Minor League Update: 12/18-12/24

The Phantoms continued to struggle in the month of December, losing both of their games this week to drop to 3-5-1 since the beginning of the month. With their first win being a 5-1 victory against the Norfolk Admirals (the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate) to conclude their four-game winning streak as they entered the month, the Phantoms’ last two victories have been one-goal victories. In the middle of a six-day break, the Phantoms look forward to three home games this week to bring in 2012.

Last Sunday, the Phantoms lost 4-1 to the Binghamton Senators (the Ottawa Senators’ AHL affiliate) in Adirondack despite out shooting the opposition heavily.

Pat Cannone netted his seventh of the season for the game-winner just 12:28 into the game off of a bad puck-handling play by Michael Leighton behind the net that led to an easy goal for the Sens’ forward. Corey Cowick started the scoring early for the Sens with his second goal of the season 6:24 into the game. Mark Parrish scored his tenth of the season midway through the third period while Wacey Hamilton scored Binghamton’s final goal of the night in the final minute of play. For Adirondack, Mike Testwuide scored his second of the season on a rebound with only three minutes left in the game to cute the Sens’ lead to two goals. Cullen Eddy and Jon Kalinski registered an assist each as Leighton made 23 saves in a game where his team out shot Binghamton 40-27. Mike McKenna made 39 saves on the night to improve the Sens’ record to 0-3-0 against the Phantoms this season out scoring Adriondack 12-4 in the process.

Finishing their week on Wednesday, the Phantoms’ dropped a painful 3-2 decision on the road to the Connecticut Whale (the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate).

With the game tied 2-2 and 19 seconds left in regulation, a faceoff in the Whale’s offensive zone led to an unlucky deflection in front for the Phantoms as Pavel Valentenko potted his third of the season with 16.2 seconds left to win it for Connecticut. Andre Deveaux and Jeff Prough scored the other goals for the Whale as Brendan Bell had three assists on the night. Testwuide scored his second goal in as many games for the Phantoms putting home his third early in the first period, while Tye McGinn tied the game with his fifth of the season only 2:24 after Prough’s goal in the second period. Chad Johnson earned the win for the Whale with 27 saves while Jason Bacashihua made 24 saves in the loss as the Phantoms dropped to 1-2-0 on the season against Connecticut.

In player movement this week, two players returned to the Flyers’ roster while three players joined the Phantoms’ roster.

In the most expected move, Andreas Lilja returned to Philadelphia after serving a brief conditioning stint with the Phantoms. Playing against the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers, Lilja was minus-2 with two shots on net.

Ben Holmstrom was also recalled by the Flyers this week playing in his second game of the season against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. Holmstrom had one shot on net in 9:00 time on ice winning six of his eight faceoffs.

Making his way from Philadelphia to Adirondack, Kevin Marshall was assigned to the Phantoms earlier this week. Taking part in his first game with the Phantoms since his 10-game stretch with Philly, Marshall was -2 on Wednesday night against the Whale.

Andy Bohmbach rejoined the Phantoms’ roster this week after spending some time with the Trenton Titans. Playing in both of the Phantoms’ games this week, Bohmbach had three shots on net while going plus-1.

In their most recent transaction of the week, Jean Bourbeau signed a professional tryout with the Phantoms. After playing in over 25 games with the Elmira Jackals (ECHL affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators) this season, Bourbeau made his debut with the Phantoms on Wednesday going pointless with no shots and an even rating against the Whale.

The Phantoms’ next game is at home on Wednesday as they hope to beat the Senators for the first time this season. Two days later, the Phantoms host the Portland Pirates (the Phoenix Coyotes’ AHL affiliate). The Phantoms’ last game of the week is on Saturday as the Albany Devils (the New Jersey Devils’ AHL affiliate) visit Adirondack.

The Titans didn’t do any better this week as they went 0-2-1. Gaining a point on Thursday with a loss in overtime, the Titans are on a losing streak after winning two out of three last week. Experiencing a 5-1 loss and a 6-3 loss this week, the Titans are hoping their defense performs better in their three games over the next seven days.

A day after handing the Toledo Walleye (ECHL affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings) a 5-3 loss, the Titans lost 5-1 at home to the same club.

Nick Oslund put home his second of the season in the final minutes of the first period for the game-winner and scored Toledo’s last goal of the game halfway through the third period to be one of the five members of Toledo’s roster with two points on the night. Brian Matte and Aaron Lewicki both had a goal and an assist while Matt Krug and Andrej Nestrasil had two-assist games for Toledo as Eric Baier put home his second of the season 7:21 into the third period for Trenton. Not a single Titan finished the game with a plus rating as Trenton out shot Toledo 26-21 in the final forty minutes of the game. Brad Phillips made 27 saves in the loss, while Thomas McCollum denied 33 of the 34 Titan shots on the evening as the Titans record against the Walleye on the season dropped to 1-1-0.

On Saturday night, the Titans suffered a 3-2 loss in overtime on the road to the Florida Everblades (ECHL affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning). Scott Pitt scored with 14 seconds left in overtime to win the game for the Everblades as he posted five shots on net. Chase Langeraap scored in the first period for Trenton, while Steve Silva netted his first of the year for the Titans to give them a 2-1 lead halfway through the game. Ryan Hayes and Jordon Southorn registered assists as the only other Titans with points on the night, while Philip-Michael Devos scored with 1:50 left in the game to force the game to overtime for Florida. Pat Nagle earned the win for Florida with 27 saves as the Everblades’ power play converted on two of their six chances. Dave Caruso produced eight more saves than Nagle, but was marked with the loss as the Titans dropped their second straight game.

Playing their second game in Florida against the Everblades on consecutive days, the Titans lost 6-3 on Friday night.

Leigh Salters had a two-goal effort as he provided the game-winning goal 11:57 into the second period to advance the Everblades lead to 4-0. The Titans got to within two goals of tying the Everblades late in the third period, but Devos’ empty-netter with 1:28 left put the game away for Florida. Devos also had two assists in the game for a three-point night, while Matt Beca potted his sixth and seventh goals of the season for the Everblades’ other two-goal performance. Southorn scored with just 6:07 left in the game and provided two primary assists for a three-point night for Trenton, while Hayes registered a primary assist on Southorn’s goal and a secondary assist on Peter Lenes’ goal in the the third period for a two-assist game. Nagle earned another win with 43 saves, while Caruso was labeled with another loss with 25 saves as the Titans dropped to 1-2-0 against the Everblades on the season.

In addition to Bohmbach being moved to Adirondack, the Titans signed defenseman Chris Clark. Coming over from the Danbury Whalers of the Federal Hockey League (FHL), Clark didn’t play in any of the Titans’ games this week.

The Titans’ next game is Wednesday as they host the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL affiliate for the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins). Two days later the Titans travel to Reading to take on the Reading Royals (ECHL affiliate for the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs). Trenton will end the week on Saturday as the Elmira Jackals take a trip to New Jersey.