Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adirondack 4, Manchester 1 11/14

I don't think you could ever make the argument that the Los Angeles Kings made a mistake when they traded Brayden Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers last summer. They got a great player, Mike Richards, in the deal and went on to win the Stanley Cup last season, so the move was justifiable.

But playing against his former team brought out the best in Schenn, who scored a natural hat trick to lead the Adirondack Phantoms past the Manchester Monarchs, 4-1, Wednesday morning. It was the eighth hat trick in Adirondack Phantoms history and the first since Matt Ford did it April 7 at Albany.

Schenn now has 14 points in 12 games this season, but what's really remarkable is the polarity of those statistics. He's actually got 14 points in five games -- five Adirondack wins -- and no points in the other seven games. Adirondack is 5-0 when Schenn is on the score sheet and 1-6 when he isn't.

Garrett Roe, a former Kings draft pick, also scored for the Phantoms, who are now 6-6 on the season and 3-1 in their past four games. They've allowed just four goals during that span, with Cal Heeter and Scott Munroe stopping 116-of-120 shots. They finally seem to be getting Terry Murray's system.

Schenn's performance stole the show, but Heeter was brilliant as well. He stopped 36 shots, including all 15 he faced during the second period. That kept the score at 1-1 and set up Adirondack's torrid start to the third period, during which the Phantoms scored thrice in the first 7 minutes, 22 seconds.

Schenn collected a loose puck at the top of the slot and wristed a shot past Martin Jones 20 seconds into the period, then stole a puck and beat Jones on a breakaway five minutes later. Roe scored his second in three games two minutes after that, chasing Jones from the crease with a backhander.

That was pretty much your ballgame. It gave the Phantoms a comfortable advantage heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation and Manchester's turnovers prevented them from crafting a comeback.

Schenn's first goal of the game, on a wrist shot in the first period, and Roe's score came on the power play. Adirondack improved to 6-0 when scoring a power play goal. They're 0-6 when they don't.

Going a step further, Adirondack's power play is 10-for-69 on the season, or about 14.5 percent. In five wins, it's 10-for-34, or 29.4 percent. In six losses, it's 0-for-35. That's been very critical early.

Adirondack's penalty kill also had another good game, killing off both  of Manchester's power plays. They've killed off 20-of-21 over the past five games.

The team is back on the ice tomorrow, so expect an update after practice. It'll be interesting to see if Tye McGinn is out there, as he missed today's game with muscle spasms. Mike Testwuide took his place in the lineup and played in his first game since Nov. 2.

Until next time,


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