GLENS FALLS -- A couple of soft goals in the third period made the difference between a victory and just another disappointing loss for the Adirondack Phantoms.
After the fourth line came up big to give the Phantoms their first lead in three games, it broke down to allow a sloppy game-winner and Adirondack fell 3-2 to Manchester on Saturday.
Tyler Brown lost an edge and fell down on the play as he tried to send the puck up the boards, but Slava Voynov stepped in front of it. The defenseman took a shot that made its way past three Phantoms, including goaltender Cal Heeter. The puck went through Mike Testwuide’s legs, off Brown’s stick and under Heeter’s glove with 3:32 to play.
“Brownie kind of blew his wheel and it got tipped,” Testwuide said. “I tried to block it and I was screening (Cal) Heeter and it just found the back of the net, pretty disappointing.”
Even with Testwuide standing in front of Heeter, it was a soft goal and the goaltender knew it.
“I saw the guy winding up and then didn’t see it until it was past the first guy, who was trying to block it, and then lost it again at the second guy right in front of me,” Heeter said. “That’s a shot I need to stop, regardless of if anyone blocks me or screens me.”
Earlier in the period, Tanner Pearson scored the equalizer on a rebound of Andrew Campbell’s shot from the blue line. The puck bounced off Heeter’s blocker and landed in the slot. Cullen Eddy tried to tie up Pearson, but the winger got the shot past Heeter 8:01 into the period.
“I’d like to re-do those goals,” head coach Terry Murray said. “Their second, their third goal, those are coming from as far away from the net as you could want — they’re coming from the far corners of the blue line. Unfortunately, we had that breakdown at the end.”
Until that point, the Phantoms had looked like a much-improved team over the previous night’s lackluster, lethargic group. Zac Rinaldo got the energy pulsing in the right direction 53 seconds into the game with his second fight in 12 minutes going back to the previous night.
“I knew it was the first television game and all the fans in Philly were watching, so I wanted to give them something to cheer about,” Rinaldo said. “(Richard Clune) is a good guy, but I fought him before and he was talking a lot during the warmup. Then he made that hit and the opportunity was there. It was a good time to get going again as far as fighting is concerned.”
The fourth line was the hero of the second period, as Brown and Testwuide both tallied their second goals of the season.
Just more than a minute and a half after Manchester got on the board, Jeff Dimmen made a move on a Monarch defenseman and sent the puck up to Testwuide at the right faceoff circle. Testwuide, who had not played in a game since Dec. 1, sent a dart past goaltender Peter Mannino.
“That was a great play, that was a great shot. It was a NHL shot, he put a lot behind it,” Murray said. “He came up big time for us tonight, not only scoring but there was good energy and he used his size and strength and moved the puck well.”
Manchester 0 1 2 — 3
Adirondack 0 2 0 — 2
First Period — No Scoring. Penalties — Clune, Mch (fighting), 0:53; Rinaldo, Adk (fighting), 0:53; Bordson, Adk (tripping), 6:29; Lauridsen, Adk (roughing), 9:23; Muzzin, Mch (holding), 17:55.
Second Period — 1, Manchester, Vey 7 (Pearson, Toffoli), 11:37. 2, Adirondack, Testwuide 2 (Dimmen, Brown), 13:06. 3, Adirondack, Brown 2 (Konan, Syvret), 19:16 (pp). Penalties — Ford, Adk (hooking), 0:40; Kozun, Mch (roughing), 17:35.
Third Period — 4, Manchester, Pearson 6 (Campbell, Vey), 8:01. 5, Manchester, Voynov 6 16:28. Penalties — No Penalties
Shots on Goal — Manchester 9-13-14-36. Adirondack 13-12-9-34.
Power Play Opportunities — Manchester 0/3; Adirondack 1/2.
Goalies — Manchester, Mannino 5-2-0 (34 shots-32 saves). Adirondack, Heeter 3-8-0 (36 shots-33 saves).
A — 3,747
Referees — Ryan Murphy (5).