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Phantoms still not able to find way past Binghamton

2011-12-29T00:12:00Z 2011-12-29T00:48:07Z Phantoms still not able to find way past BinghamtonBy TIM McMANUS -- Glens Falls Post-Star
December 29, 2011 12:12 am  • 

GLENS FALLS -- The Binghamton Senators only have a handful of players remaining from last season's team that won a Calder Cup title. They still look like champions against the Adirondack Phantoms.

The Senators beat the Phantoms 5-2 on Wednesday night, as Adirondack opened a four-game holiday homestand in front of a crowd of 3,536 at the Civic Center.

Binghamton, in last place in the conference most of the season, has beaten the Phantoms three times since Dec. 16 and is 4-0 against Adirondack for the season.

"It's just one of those things in hockey," said Binghamton forward Rob Klinkhammer, who had a hat trick. "Sometimes you just match up well against teams. And I don't even know what it is, but we play well against these guys."

He's not kidding.

The Senators have won the four games by a cumulative score of 16-5. Nearly a quarter of their 13 wins have come against the Phantoms.

"It's just the point of the schedule where we're playing them a lot right now," Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom said. "They're a good team. We just can't find a way to get it done right now."

The common thread in the four wins has been the goaltending play of Mike McKenna. He's held the Phantoms to two goals or fewer in each game.

McKenna made 28 saves Wednesday.

"We put a lot to the net tonight," Holmstrom said. "(McKenna) definitely played well. I think we just got to capitalize on our chances. We had a couple around there. We got a couple to go, but you've got to score more than two to win a game most nights."

The Phantoms haven't scored much during their recent skid, which has seen them lose three in a row, four of five, and seven of their last nine.

In each of those seven losses, the Phantoms have scored two goals or fewer.

The lack of firepower made it difficult when the Phantoms fell behind 2-0 in the first period as the Senators turned a pair of turnovers into goals.

"We gave up two bad turnovers on the first goals," Phantoms coach Joe Paterson said. "I know they're not trying to do it, but it's a chance we haven't given up in a long time - breakaway chance or a two-on-one chance, three-on-one. There was just a few too many of those."

The Senators scored two goals on the rush in the third to take a 4-1 lead and put the game away.

Jason Akeson's power-play goal had cut the Binghamton lead to 2-1 late in the second period.

The goal broke a four-game scoreless streak on the power play. The Phantoms last scored a power-play goal in a win over Rochester on Dec. 10.

They were 0 for 12 during that span. They went 2 for 6 on Wednesday.

Holmstrom scored a late goal on the power-play to cut the Binghamton lead to 4-2.

Klinkhammer added an empty-netter to set the final score and complete the hat trick.

Loose pucks: Forward Eric Wellwood played for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on Nov. 21. He missed 13 games. ... Forward Garrett Klotz sat out his second game in a row with a lower-body injury. He's day-to-day. ... Forward Andrew Rowe and defenseman Andy Thomas were healthy scratches.

Binghamton (12-19-1-1) 2 0 3 - 5

Adirondack (15-12-1-1) 0 1 1 - 2

First period - 1, Binghamton, Locke 2 (Klinkhammer), 8:39; 2, Binghamton, Cannone 8 15:06. Penalties - Manning, Adk (high-sticking), 5:46; served by Akeson Adk (bench minor-unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:06; Borowiecki, Bng (holding), 15:26; Klinkhammer, Bng (high-sticking), 19:37.

Second period - 3, Adirondack, Akeson 8 (Kessel), 15:04 (pp). Penalties - Leighton, Adk (delay of game), 8:11; Da Costa, Bng (double minor-high-sticking), 13:46.

Third period - 4, Binghamton, Klinkhammer 6 (Locke, Borowiecki), 9:58; 5, Binghamton, Klinkhammer 7 (Parrish, Da Costa), 11:50; 6, Adirondack, Holmstrom 9 (Akeson, Kessel), 18:05 (pp). 7, Binghamton, Klinkhammer 8 (Locke), 19:46 (en). Penalties - Gryba, Bng (high-sticking), 6:11; Kalinski, Adk (tripping), 14:33; Ratchuk, Bng (cross-checking), 17:13.

Shots on goal - Binghamton 13-7-10-30; Adirondack 11-12-10-33.

Power-play opportunities - Binghamton 0-4; Adirondack 2-6.

Goalies - Binghamton, McKenna 7-9-0 (33 shots-31 saves); Adirondack, Leighton 11-11-0 (29 shots-25 saves).

Referees - T.Koharski, Ciamaga.

Att. - 3,536.

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