Phantoms Opening Night Success
For the first time since the Phantoms moved to Glens Falls, there are playoff expectations for this franchise. Saturday, October 8th was opening night for the Phantoms as they welcomed the Connecticut Whale to the new and improved Glens Falls Civic Center.
After struggling through 71 and 72 point seasons, expectations are high as the Phantoms returned a core of players that played .600 hockey after their first 30 games last year. After opening night festivities, many fans had flashbacks to the last two years.
Connecticut Whale, Kris Newbury, scored on a deflection only 38 seconds into the game, beating Michael Leighton five hole. Nine minutes later Oskar Bartulis scored on a nice pass from Brayden Schenn. After many in the building thought momentum had changed and the atmosphere returned to the building, Newbury got his second of the game. Newbury added a third goal, his first career hat trick, only a minute into the second period.
With the Phantoms trailing 3-1, many expected the Phantoms to play out the rest of the game, and take the loss like seen in the past. AHL veteran Denis Hamel scored the Phantoms second goal with assists going to Cullen Eddy and Mike Testwuide.
Nine minutes later Kevin Marshall scored to level the game at 3, assists to Schenn and Hamel. The Phantoms took the lead with 3 minutes left in the period when Luke Pither scored with assists to Shane Harper and Blake Kessel. The Phantoms got an insurance goal in the third from Eric Wellwood with assists from Garrett Roe and Bartulis.
The Phantoms finished their scoring with an empty net goal from Testwuide with assists going to Roe and Hamel. The 6-3 win sent the 4,521 Phantom fans home with an opening night victory for the first time in three years.