Minor League Update: 2/13-2/19

The Adirondack Phantoms won half of their games this week, as they ended their lengthy road losing streak in the process. After they went without a single road win in the months of December and January, the Phantoms finally earned a win away from home. Adirondack will try to climb back into the playoff picture this week, as they finish their four-game road trip before they return home on Sunday.

The Phantoms extended their losing streak to four games on Tuesday night, as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate) in overtime. Mike Zigomanis scored 3:23 into the extra frame off of assists from Ryan Hamilton and Andrew Martins for the Phantoms’ second overtime loss of the season, their first being a 1-0 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate) on December 6th. Nazem Kadri, who has four goals in 19 games with the Maple Leafs this season, scored his ninth goal of the season for the Marlies a little over three minutes into the game. Denis Hamel tied the game less than five minutes later with his 16th goal of the season, as the Phantoms earned their first point since their 3-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate) on February 3rd. Jason Bacashihua earned his third straight loss despite making 15 more saves than the Marlies’ Mark Owuya, as the Phantoms lost for the tenth time in an eleven-game span.

On Friday, the Phantoms emphatically ended their four-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate). Matt Ford’s 12th goal of the season 48 seconds into the middle stanza gave the Phantoms’ a 2-0 advantage and turned out to be the game-winner thanks to a Brandon Kozun tally just over 10 minutes later. With another goal early in the third period, Ford had his second two-goal game of the season and his first as a Flyer, as both Ben Holmstrom and Harry Zolnierczyk had two-assist games in the win. Brandon Manning, Shane Harper, and Garrett Roe also scored for the Phantoms, who were able to chase Monarchs’ goaltender Jeff Zatkoff out of the game after he allowed five goals against for a second straight game. Bacashihua got his first win in February with a 31-save performance, as the Phantoms’ earned their fourth four-goal game win of the season and their first since their 5-1 win over the Admirals on December 2nd.

After they gained a two-goal lead within the first 20 minutes on Saturday, the Phantoms lost 3-2 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate). Zolnierczyk potted his seventh goal of the season with less than four minutes left in the first period before Harper scored his eighth goal of the season with 17 seconds left in the period to end the Phantoms’ scoring in the loss. Casey Cizikas scored eight minutes into the second period before David Ullstrom put home a pair for his second two-goal game of the season in the Sound Tigers’ fourth win over the Phantoms in the 2011-2012 campaign. Both of Ullstrom’s goals came on the power play, as the Sound Tigers were two-for-four with the man advantage for their third straight win. Dan Jancevski ended an 11-game pointless streak with his secondary assist on Zolnierczyk’s tally, as the Phantoms’ road losing streak reached 10 games.

Yesterday, the Phantoms ended their losing streak away from the Glens Falls Civic Center with a 5-2 victory over the Monarchs in Manchester. Ford earned his second game-winner of the week with his 14th goal of the season 14 minutes into the middle stanza to give the Phantoms a 3-0 advantage, as Adirondack won away from home for the first time since their 5-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch (Anaheim Ducks’ AHL affiliate) on November 19th. With another goal in the third period, Ford earned his second two-goal game of the week and his second as a Phantom, while Jason Akeson recorded four assists for his first multi-point game in the AHL of at least three points or more. Both Tye McGinn and Tyler Brown had a goal and an assist in the win, while Michael Leighton made 31 saves to end a personal three-game losing streak to improve the Phantoms’ record to 24-25-2-1 overall.

Thanks to a pair of trades within the organization, there were several roster moves for the Phantoms this week. In addition to Jon Kalinski being dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s organization, Eric Wellwood went between Adirondack and Philly while Andy Bohmbach went between Adirondack and Trenton to complete the movement of forwards related to the Phantoms.

In exchange for Pavel Kubina, the Flyers gave the Lightning Kalinski, Florida’s conditional second round pick, and the Flyers’ fourth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. Kalinski has yet to play for the Admirals or the Lightning since he was traded.

Wellwood, who had an assist in the Phantoms’ overtime loss to the Marlies, registered his first goal in the NHL with a tally against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. He also had an assist in the Flyers’ win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Bohmbach, who had 10 points in four games with the Titans this week, played for the Phantoms in their loss against the Marlies on February 14th.

As for the defense, both Erik Gustafsson and Marc-Andre Bourdon were assigned to Adirondack after the Flyers’ trades, while both Tyler Hostetter and Andy Thomas took part in contests for the Phantoms.

Gustafsson recorded his first goal in the NHL against the Sabres on Thursday before he joined the Phantoms, where he had one shot and four PIMs in the club’s two most recent games.

Bourdon was minus-1 with five shots on net in two games with the Flyers, but hasn’t played in a game for the Phantoms since being assigned this week.

Thomas, who spent time with the Titans earlier this season, was plus-3 with two shots on net and two PIMs in three games with Adirondack.

Hostetter was called up to the Phantoms earlier in the week and assigned back to Trenton a few days later. With the Phantoms, Hostetter was minus-1 with a shot on net. In his time with the Titans, Hostetter had a goal and two assists while going plus-2.

The Phantoms conclude their road trip with a game against the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres’ AHL affiliate) on Friday and the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators’ AHL affiliate) on Saturday before they return home to host the Syracuse Crunch on Sunday.

In Trenton, things started to get more positive for the Titans as well. Although they lost their first two games of the week, the Titans demolished their two most recent opponents and earned five points overall. With another four-game week ahead of them, the Titans hope their lengthy homestand can help them gain more points to crawl out of the bottom of the standings.

For the second time in a four-game span, the Titans lost in a shootout with their 6-5 loss to the Reading Royals (ECHL affiliate for the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs) in Trenton on Wednesday. Mikael Bedard was the fourth straight Royal to beat Brad Phillips in the shootout to grab the Royals the additional point, as the Titans lost their eighth game in a nine-game stretch. In addition to the decisive goal, Bedard recorded his third four-point game in the ECHL, which included the game-tying goal with 9:35 left. Both Bohmbach, who potted his 17th goal of the season and had a pair of assists, and Rob Bordson, who had three assists, had the biggest offensive input in the Titans’ fifth shootout loss of the season. Dustin Cameron recorded his second straight two-goal game with his 14th and 15th of the season, as Corey Syvret and Eric Baier also scored for Trenton.

Two days later, the Titans lost to the Royals again, this time by a score of 4-2. For a second straight game, Bedard had the game-winner over the Titans, as his 14th goal of the season gave the Royals a 3-0 advantage that Trenton never erased. Chris Poli’s first goal of the season, and his first since October of 2010, along with Ray DiLauro’s fourth goal of the season cut the Titans’ deficit to one goal before Dennis McCauley put home his 10th goal of the season with under four minutes left in regulation. Jussi Rynnas won his second straight game against the Titans, as he posted 48 saves in his sixth win of the season, the most saves he has ever posted in an ECHL game. Phillips, on the other hand, allowed four goals on 21 shots against for his seventh game of the season where he gave up four goals against or more to drop his record to 5-9-0-1. The loss concluded the Titans’ stretch of games without consecutive wins, as they went 1-7-2 in the process.

The next day, the Titans traveled to New York and took out their frustration on the Elmira Jackals (ECHL affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators) with an 8-1 beating. J.S. Berube, who entered the game with two goals on the season, registered his first hat-trick in the ECHL, as two of his goals came 38 seconds apart in the second period. Cameron recorded his third two-goal game in a four-game span, while Bohmbach had his fourth four-point game in the ECHL with his 18th goal of the season and three assists. Bordson potted his 17th goal of the season and two assists for a three-point game, while both Adam Presizniuk and Steve Silva had two-assist games in the Titans’ largest margin of victory this season. The win was the second time all season the Titans notched eight goals in a game, with the first being their 8-5 victory over the Florida Everblades (ECHL affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning) on October 22nd.

Yesterday, the Titans returned to Trenton and pounded the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL for the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins) for a 5-1 win. Cameron scored the game-winner late in the first period with his 18th goal of the season, as the tally gave him a goal in four of the Titans’ last five contests. Ryan Hayes recorded his first two-goal game of the season with his 14th goal of the season in the first period and his 15th of the season in the third period. Hostetter had his first three-point game of the season with a goal and two assists, as Matt Germain ended his nine-game goal drought with his 10th of the season to open the scoring in the first period. Phillips earned consecutive wins for the first time this season, as he made 15 saves in the win, the fewest saves he has made in any of his seven wins on the season. Randy Rowe had a pair of assists in the win to extend his point streak to four games, as the Titans 13 goals in their last two games is the most they have posted in any pair of consecutive games this season.

As for roster moves, Trenton had a very busy week to say the least. Ten players were added, released, or both by the Titans.

In addition to Bohmbach, the Titans had help from both Myles Stoesz and Berube, who went back and forth between the Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils’ AHL affiliate), as well as Rowe.

Stoesz, who didn’t see the ice in Albany, was minus-2 with six PIMs and a shot on net in the Titans’ first two games of the week.

After he had a hat-trick with the Titans on Friday, Berube had three shots on net in Albany’s 4-2 win over the Binghamton Senators on Saturday.

Rowe was removed from the injured reserved this week and had his third two-assist game of the season last night against the Nailers.

Aside from Hostetter and Thomas, the moves related to Trenton’s blue line involved Vinny Geonnetti and Anthony Pisano.

After being released by the Titans earlier in the week, Geonnetti rejoined the roster just a few days later. He was minus-1 this week and recorded 15 PIMs against the Jackals on Saturday, his highest total for an ECHL game in his career.

Pisano, who was most recently on the Fayetteville FireAntz of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), joined the Titans’ roster this week and was plus-1 with two shots on net in two games.

Transactions related to Trenton’s net involved the subtraction and addition of Nick Niedert, as well as the departure of David Caruso to the AHL.

After briefly being released from his Standard Player Contract (SPC) and returned to the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL, Niedert returned to Trenton, where he didn’t see the ice in any of the Titans’ four games.

Caruso returned from the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate) earlier in the week before he was shipped back to the AHL just days later. He didn’t play at either level.

The Titans conclude their five-game homestand this week, as they start with another Wednesday game against the Reading Royals. After they host the Greenville Road Warriors (New York Rangers’ ECHL affiliate) on Friday, the Titans finish the week with a pair of games against the Elmira Jackals.