Minor League Update: 1/1-1/7

The Adirondack Phantoms may have lost two of their three games this week, but their lone win will be their most memorable victory all season long. After yet another loss to the Binghamton Senators (the Ottawa Senators’ AHL affiliate), the Phantoms split a home-and-home with the Hershey Bears (the Washington Capitals’ AHL affiliate) providing a dramatic win that took place at the AHL’s outdoor game on Friday. With a pair of home games this upcoming weekend, the Phantoms look for their first regulation win since November.

On Wednesday, the Phantoms suffered a 4-3 loss to the Senators due to a late goal from the road team. With 1:08 left in the game, defenseman Tim Conboy put home the game-winning goal with his second tally of the season. Andre Petersson and Corey Locke assisted Conboy on the decisive goal as both Sens had three-assist games, while Rob Klinkhammer led all skaters with two goals on the night. Tyler Brown had his first two-point game of the season as the forward scored his first goal since October 21st in the first period and assisted on Garret Roe’s fourth goal of the season in the third period. Jason Akeson had his first two-assist game of the season as he assisted on Brown’s goal and Eric Wellwood’s seventh of the season late in the third period. Jason Bacashihua was handed the loss in a 19-save effort, while Mike McKenna made 35 saves in his fourth straight win overall. Adirondack dropped to 0-5-0 against the Sens on the season and finished their sixth straight game without a regulation win (2-4-0 with both victories coming in overtime or a shootout).

Luckily for the Phantoms, they experienced a win their next time out as they beat the visiting Bears 4-3 in overtime at Citizens Bank Park. Playing in front of 45,653 fans in an outside game, Ben Holmstrom notched his 10th goal of the season with 20.8 seconds left to force the game to overtime, where Shane Harper recorded his fifth of the season 58 seconds into the extra frame. Holmstrom also assisted on Mike Testwuide’s sixth of the season in the first period for a two-point game, as Wellwood had two assists for his third multi-point game of the season. For the Bears, Chris Bourque had a goal and two assists as he opened the scoring with his 19th of the season 28 seconds into the contest. Former Flyer Kyle Greentree had a goal and an assist, while Keith Aucoin had a two-assist game as Hershey was denied a win due to a 24-save performance from Michael Leighton. The attendance for the game gave Philadelphia the record for most fans at both a regular season AHL game and a postseason AHL game, as 20,103 watched the Philadephia Phantoms clinch the 2005 Calder Cup at the Wachovia Center (the Wells Fargo Center).

The following day, the Bears got revenge with a violent 5-2 win in Hershey over the Phantoms. Jacob Micflikier potted his 13th goal of the season to start a 3-0 period for the Bears as he finished the game with a team-high six shots on net. Aucoin registered a three-assist game, while both Bourque and Patrick McNeill had a goal and an assist to improve the Bears’ record to 1-1-1 against the Phantoms this season. Former Pittsburgh Penguin Dany Sabourin won with 28 saves as Leighton received the 24-save loss in a game that saw the teams combine for 154 PIMs. In the third period, the teams were called for six fighting majors, nine roughing minors, and 70 minutes worth of misconducts including Tom Sestito’s “fighting off the playing surface” game misconduct as he fought Hershey’s Joel Rechlicz from the Phantoms’ bench. Sestito earned 15 PIMs and was one of three Phantoms with 10 PIMs or more (Cullen Eddy with 17 PIMs and Oliver Lauridsen with 10 PIMs), while Hershey’s Rechlicz led the way with 45 PIMs and saw teammate Danny Richmond earn 15 PIMs. Rechlicz moved into the league-lead with 167 PIMs after last night’s game as he took part in his fifth game of the season where he racked up 10 PIMs or more. The loss marked the 13th game in their last 14 where the Phantoms either lost or won past regulation.

With the announcement of the 2012 AHL All-Star rosters earlier this week, Leighton is the only Phantom to be named to the squad. Leighton is 12-12-0 with one shutout as he has a .915 save percentage and a 2.57 goals against average this season.          

As for roster moves, the Phantoms assigned goalie Johan Backlund to Oulun Karpat of the SM-liiga. Backlund didn’t see any ice time this week despite the team taking part in two games since he joined the club on January 5th.

On Friday and Saturday, the Phantoms hope for a pair of home wins as they host the Hamilton Bulldogs (the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate) and the Manchester Monarchs (the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate) respectively.

Down in the ECHL, the Trenton Titans grabbed three out of a possible four points this week as the club went 1-0-1 in a pair of road games. The victories improved the Titans’ point streak to four games going 2-1-1 in the process. The Titans hope to extend their point streak with a trio of games this week, which feature two home games and a visit to Elmira.

In their first game of the week, the Titans visited the Toledo Walleye (ECHL affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings) and notched a 5-2 win. Chase Langeraap had two goals and an assist as his second goal on the night, which came shorthanded, served as the game-winner 7:44 into the second period. Ryan Hayes was the only other player with two points in the game as he assisted on Langeraap’s first period goal and scored his eighth goal of the season 6:26 later. Myles Stoesz recorded his first goal of the season in the third period, while Matt Germain followed with his sixth of the season 1:22 later in the Titans’ second straight road win. David Caruso made 38 saves in the win for Trenton, including a stop on a penalty shot from Harrison Reed late in the game. The win improved the Titans to 2-1-0 against the Walleye on the season.

Last night, the Titans suffered a 6-5 overtime loss to the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL affiliate for the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks) in Michigan. Elgin Reid scored his second of the season 42 seconds into overtime to complete his two-point night, as he also assisted on Trent Daavettila’s goal to tie the game with 15 seconds left. Daavettila had a three-point night as he scored earlier in the game and assisted on Reid’s overtime tally. Germain recorded his seventh and eighth goals of the season for Adirondack, while Steve Silva had a goal and two assists for his second multi-point game of the season. Adam Presizniuk netted his sixth goal of the season and recorded an assist, as both Ray DiLauro and Mitch Versteeg had two-assist nights to provide Trenton with five multi-point performances on the evening. Caruso had to deal with a loss that saw him deny 47 of the 53 shots Kalamazoo threw at him. Maxime Clermont recorded the win as he stopped 16 less shots for the Wings. The Titans dropped to 1-1-1 on the season against the Wings.

When it came to roster moves this week, the Titans completed a slew of moves that included a trade with the Florida Everblades (ECHL affiliate for Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning).

Starting with players added to Trenton’s crew, the Titans saw Rob Bordson return to their line-up after he spent time with the Rochester Americans (the Buffalo Sabres’ AHL affiliate) and introduced Stoesz to the roster.

After going plus-1 with two PIMs in eight games with the Americans, Bordson returned to Trenton for both games this week racking up two assists, three shots on net, and two PIMs.

Stoesz spent nine games with the Albany Devils (the New Jersey Devils’ AHL affiliate) before joining the Titans this week. He had a goal, two shots on net, and nine PIMs in his first two games with Trenton this season.

Doing the opposite of Stoesz this week was J.S. Berube, who left Trenton to join Albany’s roster. Playing two games for the Devils this week, Berube earned his first AHL goal while going plus-1 with two PIMs.

Also leaving Trenton this week was forward Tyler Shelast, who was traded to the Florida Everblades for cash. Taking part in Florida’s shootout loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL affiliate for the Sabres and Phoenix Coyotes) on Friday, Shelast was minus-2 with a shot on net.

In addition to Shelast’s departure, both Stephen Mallaro and Chris Clark were released from their SPCs (Standard Player Contract).

After going pointless with 10 shots on net in 10 games with the Titans this season, Mallaro signed with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL affiliate for the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators). The defenseman went pointless and produced an even rating in his first game with his new club last night, a 4-1 road loss to the Elmira Jackals (ECHL affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators).

Clark signed with the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL affiliate for the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins) after being released by the Titans this week. The defenseman registered two shots on net in his second and third games in the ECHL this season.

Also leaving the Titans this week was Mike Mascioli, who played in his first game with the Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario) Golden Hawks. Playing in two games for the Golden Hawks this week, Mascioli had one goal and 12 PIMs.

The Titans start their week with a home game on Friday against the South Carolina Stingrays (the Washington Capitals ECHL affiliate). Followed with another home game against the Reading Royals (ECHL affiliate for the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs) on Saturday, the Titans finish the week with a road game against the Elmira Jackals on Sunday.