Phantoms Opener

Jason McKibben - jmckibben@poststar.com Fans stand and cheer after the Adirondack Phantoms tie the score 3-3 in the second period of the opening night game against the Connecticut Whale Saturday night, October 8, 2011, at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

GLENS FALLS -- The Adirondack Phantoms didn't erase many two-goal deficits last season.

New year. New team. New result.

The Phantoms rallied for three straight goals in the second period and beat Connecticut 6-3 on Saturday before an opening night crowd of 4,521 at the Civic Center.

"I think everyone's one year older and that makes a huge difference," said Phantoms forward Eric Wellwood, who had a goal. "You can see the experience in the guys. Everybody seemed a lot more patient with the puck."

If fans were looking for a reason to believe this season would be different, particularly offensively, the Phantoms gave them faith.

Adirondack scored five or more goals eight times last season and just twice in their first 25 games. It took them more than 50 games to score six.

Saturday, they had five by the middle of the third period.

Heralded 20-year-old rookie Brayden Schenn set up two goals. Defensemen Kevin Marshall and Oskars Bartulis each scored one and Luke Pither had another.

"Schenn was very good," Phantoms coach Joe Paterson said. "He was put in a huge role tonight and he really came through."

Schenn, the NHL's No. 5 overall pick in 2009 and the centerpiece of an offseason trade by the Flyers, looked right at home with his new teammates after getting here in time for just a couple of practices.

Schenn may not be here for long. The Flyers stashed him here to start the season to give some extra time to recoup from a camp injury and to get under the initial NHL salary cap.

"I feel good," Schenn said. "I'm just going to use this down here to get ready and hopefully get the call back up there soon."

The Phantoms overcame a hat trick from Kris Newbury, who scored on a strange deflection just 37 seconds into the game and later scored on a power play to make it 3-1 Whale in the opening second of the second period.

"I thought it was a little bit scary at first," Paterson said. "Being down 3-1, I really liked how our guys stayed composed, they kept battling and we battled back and it was a huge win for us."

Denis Hamel got one back right away, deflecting a Cullen Eddy shot home.

Schenn did the heavy lifting on the tying goal. After getting stopped on a good chance in front, he found Marshall at the point.

"We didn't lose our composure," Schenn said. "We kind of had a slow start, but we finally got some chemistry going there."

Luke Pither scored the eventual game-winning goal 17 minutes into the second period.

Michael Leighton stopped 24 of 27 shots to earn the win.

Loose pucks: Garrett Klotz is out with an injury. He may be out three weeks, according to Paterson... Jon Kalinski was also an injured scratch. He's day-to-day... Stefan Legein, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Johan Backlund were healthy scratches.

Connecticut (0-1) 2 1 0 - 3

Adirondack (1-0) 1 3 2 - 6

First period - 1, Connecticut, Newbury 1 (Kundratek), 0:37; 2, Adirondack, Bartulis 1 (Schenn), 9:21; 3, Connecticut, Newbury 2 (Nightingale), 12:15. Penalties  - Schenn, Adk (hooking), 7:01; Marshall, Adk (high-sticking), 19:56.

Second period - 4, Connecticut, Newbury 3 (Mitchell, Redden), 1:09 (pp); 5, Adirondack, Hamel 1 (Eddy, Testwuide), 2:53; 6, Adirondack, Marshall 1 (Hamel, Schenn), 11:11; 7, Adirondack, Pither 1 (Harper, Kessel), 17:00. Penalties - Niemi, Connecticut (interference), 4:47; Mitchell, Connecticut (boarding), 9:02; Lauridsen, Adirondack (hooking), 13:18; Gustafsson, Adirondack (delay of game), 19:42.

Third period - 3rd Period-8, Adirondack, Wellwood 1 (Roe, Bartulis), 7:22 (pp); 9, Adirondack, Testwuide 1 (Hamel, Roe), 19:54 (en).Penalties - Audy-Marchessault, Connecticut (slashing), 3:09; Harper, Adirondack (tripping), 5:03; Fast, Connecticut (tripping), 6:55; Bartulis, Adk (tripping), 9:55; Redden, Connecticut (tripping), 11:04; Parlett, Connecticut (delay of game), 12:59.

Goalies-saves - Connecticut 8-8-11-27; Adirondack 8-11-5-24.

Power-play opportunities - Connecticut 1/6; Adirondack 1/6.

Goalies - Connecticut, Talbot 0-1-0 (23 shots-18 saves); Adirondack, Leighton 1-0-0 (27 shots-24 saves).

Referee - Charron.

A - 4,521


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