Monday, November 5, 2012

Spray Tan Boy 11/5

The Adirondack Phantoms were quick to credit goaltender Scott Munroe for making some key stops at key moments to help the team secure a 4-0 shutout victory over the Albany Devils Saturday night.

Munroe was back on the Glens Falls Civic Center ice for practice Monday morning and the veteran picked up right where he left off, turning winger Eric Wellwood aside on a short breakaway attempt.

Had Wellwood scored there, Munroe and rookie goalie Cal Heeter would have lost the team's first shootout contest of the season. The penalty? Booking an appointment at a local spray tanning salon.

After Munroe's stop, the contest wound up being a marathon. Veteran winger Matthew Ford came out with the short straw, meaning he will be off to get himself some fake sun sooner rather than later.

"Save of the day, for sure," Munroe said. "I don't know how my wife would have felt about a spray tan."

The Phantoms ran a similar contest on a monthly basis last year, when the loser had to grow a mustache for the rest of the month. But players are already growing mustaches this November to raise awareness for a number of men's health initiatives, so the team went with getting a spray tan instead.

The rules of the contest were fairly simple.

One-by-one, players skated in from the top of the top of the face-off circles and put a move on the goalies. The shooting order was determined by a player's jersey number, lowest to highest.

If the player scores, they are eliminated. If he does not, he keeps going. The last one standing without a goal to his name loses. The exception is if five shooters score in a row, the two goaltenders lose.

Andrew Johnston, Tye McGinn, Tyler Brown and Cullen Eddy had already beat the goaltenders by the time Wellwood came to bat. With teammates slamming their sticks on the ice like a rhythmic slow clap, Munroe calmly turned aside Wellwood's shot with his blocker and kept the shootout alive.

It eventually wound up going probably more than 10 rounds -- the longest such contest McGinn said he'd ever been in -- and the final few rounds involved Marc-Andre Bourdon, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Matthew Ford, Zac Rinaldo, Erik Gustafsson and Zack FitzGerald.

I thought that was a pretty interesting group.

You've got five guys who spent significant time in the NHL last season along with Ford, a point-per-game guy in the AHL and FitzGerald, who is regarded as a tough guy. But FitzGerald quickly snuck one inside the post and proceeded to celebrate by riding his stick past Heeter in the crease.

Ford, though, didn't mind the eventual result. Though there are some practical elements rooted in the competition, giving goaltenders and players a chance to hone one-on-one skills for breakaways and shootouts, Ford and Heeter said Monday morning's competition was all in good fun.

"That's a little more fun than it is actual game, realistic practice but it's still important to work hard and try and make those saves," Heeter said. "There are times in the game where a guy gets a short breakaway like that -- from the top of the circles in -- you have to be ready for it at all times."

Personnel-wise, Matt Mangene and Brandon Manning missed today's practice. I meant to ask Terry Murray about that afterwards, but I was so enthralled by the breakaway contest that I missed him stepping off the ice, so I didn't get a chance to talk to him today. I'll be sure to ask him tomorrow.

Same lines as Saturday's game, in their absence.

A couple of links before I head off for the day. First, did anyone miss this result from Connecticut yesterday? Phantoms broadcaster Bob Rotruck noted that reminded him of the April Fool's Day, 2011, game against Albany when Adirondack went up 9-2 just 35 minutes in.

Secondly, here's a nice story from the Providence Journal about Glens Falls native Christian Hanson and his father's role in the iconic hockey film "Slap Shot."

Third, if you're not doing anything at 7 p.m. tonight, be sure to turn into to Adirondack's weekly radio show, Phantoms Power Hour on Q 101.7 Guests include Johnston, Heeter and myself.

EDIT: Rockford's Kyle Beach is your AHL Player of the Week.

Until next time,


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