Fifteen games into the season, the Adirondack Phantoms currently hold a 7-6-2 record as they await Friday’s matchup against the Binghamton Senators. Their record may not look like much, but six of those seven wins came during a recent six-game winning streak that ended on November 10th after a 3-2 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. They’ve now lost two since that win streak, but they are showing some serious promise, thanks to contributions all throughout the roster.
One would expect a team’s star players to score points, to lift the rest of the roster up when they’re struggling. Luckily for the Phantoms, it looks like all hands are on deck this season. Out of the 25 players on the team’s active roster, only six players have yet to score a point, and two of those players are goaltenders Cal Heeter and Yann Danis. One non-scoring player has only appeared in one game, and the other three have played in nine games or less.
Nick Cousins leads the team in points with nine in 14 games. Rob Bordson, Chris VandeVelde, Petr Straka, and Jason Akeson all have eight points, while team captain Ben Holmstrom, Bruno Gervais, Mark Alt, Kris Newbury, Brandon Alderson, and Marcel Noebels all have five points or more. Newbury has five points in seven games.
The production from all sides not only benefits the Phantoms, but the Flyers as well. When an injury occurs on the NHL level, the Flyers will have several options when it comes to who to call up from Adirondack. They won’t have their eyes on just one or two players in particular, but they’ll have a range of choices, which benefits both sides. In turn, these Phantoms players will be rewarded for their efforts and could find success at the NHL level.
About two weeks before the Phantoms embarked on their six-game win streak, assistant coach Riley Cote discussed the team’s early struggles and what was more important between a winning season and a continuously developing team.
“I think both are important,” Cote said. “Clearly, we are in a developmental league, so we need to develop players. At the same time, sports is about winning and we need to teach these guys how to win and become a pro.”
Almost a quarter of the way through the season, the team is starting to show its strength both developmentally and through wins. In their last two defeats, they only lost by one or two goals, something they can easily bounce back from. If the Phantoms continue to get results throughout the lineup, and if goaltending buckles down and stays strong, there’s a good chance that the team’s last season in Adirondack could be a winning one.