Special teams lift Phantoms past Senators

Cal Heeter

The Adirondack Phantoms finished their third game in just as many nights with a win over the Binghamton Senators on Sunday, by a score of 2-1 at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The 3,127 who attended bore witness to the Phantoms (21-27-3) wearing Dax-themed jerseys to celebrate the mascots birthday (My head is still shaking just thinking about it).

Special teams were the big highlight for the worn-out Phantoms. After killing the first of what would be two 5-on-3 advantages, the Phantoms went on the power play where Matt Mangene received a pass from Jason Akeson and skated down the right wing then slid in to shoot the puck between the legs of the Senators’ (31-17-5) Marc Cheverie for a power play goal just past the midway point of the second period.

Jon Sim scored the even strength go-ahead goal in the third, while Cal Heeter only allowed one goal on 31 shots. The shot count could have been a lot higher if it wasn’t for the Phantoms penalty kill which only allowed one or two shots if any while on the kill.

The Senators Dustin Gazley scored the lone goal for Binghamton while a shaky Cheverie had 20 saves in the loss. Cheverie’s biggest issue of the night was controlling the rebound and dropping the puck on the initial save.

An uneventful first period saw both teams playing some lackadaisical two way hockey with shaky goal tending from both opponents and a plethora of incomplete passes. The pee-wee hockey team during the intermission completed more passes then both teams combined. The only silver lining was that of the Phantoms special teams. Adirondack failed on all three of its chances with the power play but they kept the puck in Binghamton’s end the majority of the time with good puck pressure.

With nine-tenths of a second left in the first and the Phantoms on the penalty kill, Cullen Eddy and Hugh Jessiman dropped the gloves. Eddy went down quickly and Jessiman took a couple extra shots with Eddy on his back. The linesman quickly jumped in but had trouble separating the two. Jessiman ended up with an extra two minute minor for roughing.

The second started with 41 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey which then led into 1:19 of Adirondack power play. Again no goals were scored but the Phantoms pressure was still there.

At 8:26 into the second, Adirondack’s Tyler Brown was sent to the box for high-sticking. 15 Seconds later Brandon Manning went to the box for cross-checking leaving the Phantoms two men down for 1:45. The penalty kill shined allowing only one shot on goal for the entire two-man advantage.

“The penalty killing was huge,” said Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. “Killing off two five on threes, you couldn’t ask for anything more.”

About 11 minutes into the second Ian Slater crushed Binghamton’s Mark Borowiecki into the boards. The Senators Cole Schneider confronted Slater and they instantly dropped the mitts. Borowiecki was very slow to get up off the ice and then proceeded to the locker room and did not return until the third period.

Both Slater and Schneider received five minutes for fighting but Schneider was assessed an extra two minutes for instigating. The Phantoms power play put Adirondack on the board first at 12:34 of the second period with a goal by Mangene. A huge momentum shift for Adirondack as the goal came shortly after Binghamton’s two-man advantage. 

Adirondack survived a second Binghamton two-man advantage after Shane Harper was sent to the box for tripping at 13.33 and Andreas Lilja being called for interference at 14.44. Again the Phantoms penalty kill came up strong minimizing the shots on net.

Sim wasted little time in the third when he scored a wrap around goal at 2.38 giving the Phantoms a 2-0 lead. Garrett Roe and Akeson had the assists giving Akeson two helpers on the night.

The Senators got a taste of blood at 4:33 when Gazley took the rebound off of Hetter’s left pad and backhanded it in the net. Binghamton turned up the pressure for the rest of the period but Heeter was able to stop everything that came at him.

The Phantoms ended the game on a high note with the penalty kill shutting the door and allowing no shots on a Rob Bordson tripping penalty at 17.05. Adirondack went on for 2-1 victory.

Notes: The Adirondack Phantoms are 8th in the league in penalty kills overall and 4th at home. Despite the good penalty kill statistic the Phantoms are the worst team in the league points wise.