GLENS FALLS -- Many of the Adirondack Phantoms have adopted the term Phantoms 2.0 to refer to the post-lockout version of the team. They’re hoping to be a new, updated version that can go on a good run and even make the playoffs.
Friday night, however, they proved that the end of the lockout did not change their recurring issues.
Phantoms 2.0, like Phantoms 1.0, started the game slowly. After digging themselves into a hole, they played a strong third period, but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 4-3 loss to Albany.
There was one difference. The Phantoms only took five shots in the first period, compared to Albany’s 15, but they did capitalize. Adirondack scored two goals on those five shots and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The lack of energy caught up with them, however. Albany tallied three goals in the second period to put the Phantoms in a hole out of which they couldn’t climb. Adirondack totaled nine shots through the first two periods and was outshot by 22.
“We were capitalizing on our chance, but we need more shots than nine shots in two periods,” forward Jason Akeson said. “It was good that we got those two goals on whatever it was, but at the end of the day, we need more shots than nine.”
It wasn’t just a lack of shots that hurt the Phantoms. Not only did they not create opportunities for themselves, they created them for the Devils. Adirondack could not hold onto the puck and turned it over repeatedly.
“It was a bad first and second,” head coach Terry Murray said. “They had 31 shots after two periods, I think 18 of them probably came off our sticks with passing, turnovers. We’re not managing pucks at all and they end up just hemming us in.”
When the third period started, it was as if someone had flipped a switch. The Phantoms started crashing the net and creating opportunities for themselves. To some extent, the Devils backed off offensively to protect their lead, but it was also a different-looking Phantoms team.
The third period was more of what Phantoms 2.0 was supposed to look like — lots of energy and a team that looked like it wanted to win.
Twenty minutes is not enough to win a game, however.
“We’ve got to play more like we did in the third. At the end of the game, there was a lot more chances,” said Akeson, who was involved in all three Phantoms goals. “I think it’s mental, mental preparation. We need to come ready to play. We need that desperation we had in the third in the first period.”
The Phantoms almost pulled it off.
Left wing Tye McGinn, fresh off of training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers, welcomed himself home with a goal to bring the Phantoms within one. McGinn came around from behind the net and slammed home the rebound of Akeson’s shot halfway through the third period.
With 3.7 seconds left, the Phantoms thought they had the tying goal, but Albany goaltender Keith Kinkaid had knocked the net off the moorings and the goal was waved off.
It was not a night for puck luck.
“They beat us,” Murray said. “We were not good tonight.”
Loose pucks: Tyler Hostetter has been racking up the mileage this week. The defenseman was reassigned to Trenton again Thursday night. He had been reassigned to the ECHL for Trenton’s game Wednesday morning, then returned to the Phantoms for practice Thursday. ... Defenseman Brandon Manning left Friday’s game because he was sick. Zack FitzGerald moved back to defense and the Phantom rotated the third and fourth lines.
Albany 1 3 0 — 4
Adirondack 2 0 1 — 3
First Period—1, Albany, Anderson 6 (Whitney, Burlon), 3:22. 2, Adirondack, Akeson 4 (Syvret, Zolnierczyk), 8:55 (pp). 3, Adirondack, Noebels 2 (Lilja, Akeson), 10:36. Penalties—served by Pesonen, Alb (bench minor - too many men), 6:58; Lilja, Adk (boarding), 13:05; McKelvie, Alb (fighting), 16:03; Eddy, Adk (fighting), 16:03; Lilja, Adk (holding), 17:51.
Second Period—4, Albany, Pesonen 7 (Sislo, Burlon), 9:05. 5, Albany, Whitney 7 (Zalewski, Gelinas), 12:39. 6, Albany, Whitney 8 (Sislo), 17:14. Penalties—McKelvie, Alb (goaltender interference, fighting), 6:29; Eddy, Adk (fighting), 6:29; Zajac, Alb (fighting), 12:52; Lauridsen, Adk (fighting), 12:52.
Third Period—7, Adirondack, McGinn 10 (Akeson), 10:04. Penalties—Hrabarenka, Alb (delay of game), 4:12.
Shots on Goal—Albany 15-16-4—35. Adirondack 5-4-21—30.
Power Plays—Albany 0-2; Adirondack 1-3.
Goalies—Albany, Kinkaid 12-8-3 (30 shots-27 saves). Adirondack, Heeter 6-11-1 (35 shots-31 saves).
A—4,606. Referee—Geno Binda.