Adirondack’s Rob Bordson made up for his bad pass at the blue line – which gave Norfolk a 3-on-0 and an easy goal – by digging his skates in and scoring two of his own, helping to lead the Phantoms past the Norfolk Admirals 5-2 in front of a crowd of 3,157 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Matt Mangene, Jason Akeson and Shane Harper also lit the lamp for the Phantoms (18-21-3) as the team moved even in the standings with the Admirals (18-22-3) with 39 points. Brian Boucher had 27 saves on the night.
Norfolk’s goals were scored by Peter Holland and Dan Sexton as the Admirals three-game winning streak came to an end. Goalie Igor Bobkov made 21 saves in a losing effort.
Some good two-way hockey was played in the first period, with both teams having a couple of decent chances. About nine minutes in, the Phantoms’ Brian Boucher had a lucky bounce as a shot up-close squeezed through his glove but trickled wide.
At 13:11 in the first, a tic-tac-toe play led to Mangene’s first professional goal on the power play, after Norfolk’s Matt Smaby received two minutes for interference. Erik Gustafsson and Andrew Johnston had the helpers on the goal.
The first period concluded without incident as the Phantoms lead Norfolk 1-0 and outshot the Admirals 10-8.
The second period opened back up right where the first left off with back and forth hockey. Adirondack’s Danny Syvret had a good chance with a blast from the top of the circle, but Norfolk’s Bobkov was able to get a toe on it and also managed to make a second save on Harper’s rebound attempt.
Adirondack thought they had a second goal as David Laliberte’s shot trickled in off of Bobkov’s left pad, only to be waived off after further review revealed that it was kicked in. It was after this that the Phantoms began fall back on their heels as Norfolk began to pressure them.
The Phantoms got lucky as Holland shot just wide of an open net as Boucher got tangled up with a couple of players. Norfolk’s John Mitchell had a chance at a breakaway, but good positioning by Boucher made him force it wide.
Adirondack’s second period troubles really showed at 14:59 when Bordson committed a horrific turnover at the blue line, giving Norfolk a 3-on-0 rush. Boucher was able to make the initial save on Luca Caputi’s shot, but Holland was right there to knock the rebound in, tying the game at 1-1.
Bordson could have gone back to the bench and let the turnover throw him off his game for the rest of the night, but instead, he went back out on the ice. At 17:41, he got the puck in the right circle and turned and fired it over the glove of Bobkov, giving the Phantoms the 2-1 lead. “Bordson got his mistake back, it shows a lot of character,” said Ian Laperriere, Director of Player Development for the Flyers.
The lead did not last long, as less than 30 seconds later, Norfolk’s Sexton fired one from the slot to tie the game back up 2-2. The game would remain tied as the second period came to an end, with Norfolk outshooting Adirondack 20-17.
The biggest question leading into the third period was how were the Phantoms going to respond to the momentum shift in Norfolk’s favor. “We need to keep the game basic,” said Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. “We’re not a high skilled hockey club, and if you get the puck behind their defense and try to get some pressure, recover some pucks and keep the play in that end, you can have opportunities to have some success.”
The Phantoms did just that. While on the power play, the puck was passed to the point from in deep, where Akeson blasted it past Bobkov to give the Phantoms the 3-2 lead at 6:46. Akeson’s tally was Adirondack’s second power play goal of the night.
It was all Adirondack after that as their forechecking started to pick up and they began to get physical along the boards. Bordson got his second of the night as he and Syvret came down on a odd-man rush and shot it over the left shoulder of Bobkov at 14:14.
To top the night off, Harper celebrated his birthday with an empty net goal to seal the deal and end the game with a Phantoms victory.
Videos including a chat with Ian Laperriere