SYRACUSE -- The Adirondack Phantoms gained a standings point, but lost a bit of ground to the team they’re chasing in the playoff race on Wednesday as they lost to Syracuse 2-1 in a shootout before a crowd of 4,591 at the Onondaga War Memorial.
Michael Leighton made 42 saves, including some spectacular ones in the overtime period, but Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri was the only person to score in the shootout.
Iiro Tarkki made 34 saves for Syracuse.
The win pushed the Crunch three points ahead of the Phantoms for the final playoff spot. Syracuse is tied with Manchester, which also has 73 points.
Adirondack and Portland are tied for ninth place with 70 points. Albany and Providence each have 69.
The Phantoms have eight games remaining in the regular season, including a crucial rematch with Syracuse on Friday at the Civic Center.
Andrew Rowe gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead 8:04 into the second period, beating Tarkki on a breakaway after receiving a pass from Cullen Eddy.
But former Phantom Pat Maroon had the equalizer less than a minute later. The goal was Maroon’s 29th, adding to his career-high. He has four goals and six assists in nine games against Adirondack this season.
Syracuse outshot the Phantoms 23-10 over the final period and overtime, but Leighton repeatedly came up big, including a stop on Maroon in overtime.
Ben Holmstrom nearly won it for the Phantoms with 14 seconds left in the extra period, ringing a shot off the crossbar on a two-on-one.
Jason Akeson, Denis Hamel, Matt Ford, Andrew Rowe and Rob Bordson were the skaters for the Phantoms in the shootout. Hamel had been 3 for 3 in shootouts this season, but his hard shot just missed in the second round.
The Phantoms extended their point streak to four games. Syrcause, meanwhile, has points in eight straight games. The Crunch have lost just once in their last 10 games in regulation.
Neither Nick Cousins or Campbell Elynuik, the two forwards signed this week, dressed for the Phantoms. Rookie forward Derek Mathers was in the lineup for the fourth straight game and had his first professional fight.
Forwards Garrett Klotz and Luke Pither were healthy scratches and forward Tye McGinn remained out with an upper-body injury.