WORCESTER, Mass. -- A month ago, the Adirondack Phantoms' playoffs hopes seemed all but dashed. At the end of another successful weekend, those chances are suddenly alive and kicking.
The Phantoms beat the Worcester Sharks 4-1 on Sunday, giving them eight wins in their last 12 games. For the fourth straight weekend they won two out of three games.
The win moved Adirondack into tenth place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Albany Devils, who hold down the final playoff position. Fifteen games remain in the season.
The usual suspects were at it again in this one.
Shane Harper scored his fourth goal in his last five games. Matt Ford had a goal and an assist, giving him 10 goals and 14 points in 16 games since joining the Phantoms. Rob Bordson had three assists.
Goaltender Michael Leighton won for the fifth time in his last six starts. Leighton, who made 40 saves, has allowed 11 goals over that six-game span.
The Phantoms' strong run of late has come despite a rash of call-ups. The Philadelphia Flyers recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyck on Sunday, joining Brandon Manning, Erik Gustafsson and Eric Wellwood as recent call-ups from the Phantoms.
Those remaining got it done Sunday. Harper scored on a first-period breakaway and Ford made it 2-0. After Leighton survived a 21-shot barrage in the second, Worcester's Jack Combs cut the lead to 2-1 midway through the third.
But Mike Testwuide had the answer 2:15 later. Tye McGinn added an empty-netter in the final minute.
After a dreadful stretch, the Phantoms have found their footing on the road. Sunday's win was their fourth in a row away from home and their fifth in six games. Between December and February, the Phantoms lost 10 straight on the road.
The road revival is part of an overall turnaround. On Feb. 14, the Phantoms fell in Toronto for their fourth straight loss and ninth in 10 games, pushing them a season-high eight points out of the final playoff spot. Since then they've won eight of 12.
Five points separate teams between seventh and 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
Loose pucks: Andrew Rowe was the lone healthy scratch. Marc-Andre Bourdon and Oskars Bartulis remained out with upper-body injuries.