Rochester’s Colin Jacobs recorded the deciding score, then Danny Syvret was not able to keep the Adirondack Phantoms alive in the shootout as they fell to the Americans by a 5-4 count on Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Rochester (38-27-4) saw goals from Patrick Rissmiller, Frederick Roy, Drew Schiestel and Mark Mancari in regulation. David Leggio was a monster in net for the Americans, posting 39 saves on 43 shots and stopping four of five shootout chances. Mancari also had a goal in the shootout.
Jon Sim posted two goals and an assist in regulation for the Phantoms (28-35-6) and recorded the only goal in the shootout for the hosts.
Marcel Noebels contributed a goal in the second and Garrett Roe tied the game in the latter stages of the third period. Brian Boucher was pulled midway through the second period after letting in three goals on 12 shots, then Cal Heeter finished the game making 11 saves on 12 shots but it wasn’t enough to obtain the victory.
The Phantoms ran into penalty trouble early in the first when Cullen Eddy was called for boarding at 6:54. A mere seven seconds later Andreas Lilja lifted the puck over the glass in the defensive zone giving Rochester a two-man advantage. The Americans capitalized just 10 seconds into the 5-on-3 as Rissmillerlifted it past Boucher unassisted.
Despite the early penalty kill, the Phantoms owned the Americans in the first period. Adirondack blocked shot after shot and created numerous turnovers including Noebels picking the pocket of an American, flying down the left wing and set up Sim in the slot who was stopped by Leggio.
It was only a matter of time though as Sim tied the game at 12:35 on the power play. Jason Akeson wristed it from the top of the right circle only to have Sim deflect it over the shoulder of Leggio. Consistent Phantoms pressure continued through the rest of the period. If not for Leggio, Adirondack could have led 3-1 by the end of the first.
Rochester did not register a shot in the second period until the 8:27 mark. It just so happens their first shot of the second was a Roy goal which was uncorked from just over the blue line.
Again the Phantoms seemed to control the pace of the game for the most part and yet Rochester found itself up 3-1 on another weak goal. Schiestel skated into the zone and threw the puck at the net then put his head down to skate into the corner. When he looked up his teammates were celebrating his goal, and also seeing Boucher yanked in favor of Heeter.
“Sometimes things don’t go the right way,” said Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. “It’s no difference for a defenseman, for a forward, it just doesn’t click.”
Noebels cut the deficit by one when he received the puck just above the right circle and sniped it over the left shoulder of Leggio.
Heeter faced only one shot in the second period as the Phantoms outshot the Americans 17-6 on the period and 32-13 after two but still trailed 3-2.
Rochester then took a two-goal lead early in the third as a defensive breakdown in the Phantoms zone found Mancari in front of Heeter and the veteran slid the puck through his pads.
Just like before the Phantoms got one right back as Harper carried the puck in, passed to Bordon whose shot was blocked. Bordson got the puck right back and fed Sim in the slot who wristed it past Leggio.
A hard working hockey play led to the tying goal for the Phantoms. Eric Wellwood controlled the puck behind the Rochester net, fed it up to Lilja who crossed it over to Kessel who shot it and Roe tipped it past Leggio at 12:11 for a 4-4 game.
“I thought overall we played a really hard game, we threw forty something shots at them,” said Sim. “Goalie played well on the other side and we did a lot of things the right way.”
The Phantoms ran into trouble in the overtime session where they spent most of their time in their own end. However, Heeter was able to stand tall and keep the puck out of the net. On the down side it did not give the Phantoms much of a chance to produce the winning goal.
Sim had the lone goal for the Phantoms in the shootout and Jacobs had the deciding goal with Mancari also contributing one to give Rochester the win.
Notes: If Hershey wins against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday and Adirondack loses to Bridgeport, the Phantoms are mathematically eliminated from the postseason…Backup goaltender Scott Munroe was heard on his way out the door saying he was on his way to New Jersey to have his knee scoped…The Phantoms finished the season series 1-2-1 against the Amerks.