time in NHL history in regular season games coached and is 18th all-time in total wins.

Murray returns to the Flyers organization for his third tour of duty as a coach. He most recently worked in the Los Angeles Kings organization, where he was the head coach from the start of the 2008-09 season through December 2011. Prior to joining the Kings, Murray was a Flyers assistant coach for four seasons from 2003-2008, working first under Ken Hitchcock and later under John Stevens.

He was the head coach of the Flyers for three seasons from 1994 through 1997, leading the Flyers to the 1997 Stanley Cup Final. He posted a record of 118-64-30 in 212 games behind the bench in Philadelphia.

On The Air
The Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck, has the fast-paced hockey action and excitement all season long on the flagship home of the Adirondack Phantoms, Classic Hits Q101.7 and on the Phantoms Radio Network presented by Curtis Lumber. Broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to game-time with the Countdown to Faceoff pregame show and also have an extended post-game show including audio-replay highlights. Be sure to tune-in on your way to and from each Phantoms home game!

Fans can also listen to all the Phantoms games on our internet home at . UStream is also available as a free app on Android and iPhone so you can listen wherever you go! has all the games too on pay-per-view.

The Season Ahead
The Phantoms will again compete in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the AHL against the Albany Devils, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Connecticut Whale and Springfield Falcons. The top eight teams from the Eastern Conference qualify for the playoffs in April with the three division winners landing the top seeding advantage.

Adirondack will tangle with the Albany Devils more than any other team in the league. 12 games in the season series will determine the winner of the Time Warner Cable Cup to be awarded to the champions of the local rivalry. Adirondack has taken the cup each of the last two years.

Adirondack's next most frequent opponents will be the Binghamton Senators and Syracuse Crunch; eight times each. The Phantoms face one new opponent in 2012-13, the St. John's IceCaps, AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. That is something of an old rivalry renewed in a way as the Adirondack Red Wings and St. John's Maple Leafs were fierce competitors in the 1990s including a 1992 Calder Cup matchup for the Red Wings with Adirondack taking the title four games to three.
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