On the Farm: Phantoms working out early kinks

photo by T.J. Hooker, Glens Falls Post-Star

After only playing three games in two weeks, the Phantoms just completed three games in three nights.  Many around here were worried about back-to-back-to-back games, but the boys managed points in all three games.  Finishing the weekend with two wins and an overtime loss.  The Phantoms sit 3-2-1 for 7 points, good enough for third place in East Division.

On paper this team appeared to have no questions on offense, but had many questions in the defensive end.  After six games there seems to be more questions about the offense and less about the defense.  The Phantoms have managed only 14 goals so far.  Not to mention their 20th ranked power play is only 6 for 26 on the season.  This included opening the season 0 for 10 before getting a power play goal against Springfield.  The defense has been very solid except for two periods in Syracuse that led to six goals.  The addition of Randy Jones, a late Flyer cut, instantly gave another veteran presence to the defense.  Nic Riopel, Johan Backlund, and Brian Boucher have all seen action in goal for the Phantoms.  Riopel looked solid on opening night, but gave up a lot of rebounds.  Backlund appears to be the real deal, and could be a solid back-up at the NHL level.  Boucher got the start tonight on a conditioning assignment from the Flyers.  Anytime you have a goalie with NHL experience you stand a better chance of getting two points.

So far the Phantoms are averaging 4,282 people per game.  Just a reminder for you all, the Glens Falls Civic Center holds a little over 4,800 for hockey.  This includes an opening night record of 5,411.  The Phantoms drew 4,912 this Saturday for their first game versus the Albany River Rats.  Adirondack will play the Rats 11 more times this season in the Time Warner Cup.  This is a 12 game series with the winner getting a trophy, the Time Warner Cup, at the end.  Both teams are wearing special third sweaters for this series.

Jared Ross was named captain, with Joey Mormina and Sean Curry serving as assistant captains.  Matt Clackson has quickly become a fan favorite.  He is willing to drop the gloves with anyone and leads the team with 24 penalty minutes.  Krys Kolanos leads the team in scoring with 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points.  Kolanos has done this while only playing in four of the Phantoms six games.  He fell victim to the AHL veteran rule early in the season.  The Phantoms are only allowed to dress 6 players with more than 260 games experience at the AHL, NHL, and/or Elite European league level.  The Phantoms have 7 players currently on the roster who are considered veterans by this rule.  Coach Greg Gilbert claimed he was going to have to make that call each night, making a veteran a healthy scratch.

Overall the Phantoms are off to a good start here in Glens Falls.  There is a lot talk around town about the team and having the AHL back once again.        

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