ALBANY -- The Adirondack Phantoms had many chances to make something happen. They had power plays, odd-man rushes, breakaways and couldn’t take advantage of any of them.
In the end, it was a game of missed opportunities for the Adirondack Phantoms, who fell to the Albany Devils Saturday night, 2-1.
“We had a lot of missed opportunities,” said Eric Wellwood, who scored the Phantoms’ only goal of the night. “Scoring one goal doesn’t reflect as many grade-A chances as we had. I think we could have had four or five. (Jeff) Frazee played pretty good in net tonight and it’s unfortunate that we didn’t capitalize on our great chances.”
The Phantoms had seven power plays in the game, but did not tally a single goal on the advantage. Adirondack had an extended five-on-three opportunity at the end of the second period.
Tim Sestito took a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for swinging his stick at Cullen Eddy, who was sitting on the Phantoms bench, with 1:51 left in the period. Thirty-nine seconds later, Bobby Butler joined him, serving a too many men on the ice penalty. The Phantoms came up empty.
“The one power play that you have to advantage of, a critical turning point in the game I thought, was the five-on-three,” head coach Terry Murray said. “We missed those opportunities. We didn’t get anything set up, we didn’t have the offensive zone time to get anything going to generate any shots on net even.
“To me that’s a missed opportunity and it’s a golden opportunity.”
The Phantoms had a some good chances at even-strength also, the most deflating of which came early in the third period.
Tye McGinn got a beautiful pass from Brandon Manning and appeared to have the shot just inside the left post. Frazee, the Albany goalie, managed to get his skate out in time to seal the opening.
“Tried to get my stick on it as much as I could, I got some of it, I didn’t get all of it and he made a nice save with his toe. That’s hockey I guess. I wish I could take it back but you can’t,” McGinn said.
The bench reacted as if McGinn had scored, which would have given the Phantoms a 2-1 lead with about 16:30 to play.
“We were all cheering, that was a great play by Manning. That’s a hard shot for a lefty to get a shot off like that. If he scored it, that’s an NHL goal. It’s very hard but we definitely thought it went in,” said Wellwood.
Instead, it was Matt Anderson who tallied the eventual winning goal just about 10 seconds later for Albany. The missed chance turned into a stolen opportunity for the Devils.
The Phantoms had a chance to set the tone early when Harry Zolnierczyk had a shorthanded breakaway opportunity just 4:28 into the game. Frazee, however, made the save, one of his 22 on the night.
Zolnierczyk had another chance to score the first goal of the game 7:33 into the second period. Marc-Andre Bourdon stepped out of the penalty box and got the puck, then waited for Zolnierczyk to catch up in a two-on-one odd-man rush. Zolnierczyk fired off a shot, but again Frazee made the save, getting the blade of his skate on the puck.
“Individually, I’m almost a couple breakaways there,” Zolnierczyk said. “I just didn’t have it, just didn’t have that finish tonight.”
The Phantoms had another chance on the power play with just 2:28 to play in the game. With just over a minute to play, Adirondack pulled Scott Munroe from the goal to create a six-on-four chance. As was the case all night, they couldn’t make it happen.
“The opportunities are there and you gotta make good on them,” Zolnierczyk said. “It’s just frustrating.”
Adirondack 0 1 0 — 1
Albany 0 1 1 — 2
First Period — None. Penalties — Manning, Adk (interference), 3:22; Zolnierczyk, Adk (interference), 8:05; Gustafsson, Adk (tripping), 13:25; Butler, Alb (hooking), 13:33.
Second Period — 1, Albany, Butler 1 (Whitney, Corrente), 13:44. 2, Adirondack, Wellwood 1, 17:37. Penalties — McPherson, Alb (slashing), 3:04; Wiseman, Alb (slashing), 5:15; Rinaldo, Adk (slashing), 6:44; Manning, Adk (roughing), 8:48; Bourdon, Adk (roughing), 10:17; Sestito, Alb, minor-misconduct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:09; Albany bench (too many men), 18:40.
Third Period — 3, Albany, Anderson 2 (Josefson, Wiseman), 3:41. Penalties — Wellwood, Adk (hooking), 5:12; Urbom, Alb (interference), 11:58; Gustafsson, Adk (diving), 14:08; Corrente, Alb (cross-checking), 14:08; Bourdon, Adk (roughing), 15:45; Kelly, Alb (roughing), 15:45; Josefson, Alb (boarding), 17:32.
Shots on goal — Adirondack 10-8-5—23. Albany 14-6-11—31.
Power plays — Adirondack 0-7; Albany 0-7.
Goalies — Adirondack, Munroe 3-3-0 (31 shots-29 saves). Albany, Frazee 2-1-1 (23-22).
A — 5,131
Referees — Hanson.