The Adirondack Phantoms, playing in their new upstate New York home against division rival Hershey, defeated the Bears 2-1 Friday night as the Phantoms Kevin Marshall netted his first professional goal to win the game. Marshall recorded his first pro goal in his fourth AHL game, with assists going to Jared Ross and Jason Ward at 6:20 of the third period. Marshall had an assist in a previous game.
Hershey maintained a 27-15 shots on goal lead throughout the game but couldn’t get the needed tallies against Adirondack goaltender Johan Backlund (1-1-0). Backlund played the past three seasons for Timra IK in the Swedish Elite League.
The Bears evened the score at 1-1 on Jay Beagle’s first goal of the season at 18:26 of the second period. Beagle netted his goal against Backlund, 6-1 and 198 pounds, who played a strong game for the Phantoms, solving almost everything the Bears’ put on him. Backlund made several key saves on Hershey offensive assaults in the third period to preserve the win for Adirondack.
The Phantom’s first goal came when Hershey’s Beagle had been called for holding at just 2:57 of the second period, which led to Adirondack’s Patrick Maroon capitalizing on the man advantage, scoring in close against Neuvirth. That was the first shorthanded goal that Hershey has given up this season. The Bears penalty kill had been cruising at 100 percent efficiency, killing off 17 penalties without a goal to open the season. It was Maroon’s second goal of the season, coming on assists from Jon Matsumoto and Randy Jones.
The first period ended with no score, in a tightly and sometimes tentatively played period, with no penalties called.
The Bears were taking on the Phantoms — now based in upstate New York — with Neuvirth, the 2009 Calder Cup Most Valuable Player, in goal for the first time this season after suffering an injury in training camp. The Bears had been relying on Braden Holtby, now reassigned to South Carolina of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), and Jason Bacashihua to start out the 2009-10 campaign.
The Bears dropped to 3-2-0-0 and the Phantoms improved to 2-2-0-0 in the East Division.
Phantoms forward Jason Ward and defenseman Joey Mormina were back in the lineup Friday night after missing games last weekend due to the birth of children in both families. Mormina, who was the second best in the plus-minus category last season (+37) with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins added significant strength to the Phantoms attempt to bottle up the Bears offense.
The Bears will face off against the Senators in Binghamton Saturday night and travel to northeast Pennsylvania to take on division rivals the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins next Friday before returning to the friendly confines of the Giant Center to host Binghamton. The game against the Bears was the start of the first three-games-in-three-nights set for the Phantoms, who are at home against Albany on Saturday before traveling to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers.
It was the first regular season meeting between the Bears and Phantoms and their first game outside of Pennsylvania, as the Phantoms moved from Philadelphia to New York state this season. The Phantoms, playing in the Glens Falls Civic Arena, donned new uniforms with an orange and white color scheme, more resembling their parent Flyers than the purple uniforms the Phantoms wore in Philadelphia.
The Phantoms played in Philadelphia from 1996 to 2009, calling the Spectrum (Wachovia Spectrum) home and winning AHL Calder Cup titles in 1998 and 2005. Comcast Spectacor, the previous owners of the franchise, reached agreement with a Pittsburgh group which moved the club to Glens Falls, which had been home, from 1979 to 1999, to the AHL Adirondack Red Wings. There also has reportedly been consideration of moving the franchise back to Pennsylvania if an arena can be constructed in the Lehigh Valley, in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Following Statistics from TheAHL.com:
Hershey Bears 1 At Adirondack Phantoms 2 – Status: Final
Oct 16, 2009 – Glens Falls Civic Center
Hershey 0 1 0 – 1
Adirondack 0 1 1 – 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Maroon 2 (Matsumoto, Jones), 3:24 (pp). 2, Hershey, Beagle 1 (McNeill, Gordon), 18:26. Penalties-Beagle Her (holding), 2:57; Kaspar Adk (slashing), 6:24; Curry Adk (slashing), 15:09; Amadio Her (roughing), 17:49; Maroon Adk (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:49.
3rd Period-3, Adirondack, Marshall 1 (Ross, Ward), 6:20. Penalties-Laliberte Adk (hooking), 1:36; Bartulis Adk (holding), 3:36; Jones Adk (holding), 10:35.
Shots on Goal-Hershey 6-11-10-27. Adirondack 6-6-3-15.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 of 5; Adirondack 1 of 1.
Goalies-Hershey, Neuvirth 0-1-0 (15 shots-13 saves). Adirondack, Backlund 2-1-0 (27 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Chris Ciamaga (41).
Linesmen-Jim Briggs (83), Frank Murphy (29).