Falcons soar over Phantoms with 3-2 victory

Jason AkesonScott Laughton and Mark Alt each earned their first American Hockey League points in their debuts with the Adirondack Phantoms, but it wasn’t enough as the Springfield Falcons skated away with a 3-2 victory Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Trent Vogelhuber gave Springfield (42-20-9) the early lead in the first with assists from David Savard and Jake Hansen. Nick Holden added a score, while Spencer Machacek would go on to score the game-winning goal in the third.

Allen York recorded 27 saves on 29 shots and added another mark to his win column.

Jason Akeson tied the game with his 17th goal of the season on the power play in the first period for the Phantoms (28-36-7). Matt Konan tied the game again after the midway point in the third with Alt earning the only assist on the tally.

Boucher was not tested, but allowed all three goals on 23 shots in the loss.

The Falcons took the lead for good with 4:24 left in regulation, as Machacek skated in front of Boucher and pushed a Sean Collins rebound home.

Boucher was pulled for an extra skater with 1:39 remaining, but couldn’t find an equalizer.

The Falcons got on the board when Vogelhuber was alone in the slot, armed with a  Savard pass, and by the time Adirondack collapsed it was too late as he beat Boucher at 2:50 of the first period.

The hosts later received the first power play of the game as Springfield’s Ryan Craig was banished to the sin bin after a high stick and he Phantoms’ special teams were on the mark only 11 seconds into the advantage. Danny Syvret received a nice pass from Laughton and fed it to Akeson at the top of the left wing circle, who sniped it passed York to tie the score at 6:25.

“He’s had another good year for us,” said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. “He will be a part of training camp for sure, he is a young player who has a lot of offensive skill and he has worked to be a better two way player.”

Laughton continued to pester the Falcons, buzzing all around the ice and getting his stick in the passing lanes. He also set up a few scoring chances including a drop pass to Konan in the slot that led to a good opportunity.

The line of Jon Sim, Kyle Flanagan and Marcel Noebels also proved to be troublesome for Springfield creating a couple of good scoring chances. The line is a great combination with Sim’s hockey smarts, Flanagan’s speed and Noebels’ skill, a great secondary scoring threat after the McGinn-Akeson-Laughton line.

“They do some nice things in the offensive zone,” said Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. “They’ve got a lot of skill and a lot of talent and they try to make good plays.”

Andreas Lilja was called for kneeing just 36 seconds into the second period and it cost the Phantoms the lead. With plenty of bodies in front of Boucher the Falcons’ Holden was able to shoot the puck from just past the blue line and into the net without Boucher even getting a look at 2:09.

From there, the Phantoms had a horrible second period offensively. Adirondack outshot the Falcons 13-4 after Springfield’s second goal and finished the second period with a 16-14 edge. The lopsided shot count in the second frame was partially due to Springfield’s ability to block shots.

“When a team comes out and blocks that many shots it’s tough,” said Akeson. “But the same time it’s on our heads to get the pucks around those guys.”

Adirondack picked it back up offensively in the third period. The Sim, Flanagan and Noebels line continued their offensive attack including three back-to-back chances that York turned away. Laughton continued to carry the puck into the offensive zone throughout the game which is refreshing to see compared to continuous dump-and-chase tactics.

Springfield’s Cody Goloubef received a delay of game penalty at 10:11 in third period and it cost the Falcons the lead. Just as the penalty expired and Goloubef was making his way back to the play, Alt fed the puck to Konan at the point who blasted it into the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2.

Notes: Matt Ford made his return to Glens Falls for the first time since being traded from the Phantoms, and played his 300th professional gameDefenseman/forward Zack FitzGerald was named the winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to the Glens Falls and North Country community during the Phantoms’ 2012-13 season.

Interview with Paul Holmgren: Talk about Akeson, Phantoms since moving to ADK and trading away draft picks.
(Sorry for the background noise, small barn has very few quiet spots)
Paul Holmgren Interview