Alex Grant beat Brian Boucher from the slot in overtime to give the The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins the win over the Adirondack Phantoms Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Garrett Roe scored the first goal of the game in the second period and Shane Harper netted a goal to tie the game in the third for the Phantoms (28-34-3-3) with helpers from Jason Akeson, Eric Wellwood, Kyle Flanagan, and Jeff Dimmen. Boucher managed 22 saves despite having a depleted defense in front of him.
Jayson Megna and Riley Holzapfel potted goals in regulation for the Penguins (37-28-3-2) while Jeff Zatkoff made 27 saves besting his opponent.
It took nearly 5 minutes for the Phantoms to register their first shot of the game and almost 10 minutes before the Penguins registered theirs, and that pretty much sums up how most of the first period went. Neither team seemed to be in sync,with a lot of missed passes and guys seeming to have trouble staying on their skates. To the Phantoms’ credit they did block a number of Penguin shots
Things picked up a bit when Adirondack went on the first power play of the game at 14:24 after a hooking call against the Penguins’ Brian Gibbons. The Phantoms were able to register three shots, which is one more than they had registered at that point in the first, but were not able to get the puck past Zatkoff.
The second period was an improvement over the first with both teams settling down and playing hockey. Roe opened the scoring at 5:25 when he received a pass from Akeson around the left circle and squeezed a low shot between Zatkoff and the post.
Things got chippy in front of the Penguins net after Zatkoff made a save on a Phantoms charge. Zack Fitzgerald and the Penguins’ Warren Peters, were shoving back and forth only to be split up by the linesman. With the the attention on FitzGerald and Peters, Derek Mathers and the Penguins’ Grant decided to drop the gloves with the takedown going to Mathers who received an extra two minutes for roughing.
The Penguins were able to tie it up on the power play as Megna tipped the puck past Boucher on a Joey Mormina shot with one second left on the penalty. Boos rained down from the stands as former Phantom Mormina was announced as having the assist.
Brandon Manning left for the locker room favoring his leg halfway through the second after being hit in front of the Phantoms bench and fell awkwardly.
Holzapfel gave the Penguins the lead at 5:59 in the third period after a defensive collapse for the Phantoms gave Holzapfel the ability to walk into the slot and fire one past Boucher.
The Phantoms fought back on the power play when Flanagan fed a pass through the top of the crease to a skating Harper who put it past Zatkoff to tie the game at 13:16. The period did not end well for the Phantoms as Jeff Dimmen was called for interference at 19:01 giving the Penguins a power play that continued into the overtime frame.
Adirondack was able to kill off the penalty but when Dimmen came out of the penalty box he dropped down to his defensive position leaving Grant alone in the slot where he blasted it past Boucher for the Penguins victory.
“I don’t know,” said Dimmen. “I don’t know, it broke down and they ended up getting one”.
Notes: The Phantoms have scored the second fewest goals in the Eastern Conference following the Penguins who have scored the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference. Brandon Manning did not return to the game after leaving the second period when he fell awkwardly after being hit. Coach Terry Murray said it seemed like he tweaked his leg going down.