Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shutout by Springfield 10/14

The Adirondack Phantoms played their first road game of the season Sunday in Springfield.

They're still searching for their first road goal.

Curtis McElhinney stopped all 31 shots he faced and four different Falcons had multi-point nights at Springfield handed the Phantoms a 4-0 matinee loss at Mass Mutual Center.

The Phantoms, who kicked off a stretch in which they'll play 10 of 13 games away from Glens Falls Civic Center, fell to 1-1 this season. Springfield is 2-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

The stretch is really interesting. When it concludes with a Nov. 17 game at Syracuse, the Phantoms will have already played one-quarter of their 2012-13 road schedule. But they'll make up for it over the next month. On Dec. 19, they will conclude a stretch that will see them play 10 of 12 at home.

Sunday's shutout was McElhinney's first in the American Hockey League since March 21, 2008, when he stopped 22 shots to lead the Quad City Flames to a 2-0 victory over the Rockford IceHogs.

The 29-year-old goalie appeared in 64 National Hockey League games with Calgary, Anaheim and Phoenix over the past four seasons and recorded two shutouts, both for the Ducks in 2010-11.

Center Ryan Johansen, the No. 4 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, provided all the offense the Falcons would need at the 15:53 mark of the first period when he beat Adirondack goaltender Cal Heeter, who was making his professional hockey debut. The Ohio State product finished with 16 saves.

The Phantoms entered the second period down 1-0 -- not a bad spot to be in for a road game -- but allowed three goals in the opening 7:17. That's your ballgame.

Dalton Prout scored 30 seconds into the middle frame, beating Heeter on a drive from the point. AHL All-Star Jonathan Audy-Marchessault scored a power play goal five minutes later. Falcons captain Ryan Craig scored two minutes after that, slamming a cross-crease pass behind Heeter.

Adirondack, less than 24 hours after going 2-for-8 on the power play, finished 0-for-7 with the man advantage. Springfield went 1-for-3 on the power play.

Craig and Audy-Marchessault finished with a goal and an assist. Cam Atkinson and Cody Bass each had two assists. Adirondack forward Andrew Johnston came the closest to scoring for Adirondack in the third period, but couldn't lift a backdoor drive over McElhinney's pad.

The game also had Adirondack's first two fights of the season. Marc-Andre Bourdon and Cody Bass mixed it up in the first period, while Ben Holmstrom fought with former Flyers prospect Michael Chaput in the second.

We'll keep an eye and ear out for the status of Harry Zolnierczyk, who left the game after he appeared to get hit in the face with a high-stick or puck. Hope to get an update at Tuesday's practice, the team's final one in Glens Falls before they leave for a weekend series at St. John's, Newfoundland.

It'll be the team's first visit to The Rock in Adirondack Phantoms history.

Speaking of St. John's, they beat Connecticut behind two power play goals and 35 saves from Mark Dekanich in the only other Northeast Division game on today's schedule. Spencer Machacek with the game-winner on his 24th birthday.

Until next time,


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