(Photo: Kate Frese)
The Phantoms opened the month of November with a home-and-home against the Binghamton Devils and split the results, falling in overtime in Binghamton and rallying for a comeback win in overtime on Saturday.
Here’s how everything played out.
Friday, Nov. 2 – Binghamton 4, Phantoms 3 F/OT
Binghamton jumped out to an early lead with goals by Ryan Schmelzer and Brandon Gignac in the first period to give the Devils a 2-0 lead. The two goals were separated by 1:36.
The Phantoms erased the deficit in the second. David Kase scored at 5:04 to cut the lead to one. German Rubtsov tied the game just under four minutes later with a pretty shorthanded goal to even things at two.
The Phantoms grabbed the lead for the first time in the game at 7:29 of the third with Mikhail Vorobyev getting his first goal in the AHL this season. Michael McLeod tied the game for Binghamton with 3:18 remaining.
At 3:25 of overtime, Colton White used a nice move and lifted a backhand shot past Carter Hart for the game-winner in a 4-3 final.
Hart stopped 32 of 36 shots in the defeat.
Saturday, Nov. 3 – Phantoms 3, Binghamton 2 F/OT
The Phantoms have played in a lot of high-scoring games this season, but this was the opposite as the first 40 minutes came and went without any scoring.
Binghamton broke through first at 3:13 of the third as Pavel Zacha centered for Marian Studenic for the goal. Just under three minutes later, John Ramage fired what appeared to be a dump-in attempt on goal and past and unsuspecting Alex Lyon to make it 2-0.
With the teams playing at 4-on-4 with six minutes left in regulation, the Phantoms pulled the goalie and it paid off. With a fifth skater on the ice, the Phantoms set up like a power play and Mike Vecchione got the puck to T.J. Brennan for a one-timer that was deflected in front by Colin McDonald. The captain’s first goal of the season cut the lead to one.
In the closing seconds of the third, the Phantoms were frantically looking for the equalizer. A great keep by Phil Myers allowed the Phantoms to still have life. He got the puck to Brennan, who put a pass into the netmouth for Phil Varone. Varone’s stick was on the ice in perfect position for the redirection. With 4.5 seconds remaining in the third, the Phantoms had tied the game.
With time starting to wind down in the overtime, the Phantoms got an odd-man rush that allowed them to end the game. Off a face-off, German Rubtsov outletted a pass for Vecchione, who had a two-on-one with Mark Friedman. Vecchione elected to keep the puck and shoot, beating Mackenzie Blackwood to give the Phantoms the dramatic 3-2 win.
Despite the center-ice gaffe, Lyon stopped 40 of 42 shots in the win.
The Phantoms get to spend the weekend at home, facing the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night and the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday night.