GLENS FALLS -- If it weren't for one great shift in the first period Wednesday night, Andrew Rowe may have never had the chance to score his game-tying goal in the third.

Coach Joe Paterson's use of his fourth line goes something like this: show me something and I'll put you back out there. If not, get used to the idea of watching from the bench.

Rowe, whose spot in the lineup has been precarious of late, sure showed something. On a dogged shift as the lone forechecker, he kept Binghamton pinned in its own end for nearly a minute, finally forcing a turnover.

The play didn't result in a goal, but it established the line would be a factor all night.

"He kept playing because he was playing so well," Paterson said. "The guy comes out and he plays well, he's going to take ice time and that's what happened the first, second shift. Then he played more."

Rowe rewarded the extra ice time by scoring the tying goal in a game the Phantoms went on to win.

Rowe, a rookie, had been a healthy scratch the last two games and three of the last six. The strong effort came at the perfect time for his psyche.

"Yeah, I needed to get my confidence back up..." Rowe said. "We've been grinding a little bit harder in practice. Being the fourth line you have to work extra hard. You have to earn your playing time and that's what we've been doing. It paid off and hopefully we can continue it."

Of course, even his strong performance is no guarantee he'll remain in the lineup Friday night when the Charlotte Checkers roll into town for the last game before the all-star break.

The former Albany River Rats have been a devilish opponent for the Phantoms the past two season. They're 13-2 against the Phantoms and have won all seven games at the Civic Center.

The Phantoms may have some extra help on defense.

Philadelphia waived defenseman Matt Walker on Thursday. He's expected to clear and could play for the Phantoms as early as Friday.

Walker, due to make $1.275 million this season, has been limited by hip injuries to just four games after being acquired in a trade for Simon Gagne in the summer. Walker played three games with the Phantoms on a rehab stint earlier in the season.

Loose pucks: Eric Wellwood missed the last game with an injury. He's questionable for Friday.

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