Phantoms edge Connecticut in OT, 4-3 Akeson’s second of game the winner

GLENS FALLS, NY – Jason Akeson’s second goal of the game at 3:31 of overtime gave the Adirondack Phantoms a 4-3 win over the Connecticut Whale Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Akeson took a pass from Danny Syvret and got loose down the right side of the slot, before firing a slap shot past Whale goaltender Cam Talbot for the win.

The standings point for the overtime loss allowed the Whale (35-29-6-3, 79 pts.) to maintain a share of seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Connecticut is tied for seventh with the Norfolk Admirals, who won 4-3 in overtime at Worcester, four points ahead of Hershey and Manchester.

Rob Bordson also had a goal and two assists for Adirondack, and Cal Heeter made 28 saves. Brandon Mashinter had a goal and an assist for the Whale, with Talbot making 32 saves.Whale and C-01

The early highlight of the first period was a spirited fight at 7:38 between the Whale’s Dylan McIlrath and Adirondack’s Zack FitzGerald, and the only scoring of the first was a shorthanded goal by the Phantoms’ Scott Laughton at 16:28.

Laughton, a former Philadelphia Flyers first-round draft pick playing only his second AHL game, broke up a Whale pass in center ice and moved down right wing into the Whale zone. Using the lone Connecticut defender back as a screen, Laughton snapped a shot that Talbot appeared not to see until it was past him and into the net.

Bordson then gave Adirondack a 2-0 lead at 3:19 of the second period, after a Whale turnover. A Mike Vernace pass went hit the skates of Nick Palmieri, allowing Bordson to steal, and Talbot got a big piece of Bordson’s shot off of right wing but could not stop it.

The Whale would get the next three of the game, though, the first two in a span of 35 seconds.

Marek Hrivik got Connecticut on the board with his sixth of the year at 6:03. Christian Thomas passed the puck out of the left-wing corner to Hrivik high in the slot, and Hrivik’s shot went by the glove side of Heeter, who was being screened by Kelsey Tessier.

Benn Ferriero tied the score at 6:38, putting a shot past Heeter from a nearly impossible angle. The right-handed-shooting Ferriero got to the right-wing corner to track down a Mashinter dump-in, and managed to fire the puck from below the goal line high into the net behind Heeter.

The Whale then took their first lead of the game at 13:12, with Mashinter scoring on a tip-in. Vernace wristed the puck toward the net from the left point, and Mashinter got to the slot to deflect it past Heeter.

At 16:15, however, Adirondack scored its second shorthanded goal of the game, against a Whale power-play unit that had given up only three shorthanders all season coming into the night.

Bordson carried into the Whale zone and centered the puck through a diving Thomas to Akeson, who was able to jam it past Talbot for a 3-3 tie. That held up throughout a third period in which the Whale were shorthanded four times, before the Phantoms came up with the overtime winner.

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