Friday, March 15, 2013

Embrace the Ides of March 3/15

Tyler Brown snapped more than a personal scoring drought.

The Adirondack Phantoms winger’s first goal in 29 games broke a 2-2 tie late in the third period, propelled his team to a 3-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena and gave the Phantoms their first win away from home in nearly two months.

The Phantoms had lost 10 straight on the road before Brown, who has spent much of the season on the team’s seldom-scoring fourth line, collected a long stretch pass, rushed down the left wing and sniped a shot past Senators goalie Nathan Lawson from the face-off circle with 4:25 to play.

It was his first goal since Dec. 15, 2012, when he had a goal and an assist in a loss to Manchester, and it gave the Phantoms their first road victory since a Jan. 20 shootout triumph against Albany.

They avoided setting a new AHL season-high for longest road winless streak, and have now picked up standings points in four of their last five overall games. They are 3-1-0-1 in that stretch.

The Phantoms led for most of Friday’s game thanks to a 14-second sequence in the first period.

Trailing 1-0 thanks to a power-play goal from Stephane Da Costa midway through the frame, Adirondack capitalized on two separate power plays to take a 2-1 lead into first intermission.

With teammate Shane Prince already serving a double-minor for high-sticking Phantoms defenseman Erik Gustafsson, Binghamton’s Kyle Bushee fired a clearing attempt that sailed over the glass. The automatic delay of game penalty gave the Phantoms a five-on-three for a full two minutes.

The Phantoms needed just 93 seconds of it before Garrett Roe chipped his own rebound from a bad angle over Lawson at the 18:46 mark. Then, with Prince still serving his initial penalty, Matt Mangene swooped in and knocked home a puck that had been caught in a defenseman's skates in the crease at 19:00.

They were able to carry that lead well into the third period because the Senators were whistled for eight straight minor penalties between the 10:36 mark of the first period and second intermission.

Adirondack, which once trailed 12-3 in shots, was credited with taking 27 of the game’s next 36.

But neither team was called for a penalty in the third period, and that seemed to favor the Senators.

Binghamton's Cole Schneider tied the game with 5:58 to go after defenseman Daniel New found him all alone for a quick release from the right-wing face-off circle. All five Phantoms were skating in the other half of the ice, and the uncontested Schneider beat Phantoms goalie Brian Boucher, who made 28 saves.

That just set up Brown’s heroics, though, as Adirondack improved to 24-31-2-3.

The Phantoms remain tied for St. John’s with the fewest points in the AHL (53), but two of their last three wins have come against Springfield and Binghamton (36-19-1-5), which own two of the three best records in the Eastern Conference. The Phantoms will play the fourth game of a seven-game road trip this Sunday at Hershey.

NOTES: The Phantoms were without left wing Harry Zolnierczyk, who was called up to the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers to serve one of the two remaining games on a four-game NHL suspension he received for charging Ottawa Senators defenseman Mike Lundin earlier this month.

Until next time,


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