Friday, December 28, 2012

Providence 4, Adirondack 2 12/28

So when Brayden Schenn collects a puck in the neutral zone and makes Niklas Svedberg looks silly with a crafty backhand move midway through the second period, there's a good chance you're thinking all is well for the Adirondack Phantoms. That's a play that can really energize a team.

"That’s a critical time in the game," Phantoms coach Terry Murray said. "That’s when you want to come back with a great big shift to make sure you can build off the emotion of that goal."

Murray sends out the line of Harry Zolnierczyk, Zac Rinaldo and Garrett Roe for that shift. The Bruins get the puck deep in the zone. All three of them skate out of the zone and into neutral ice. Adirondack can't clear the puck. It goes to Carter Camper, who gets it to Jordan Caron. It's in the net.

Just like that, 25 seconds later, Adirondack is back facing a two-goal deficit at 3-1. They lost 4-2.

"We were just carless, actually, with the puck," Murray said. "We had all three forwards out of the zone, into the neutral zone and the puck is back in our end. They make a play and it's in the net. We just have to get refocused here. We have to be a lot better."

In the third period, they were. They fired 18 shots at Svedberg, but he stopped all but Eric Wellwood's power-play snipe from the right-wing circle. He finished with 43 saves, earning No. 1 star honors. That's the eighth time in 16 Adirondack losses the opposing goaltender has earned that honor.

There have been some nights where that stat has impacted the outcome. Tonight wasn't one of them.

"That's beside the point to me," Murray said. "That's not the reason it ended up with a (4-2) score tonight. We came out and played 20 minutes out of the 60 and that was the third period. That's not good enough."

The extended break probably played a part in that, Murray said, though Wellwood disagreed. Thanks to travel delays, this was his first time skating in six days. He scored a goal, his third in fourth games.

"It's no excuse," Wellwood said. "I don't think that's a factor. I think both teams are playing the same first game. I don't think that's a disadvantage for anybody."

Surrendering 15 shots in the first, though, did put the Phantoms at a disadvantage. So did surrendering the first goal and then allowing another to start the second, which put them down 2-0.

"That's not the way we play," Murray said. "We just have to clean it up. Now that we've got a game under our belt, I'm hoping that we can have a real good, solid effort tomorrow night (at Portland)."

That game is in Lewiston, Maine, in case you were making the trip. It's one of several the Pirates are playing away from the Cumberland County Civic Center this season due to ongoing renovations.

In the only other division action tonight, Albany fell on a late goal by Binghamton's Jakob Silfverberg. David Dzuirzynski got ejected early for checking Joe Whitney from behind. 

More after the game tomorrow,


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