GLENS FALLS -- Two games watching from the stands in a suit and Petr Straka got the message. He needed to pick up the intensity.
Straka did just that and scored his first two professional goals to help the Adirondack Phantoms to a 3-1 win over Albany on Saturday night.
“I’m not going to lie,” Straka said. “It feels good.”
Straka had five assists in the first five games, but then had two games that were a bit slower. He sat out last Saturday in Binghamton and Wednesday against Norfolk.
“He’s a player that’s got good offensive skills; he’s got speed, confidence with the puck,” head coach Terry Murray said. “He gets the opportunities and he’s going to take advantage of them.”
Straka took advantage of the opportunities on Saturday. First he took advantage of chemistry with his linemate.
Straka and Nick Cousins combined for a nice give-and-go with 3:37 remaining in the first period. Murray said he could tell he was looking at two passers because he thought they each had opportunities when they didn’t take the shot.
“The D-man was sort of sliding and I probably could have scored but I saw (Straka) backdoor and I though I’d give it to him,” Cousins said.
The two are often the last off the ice after practice, running drills long after the actual practice has ended. Cousins said they’re pretty good friends off the ice, too.
“He’s an incredible passer,” Straka said. “I remember the first time I got in two-on-one drills with him, I think we went four times and scored four goals. I was glad I got on the line with him. You saw the play; it was great.”
The second goal was less about the line. It was “a true goal-scorer’s goal” according to Murray.
Straka carried the puck through the crease and then at the last second took a shot backhand to give the Phantoms a 2-0 lead.
He said it was nice to get back into the top six, a role he’s more accustomed to playing. He got into that position after Tye McGinn was recalled by the Flyers on Saturday morning and stepped up to match the two goals McGinn had scored Friday.
Yann Danis also righted his game. The 2012 AHL Goalie of the Year said he did not get off to the start he wanted to this season. He had a .870 save percentage coming into the game and then made 25 saves on 26 shots, including a couple that easily could have been goals.
“They play a tough game for a goalie, they kinda sit back and wait on their chances,” Danis said. “They don’t shoot the puck a lot, but then when they do it’s a good scoring chance. I just tried to really stay in my game.”
Loose pucks: John Ray & Sons presented the Northeastern New York Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure with a check for $15,415 during the second intermission. The money was raised through the company’s Pink Truck as part of it’s Fueling a Cure program. In five years, the program has raised more than $70,000 to fund continuing education, screenings and treatment in the Capital Region.