Phantoms vs. Crunch: Score tied 1-1 after chippy first period

GLENS FALLS -- Through one period of play, Shane Harper has the Adirondack Phantoms tied 1-1 with the Syracuse Crunch. Some notes and observations from the first:

* With the Phantoms on their second power play of the game 6:18 into the game, Syracuse gained possession and cleared the puck. Zac Rinaldo took out Syracuse captain Mike Angelidis well behind the play and was whistled for boarding.

* That said, Rinaldo was given minutes at center on the checking line against Syracuse's top unit. Keep in mind Syracuse is a top-5 scoring team in the AHL and they went on a billion game winning streak a year ago as the Norfolk Admirals.

* Syracuse's Cory Conacher is really, really good. He had 39 goals a year ago in the AHL and he opened the scoring for the Crunch about midway through the first period with his sixth goal in seven-and-one-sixth games. Marc-Andre Bourdon was embarrassed on the play. Conacher is really, really good.

* Harper redeemed himself for the undisciplined penalty late in the period, though, tipping a Cullen Eddy point shot past Tokarski to tie the game at 1-1. Sean Couturier won the faceoff cleanly back to Eddy, because that's what Sean Couturier do.

* Shortly after the Conacher goal, Shane Harper buried a Crunch player in the corner to the right of goaltender Dustin Tokarski. It started a bit of a melee in which Brandon Manning and a partner were sent off for roughing, Cullen Eddy and Syracuse's Radko Gudas were sent off for fighting and Harper, naturally, was sent to the box for boarding.

* This game could get a bit chippy as we continue through the final 40 minutes. Erik Gustafsson got embroiled with a Syracuse player near the visiting bench as the final seconds ticked off the first period clock and both teams nearly came to blows. Fun stuff. Hockey. Such a novel concept.

* The Phantoms just look a bit sloppy all around. In the offensive end of the ice, the communication seems a bit off. In the defensive end, the positioning seems a bit off. It's just one period, though -- we'll see how this evolves throughout the game.

* The Adirondack power play is talented as all hell. The top unit consists of Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Tye McGinn, Danny Syvret and Brandon Manning, and you'd expect them to run all over just about any AHL opponent. But the Risky Play Quotient was high in that first period and the miscommunication was more glaring here than at even strength. They got their chances as well, though, and seemed to settle with each of their three power plays in the period.

1-1 through one period. The Phantoms have 15 seconds of power play time left on fresh ice to start the second and lead the shot count 8-3.

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