GLENS FALLS -- Usually, taking more than 40 shots in a game leads to goals and wins. The equation hasn’t worked for the Phantoms lately, however.
At one point this season the Phantoms were struggling to put together quality shots, now they have the shots but can’t get them to go in.
Saturday night, the Phantoms took 46 shots, but still suffered a 3-2 loss to Albany. The Phantoms had the same problem the previous night, outshooting Binghamton 49-30 and losing 7-4.
“I thought we had our looks and we had our play in the offensive zone to give us a chance, and we are just not scoring right now,” head coach Terry Murray said.
The Phantoms’ chances started early. Harry Zolnierczyk had a good opportunity in the first period, but the shot sailed just wide. About a minute later, the Phantoms caught Albany goaltender Keith Kinkaid without his stick, but the netminder made blocker saves on two shots and then dived on a third.
“We put a lot of pucks to the net, we had a lot of great looks,” Murray said. “Their goalie made a couple of 10-bell saves in the first period, really outstanding saves.”
Eric Wellwood had another chance later in the period. He stole the puck at the blue line and had a late-developing breakaway, but Kinkaid easily made another save.
At the end of the period, the Phantoms led in shots, but it was the Devils who found the goal. Joe Whitney scored on a rebound with just three seconds left in the period and suddenly the momentum changed.
“We’re shooting the puck a lot more, we’re getting a lot more chances,” defenseman Danny Syvret said. “But again, it’s the same as last game, where they capitalize on way more chances than we do, because we definitely outnumber theirs.”
The Phantoms’ shots only increased as the game went on. They took 16 in the second period and another 17 in the final period and had even more chances that just missed the net. Many of them were grade-A chances and could have been goals, but they weren’t.
“It’s frustrating looking up at the clock and seeing that we’re pumping (off shots) and still on the wrong side of the scoreboard,” Syvret said.
“I think we were the better team today, but we pretty much gave them three goals on individual mistakes,” Erik Gustafsson added.
One of the things that had been limiting the Phantoms’ chances earlier in the season was the time they spend in the penalty box, killing off their own penalties and breaking up the flow.
The Phantoms only took two penalties in the game, both in the second period. That allowed them to continue to build momentum and maintain a flow to the game. The Phantoms’ two goals both came on the power play.
The first was after Corbin McPherson was called for interference. Gustafsson fired off a bullet, while Tye McGinn screened Kinkaid to bring the Phantoms within a goal.
McGinn again made it a one-goal game with 1:16 to play in the game. He took a shot from behind the net that hit off Kinkaid’s mask and into the net.
Two-for-seven on the power play and 46 shots should be a good stat line. Unfortunately for the Phantoms, the other half of it was two goals to the Devils’ three.
“There’s not a lot of things that are wrong, we’re outshooting teams by a wide margin and getting good territorial play, a lot of opportunities,” Murray said. “So, there aren’t a lot of things that need to be changed or worked at. We’re doing a good job, just stay with the program and things will turn around for us.”
Albany 1 1 1 — 3
Adirondack 0 1 1 — 2
First Period — 1, Albany, Whitney (Butler), 19:57. Penalties — Gelinas, Alb (boarding), 8:52; Corrente, Alb (high-sticking), 11:35.
Second Period — 2, Albany, Josefson (Larsson, Pesonen), 0:31. 3, Adirondack, Gustafsson (Syvret, Couturier), 6:31 (pp). Penalties — McPherson, Alb (interference), 6:00; Pesonen, Alb (delay of game), 9:38; McGinn, Adk (goaltender interference), 14:40; Zolnierczyk, Adk (hooking), 19:48.
Third Period — 4, Albany, Tedenby (Wiseman, Sestito), 4:16. 5, Adirondack, McGinn (Gustafsson, Akeson), 18:44 (pp). Penalties — Gelinas, Alb (slashing), 6:16; Tedenby, Alb (high-sticking), 10:42; Zalewski, Alb (holding), 18:10.
Shots on goal — Albany 8-17-9—34. Adirondack 13-16-17—46.
Power play — Albany 0-2; Adirondack 2-7.
Goalies — Albany, Kinkaid 1-5-3 (46 shots-44 saves). Adirondack, Heeter 3-5-0 (34-31).
A — 3,806
Referees — Brown, Ragusin.