Not a good start to the Phantoms four-game homestand as a couple of mistakes led to early goals and the hole proved too steep for a Phantoms offense that has sputtered over the last nine games or so.
Focused my game story on http://poststar.com/sports/phantoms-still-not-able-to-find-way-past-binghamton/article_13a0012e-31db-11e1-99ac-001871e3ce6c.html" target="_blank">the futility against Binghamton this season. Here are a few notes that fall outside of that scope:
-- Eric Wellwood played for the first time since Nov. 20. He was sick over the break, so the plan was to play him limited minutes. That was as much because of his illness than his upper-body injury.
-- Garrett Klotz missed his second straight game. He's day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
-- Mike Testwuide flipped back to his old spot on the top line in the third period, skating on the right wing of Denis Hamel and Ben Holmstrom. He switched with Shane Harper.
Lines: Hamel/Holmstrom/Harper; Sestito/Roe/Akeson; McGinn/Kalinski/Testwuide; Brown/Bohmbach/Wellwood.
Defensive pairs: Marshall/Eddy; Jancevski/Kessel; Manning/Lauridsen.
Scratches: Healthy -- Backlund, Thomas, Rowe (was slightly banged up). Injured -- Bartulis (lower-body), Klotz (lower-body).
On overall effort:
"We gave up two bad turnovers on the first goals. To me it's a power-play goal for them, but Garrett Roe has the puck inside the blue line, there's a little bit to go in their power play and he doesn't get it deep. It ends up back in our net. The other one was Kessel. I know they're not trying to do it, but it's a chance we haven't given up in a long time -- breakaways chance or a two-on-once chance, three-on-one. There was just a few too many of those."
On losing last three against Binghamton:
"I think it's just a coincidence that we're playing them a lot right now. We never played them early and we're playing them now. I think they're a good team. We know they're a good team, we have respect for them. They've got (Corey) Locke back in the lineup, he's the guy that led the league in scoring last year. They're a team that won a championship last year, so they have a lot of things. For some reason, they get good goaltending against us. We had to get a lot of traffic. On the one power play goal, we had two guys standing in front."
On frustration against Binghamton goalie (Mike) McKenna:
"I wouldn't say it deflates. It's good you get the chances. You have to capitalize. You look at Denis Hamel, maybe if he scores early on that one in the first period, kind of the breakaway one, maybe that make a difference, gets us rolling."
On losing seven of nine:
"There have been different things that have happened. A lot of games have been like tight games, we've lost a lot of one-goal games -- I know tonight wasn't a one-goal game -- but there's a fine line between winning and losing every night."
On (Eric) Wellwood's return:
"He's cleared to play and then he was sick over break so he doesn't practice much. So we thought if we could get him in for eight, nine minutes a game and play him he'd be better for the next game down the road. The plan wasn't for him to take on a lot of minutes tonight. The plan was to get him back in and just get eight or nine minutes. He hasn't skated for a few days."
"It's just the point of the schedule where we're playing them a lot right now. They're a good team. We just can't find a way to get it done right now."
On frustration against McKenna:
"I think we put a lot to the net tonight. You always want to score more goals. He definitely played well. I think we just got to capitalize on our chances. We had a couple around there. We got a couple to go, but you've got to score more than two to win a game most nights."
On losing seven of nine:
"I think it's just everybody is going to go through their ups and downs during a season. We got off to a good start and this is where we're being tested a bit. We just gotta bear down and find a way to get through it and sooner or later things will turn around."
"I think we came out with a pretty good effort. Obviously, we gave up a couple in the first so it wasn't quite how you want to end the first 20, but as far as the first five (minutes) goes I think we were fairly good. Those first goals are always important, that's something we've got to concentrate on a little more."
Binghamton forward Rob Klinkhammer
On his line with Locke scoring four goals:
"He's one of the best at finding open guys in our league. Even if you're not open. So you have to be ready when you're playing with that guy."
On success against Phantoms:
"It's just one of those things in hockey. Sometimes you just match up well against teams. And I don't even know what it is, but we play well against these guys. Every time we beat these guys, our goaltender has stood on his head. These guys are a good team, they're a great team. They were really pouring it on us there and (Mike) McKenna really held us in for quite a few stretches there."