Minor League Update: 2/27-3/4

Image Courtesy of Poststar.com

The Phantoms had another strong week, as they recorded a pair of wins to extend their winning streak to four games before they lost yesterday. Although the winning streak snapped, the Phantoms still have their winning streak on the road intact, a place they have struggled all season long. Adirondack will see if they can extend that winning streak to four games this week, as they hit the road after a pair of home contests.

With the game tied at one in the third period Friday against the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins’ AHL affiliate), Andrew Rowe gained the game-winner on a penalty shot in the Phantoms’ 3-1 win. After he was slashed from behind on a breakaway, Rowe put home a backhander past Adam Courchaine midway through the third period for his sixth goal of the season and the team’s first two-goal game win since their 3-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate) on February 3rd. Mike Testwuide opened the scoring late in the first period before Providence’s Calle Ridderwall potted his eighth goal of the season early in the second to tie the game at one. Erik Gustafsson put the game away with his first goal for Adirondack this season with just 1:26 left, as Tyler Brown and Tye McGinn assisted on the Phantoms’ third goal of the night. Michael Leighton had a huge game, as he earned the game’s first star with a 30-save effort and allowed only one goal against for a second straight start. Leighton also allowed the Phantoms to win despite being out shot 13-5 in the final 20 minutes. The win marked the first time the Phantoms won back-to-back road games since they beat the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres’ AHL affiliate) on October 23rd and the Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate) on November 4th.

The following day, Matt Ford registered a tally in overtime to give Adirondack a 3-2 win on the road against the Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils’ AHL affiliate). Trailing 2-1 in the third period, Shane Harper scored with 6:47 left to send the game to overtime. The tally was Harper’s second of the night to give him his second two-goal game in 2011-2012, as the Phantoms beat the Bruins for the first time this year. Harry Zolnierczyk joined Harper as the only Phantoms with multi-point performances, as he had the primary assists on both of Harper’s goals. Nathan Perkovich had a goal and an assist for the Devils in the loss, as the Phantoms’ overtime record improved to 5-2 with their first win thanks to a goal in the extra frame since Harper’s goal in Adirondack’s version of The Winter Classic on January 6th. Leighton earned his third straight win with 30 saves for his sixth straight contest with 30 saves or more, while Keith Kinkaid was handed the loss in a 31-save effort. The win gave Adirondack their second four-game winning streak of the season and their first three-game winning streak on the road all season.

The Phantoms concluded their week, and their winning streak, with a 3-2 loss at home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins yesterday. Paul Thompson tied the game at two with 6:49 left before Brandon DeFazio scored the game-winner 20 seconds later. Ford had his third two-goal game as a Phantom, while Garrett Roe extended his point streak to three games with a pair of assists in the Phantoms first home loss since their 3-2 defeat on February 4th to the Bruins. Oliver Lauridsen, who took part in his first fight in March, had his second assist in three games after going pointless in his previous 35 contests. Ben Street had the other tally for the Pens, as he recorded his 19th goal of the season to tie the game at one 3:40 into the middle stanza. The loss dropped the Phantoms to 12-12 in one-goal games this season, as it was the team’s first one-goal game loss since their 3-2 decision on February 18th against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate).

Both Eric Wellwood and Gustafsson spent time with the Flyers and Phantoms this week.

After he went plus-1 with a shot on net and two PIMs against Providence, Wellwood joined the Flyers and had the game-winning goal against the Washington Capitals last night.

Gustafsson had one shot on net in 15:24 TOI with the Flyers’ in their win last night.

The other roster move related to the Phantoms this week was their return of Brad Phillips to the Trenton Titans. Phillips didn’t take part in any action for Adirondack and was pulled in his lone game with Trenton.

Adirondack concludes their homestand with games against the Norfolk Admirals on Friday and the Devils on Saturday. They finish the week with a trip to Massachusetts to take on the Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate) Sunday.

Image Courtesy of trentontitanshockey.com

The Titans lost every single game this week to put themselves on a four-game losing streak. Keeping the puck out of their own net has been a problem for Trenton during the losing streak, as they have allowed 22 goals against in the four losses. The Titans hope to end the skid by winning at least one of their four games over the next seven days.

Despite having four different leads in the contest, the Titans lost 8-6 on the road to the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL affiliate for the Buffalo Sabres and Phoenix Coyotes) on Friday. The Titans jumped out to a 6-4 lead early in the third period after the teams entered the final 20 minutes tied at four, but the Gladiators rattled off four straight to win. Pat Galivan had the game-winner with 1:45 left in regulation, as Justin Milo added the empty-net goal to snap the Gladiators’ three-game losing streak. Ryan Hayes and Andy Bohmbach both had a goal and two assists for the Titans, while Chris Poli and Matt Germain each had a goal and an assist in the high-scoring defeat. Both Dustin Cameron and Chase Langeraap had two-assist games, while David Caruso stopped 40 saves or more for a fifth time this season and allowed seven goals against for a second time. Galivan had his first five-point game in the ECHL with two goals and three assists, as Dallas Jackson recorded a four-assist game in Gwinnett’s win. The loss is the most goals the Titans have allowed in a game this season and it was the highest-scoring game Trenton has had in 2011-2012.

The Titans dropped their third straight game with a 6-3 loss on Saturday to the Greenville Road Warriors (New York Rangers’ ECHL affiliate) at the BI-LO Center. Sean Berkstresser’s tally 7:28 into the second period gave the Road Warriors a 4-0 lead and the eventual game-winner, as Greenville’s forward was plus-2 with three shots on net. Kale Kerbashian had a pair of goals and five shots on net, as the Road Warriors threw 39 shots at Trenton’s combination of Caruso and Phillips. Steve Silva and Hayes scored in the second period for the Titans, while Randy Rowe potted his 16th goal of the season in the third period in a game where not a single Titan recorded a multi-point performance. Gentry Zollars had an extremely rough night, as the defenseman was one of ten Titans with a minus rating in the loss with a minus-4 contest. The loss was Trenton’s sixth out of their last seven road games and marked the first time all season they allowed six goals or more in back-to-back contests.

Trenton concluded the week by blowing a 4-1 lead and losing to the Gladiators 5-4 yesterday. Rowe put home his 17th of the season 3:30 into the middle stanza to put the Titans up by three. Gwinnett’s four-goal rally, which started with former Titan Stephen Mallaro’s first goal in the ECHL, ended with Corey Fiehnhage’s fifth goal in 2011-2012 with 4:20 left in regulation. Kelly Miller tied the game very early with his first goal this season, as Bohmbach and Cameron scored later in the period for a 3-1 Titans’ lead after the first 20 minutes. Silva had a pair of assists in the loss, while Ray DiLauro posted a minus-3 performance for the second time this season. Bill McCreary recorded his first point in the ECHL with his primary assist on Bohmbach’s goal in the first period. Nikita Kashirsky had two goals and an assist in the win for Gwinnett, while Jonathan Parker had a trio of assists for his first three-point game in the ECHL. Caruso allowed five goals against or more for the fourth time in his last seven starts, as he posted 27 saves in the loss. The defeat extended the Titans’ losing streak to four games, their fourth four-game losing streak of the season.

Trenton didn’t endure too many roster moves this week, as three players left the club and two joined.

Adam Dekker, Matt Moffat, and Andy Thomas left Trenton this week.

Both Dekker and Moffat were released from their Standard Player Contracts (SPC). Dekker, who returned to the New Jersey Outlaws of the Federal Hockey League (FHL), went 1-1-0 in two games with a save percentage of .849. Moffat, who was returned to the Danbury Whalers of the FHL, had a goal and four assists with a plus-4 rating in four games this week.

Thomas was loaned to the Syracuse Crunch (Anaheim Ducks’ AHL affiliate). He was minus-1 with a shot on net in a pair of contests.

Along with Phillips, the Titans added defenseman Domenic Recchia. Added to the roster from Johnson and Wales University, Recchia was minus-1 with an assist and shot on net in his first three ECHL games.

Trenton starts the week with a road game tomorrow against the South Carolina Stingrays (Washington Capitals’ ECHL affiliate) before they return home for a contest against the Elmira Jackals (ECHL affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators) on Friday night. After their third game of the week takes place on the road against the Reading Royals (ECHL affiliate for the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs), the Titans return home for a match-up against the Florida Everblades (ECHL affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning).