Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mangene returns to the ice 11/27

News of the day at Glens Falls Civic Center was rookie winger Matt Mangene stepping back on the ice for the first time in about a month. He suffered a concussion Oct. 28 in Adirondack's 4-3 victory over the Syracuse Crunch.

Phantoms coach Terry Murray had previously only termed Mangene's injury as "upper-body," but went on the record with the diagnosis today now that Mangene is back on the ice. In hindsight, it could have been easy to figure this one out: What kind of upper-body injury sidelines you for a month and doesn't require you to wear a sling or cast? That's why I didn't go to med school.

Anyway, Murray said it was good to see Mangene back on the ice.

"It's been a long time," Murray said. "He's got clearance to get a little more active in the practice now, so we'll see where that takes him. Hopefully he's able to continue on and feel good."

Mangene passed his baseline tests, which allowed him to get back on the ice, but Murray said not to expect to see the University of Maine product in the Phantoms' lineup during this homestand.

"It'll be some time to get him back into physical shape and make sure that he's going to be fine, first of all," he said. "He's got to get some practice in, get some heavy activity and see how he responds."

Mangene was in pretty good spirits after practice. The Long Island native talked about the injury and also how his family was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall around the same time.

He's originally from Manorville, which is somewhat inland, but his family has since moved to a home in Miller Place on Long Island Sound. His house is "55 yards away from water on both sides."

"We made out pretty well," Mangene said. "Before the hurricane even hit, our parents were kayaking in our front yard. We just got some flooding, a couple of shingles missing. Not as bad as a lot of my friends. I had a couple of people that lost their whole towns, not only their houses. A couple friends live on canals and they were just bulldozing the house into the canal and starting from scratch."

The night before the storm hit, Mangene said police officers came to the family home and told his parents to evacuate. His father had waited out Irene, but wasn't going to chance it this time. The forward said he hasn't had a chance to go down and survey any of the damage himself.

"I tried to stay away from there," he said. "If you got on the island, you probably got stuck there. We had a gas shortage for probably two weeks. My parents didn't go anywhere, my dad was lucky just to get to work and get some gas. It was a tough two, three weeks for them. They didn't get power until 14 days after the hurricane. It was tough."

The Mangene house, as close to water as it is, is fairly elevated. Waves reached 14 feet, he said, but water probably wouldn't have gotten any higher than the garage. They have a boardwalk that goes down to the water that was untouched, but three other similar structures washed up on theirs.

"We have houses around us that lost their decks, everything," Mangene said. "We were lucky enough not to get hit hard."

The concussion came at bit of a tough time. He was about three weeks into his rookie season, had worked his way onto a line with Tye McGinn and Brayden Schenn and then got hit hard along the boards as he advanced the puck. The Phantoms scored on that shift and Mangene was credited with an assist, but he realized something wasn't right when he returned to the bench.

"It's hard," he said. "I haven't been around the team lately. This is pretty much my first week around the guys. It's tough. It's awful. I didn't like it. It's something you can't really do anything about. It's just rest and hoping that you recover quickly."

He's happy to be back working out and skating, but there's no timetable for a return to the lineup.

"I'm just taking it day-by-day, practice-by-practice," he said. "Just come to the rink, working as hard as I can to get back into game shape and be game ready. I'd like to get back in the lineup by next week, but that's up to the training camp and the coaching staff."


Other practice notes: It looks like Eric Wellwood will return to Adirondack's lineup tomorrow night after sitting out three games as a healthy scratch. Murray said it was a "coach's decision," but didn't elaborate. He had been on a defensive line, so I'd wager Murray wanted to see more of him there.

Lines: Zolnierczyk-Couturier-Akeson, McGinn-Schenn-Harper, Rinaldo-Bordson-Holmstrom, Wellwood-Roe-Brown. Defense: Gustafsson-Syvret, Bourdon-Manning, Lauridsen-Eddy.

Speaking of defense, they've been pretty good this month. They've allowed two or fewer goals in seven of their past nine games. Adirondack is 6-3 during that stretch, including a current three-game win streak. That's on the line when St. John's visits tomorrow. Story in the paper about that.

Murray wants his team to have a shooting mentality? They could have a shooting gallery tomorrow. The league office notes IceCaps goalie Eddie Pasquale has faced 40 or more shots in each of his past three starts, but he's won two of those games. Mark Dekanich faced 25 in his latest start.

Scott Munroe has a new mask. The Phantoms have a better picture here. His old one, which you can see in this photo, was the one he wore back in his Philadelphia Phantoms days at the Spectrum. This design is based off the one he wore with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year.

That'll do it for me today. I'll be back tomorrow with the pre-game report.

Until next time,


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