GLENS FALLS -- In theory, 43 shots on net and 4 goals should be enough to win a game. Theory, however, was not enough for the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday night as they fell to Rochester, 5-4 in a shootout.
“We scored enough goals to win the game,” head coach Terry Murray said. “When you score four in regulation time, you should win.”
This was not one of the games where the Phantoms took a lot of shots that didn’t have much of a prayer and just tallied a high number. Most of those 43 shots came on legitimate scoring attempts, and they just ran into a wall in Americans goaltender David Leggio, who made 42 saves including the shootout.
“He ended up being the difference in the game,” Murray said. “He made some really good stops, a couple of spectacular stops. There were a few plays that I know just hit him; he came out of a crowd and they hit him. But in the end he wins the game, gets the job done in the shootout.”
The Phantoms had a solid chance to get on the board first, when Marcel Noebels forced a turnover, chased down the puck and set up Jon Sim in front of the net, but Leggio made the save. That became the theme of the night — a good scoring chance, but Leggio made the save.
Sim had a total of three good chances in the first period, and the third, a deflection of Jason Akeson’s shot from the point, finally went in. He went on to add another goal, an assist and a score in the shootout.
“You have to just stay with it,” Sim said. “If you’re getting good opportunities, you just have to stay with it. Keep doing the same things you’re doing, don’t get frustrated. I stayed with it and eventually we got one, got two, Noebels got one, we got a greasy one from (Garrett) Roe.”
He was a sort of microcosm for the team as a whole. Many times over the course of the season, this up-and-down team has gotten frustrated and then lost its momentum and unraveled.
Saturday, it didn’t. The Phantoms kept pushing, even as Rochester pulled ahead every time they started to come back. Eventually, they came back from a 4-2 deficit and tied it up.
Sim’s second goal of the night, a dart just underneath the crossbar, made it 4-3 with 18:29 to play. Then, Roe tipped a shot from Blake Kessel past Leggio.
“You don’t want to change anything (going into the third),” Murray said. “You have good momentum going, you’re cycling, you’re getting plays to the net. The most important thing then is to stay with it. You don’t want to get yourself into a track-meet game, trying to hit the home-run play in the first five minutes of the period.”
On the other end of the ice, the Americans scored on 25 percent of their shots through the first 31 minutes, chasing Brian Boucher out of the game. Cal Heeter replaced him and made 11 saves, but let up another goal.
Murray called it an off-night for Boucher and said he allowed goals that Murray would expect a NHL goaltender to save.
Heeter made three saves in the shootout, but the Phantoms could only match one of the two goals scored by Mark Mancari and Colin Jacobs. Leggio made four saves on the Phantoms, continuing to be the difference in the game.
Rochester 1 2 1 0 — 5
Adirondack 1 1 2 0 — 4
First Period — 1, Rochester, Rissmiller 3 7:11 (pp). 2, Adirondack, Sim 11 (Akeson, Wellwood), 12:35 (pp). Penalties — Eddy, Adk (boarding), 6:54; Lilja, Adk (delay of game), 7:01; Crawford, Rch (slashing), 10:44.
Second Period — 3, Rochester, Roy 7 (Crawford, Jacobs), 8:27. 4, Rochester, Schiestel 1 (Jacobs, Rankin), 11:26. 5, Adirondack, Noebels 12 (Sim, Dimmen), 12:23. Penalties — No Penalties
Third Period — 6, Rochester, Mancari 21 (Larsson, Biega), 0:34. 7, Adirondack, Sim 12 (Bordson, Harper), 1:31. 8, Adirondack, Roe 11 (Kessel, Lilja), 12:11. Penalties — No Penalties
Overtime — No Scoring. Penalties — No Penalties
Shootout — Rochester 2 (Rissmiller NG, Larsson NG, Mancari G, Jacobs G, Biega NG), Adirondack 1 (Akeson NG, Flanagan NG, Sim G, Noebels NG, Syvret NG).
Shots on Goal — Rochester 7-6-9-2-1-25. Adirondack 15-17-10-1-0-43.
Power Play Opportunities — Rochester 1/2; Adirondack 1/1.
Goalies — Rochester, Leggio 36-22-1 (43 shots-39 saves). Adirondack, Boucher 5-6-1 (12 shots-9 saves); Heeter 10-14-3 (12 shots-11 saves).
A — 4,158
Referee — Jamie Koharski (84).