There is still quite a bit of AHL hockey left to be played before the Calder Cup, but it’s never too early to be checking in on the rankings.
The Adirondack Phantoms look really good on paper with players like Sean Couturier, Brandon Manning, Tye McGinn, Harry Zolnierczyk, Brayden Schenn, etc. They look okay in their own division having maintained the 4th spot in the East Division with a record of 10-12-1-0 and 21 points. They are just shy of the 3rd spot by one point, which The Connecticut Whale currently hold.
The problem arises when looking at the Phantoms spot in the Eastern Conference, because they are not doing well in that category. They are the 13th spot in the whole conference. Since only the top 8 seeded teams from each conference goes to the quarter finals, they have a lot of catching up to do if they want to be Calder Cup Contenders this year.
That being said, The Phantoms need to stop losing so many games in order to get to the playoffs, which is obvious. Unfortunately, the Providence Bruins did not want this to happen as they led the Phantoms to another defeat sunday afternoon in overtime.
While the Phantoms were trying to cut down on their penalties (which is always a good practice) they still had 12 PIMS over the Bruins 10. The Bruins also out shot (47-26) the Phantoms the entire game which is probably one of the major factors why the Bruins won the game. The Bruins also got the early lead late in the first period with an unassisted goal scored by Jamie Tardiff. The Bruins has two PP opportunities prior to Tardiff’s goal, but Scott Munroe was able to keep them out of his crease only letting in 1 of 16 shots. (Bruins goalie Niklas Svedberg only faced 7 shots in the period).
The Bruins assaulted Munroe in the second period with shots again in favor of them (22-6) but the Phantoms did manage to tie the game early in the period. Tye McGinn scored the game tying goal assisted by defenseman Erik Gustafsson and center Brayden Schenn.
The Bruins did not let the game stay tied for long. They got the upper leg from Phantom’s Manning who was called for a slashing penalty. Tardiff look advantage of this PP by scoring the 2nd Bruins goal with the help from his teammates, center Ryan Spooner and left winger Chris Bourque.
The Phantoms were unable to retaliate in the second period, but they fought harder in the final period, this time out shooting the Bruins. (12-8). It wasn’t much, but it did help them later in the period when defenseman Jeff Dinmen took Jason Akeson and McGinn’s help on the PP to tie the game once again. (2-2).
Neither team was able to break the tie before the period ended so this led the game to a five minute over time period. The Bruins did not let it go to five minute as center Kyle MacKinnon scored the game winning goal with help from defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Bourque. They won the game 3-2 in OT.
The fact that the loss was in OT is better for the Phantoms than a regulation time loss, but it does not help their struggling game record. They have to bump themselves up five spots in the conference just to be the last team in the playoffs. So they still have a lot to do in the coming months.
This team looks good on paper and despite some pivotal goals and plays, they are faltering on the ice. So the Phantoms are not quite Calder Cup Contenders yet. With how talented their roster is, it’s kind of surprising.
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