Ahh it’s been a while.. after a few weeks absent from the rink I was finally able to make it to an Amerks game and was treated to a nice 5-2 win over the Adirondack Phantoms. Michael Nylander led the way with two goals and two assists in the game.
Even though I missed the home opener, this was the first game of the season for myself so it was great to see some hockey again, get a cold Genny Light from the Blue Zone and watch the kids play knee hockey behind section 127.
Michael Duco scored first at 17:07 of the first period just after a power play opportunity ended. A lot of people in the crowd were yelling the typical “shoooooot it” but patience paid off when Duco shot in a rebound for his second goal of the season. There weren’t that many chances for a shot but the puck possession paid off.
Interesting little scrap early in the second period when Matt Clackson (brother of Amerks forward Chris Clackson) cross checked Triston Grant to the ice in front of the Phantoms net. Referee Terry Koharski had his arm raised to make the call on Clackson before it turned into a fight. Grant was flat on his back when Clackson pulled his arm back as if he was going to punch Grant on the ice. For obvious reasons Grant wasn’t going to accept that and stood up and the two traded a few punches.
Scott Reynolds made the score 2-0 scoring off his own rebound on the power play.
The Phantoms made the game close for a short time when Patrick Maroon took his own rebound and was able to lift it over the left pad of Jacob Markstrom at 2:32 of the third period.
Michael Nylander proceeded to score two goals in under three minutes to make it a 4-1 game at which point the Amerks were able to hold on to the game. The first of Nylanders goals was setup when Repik took the puck around the back boards and fed a pass through the front of the net to Nylander who easily put it into the net. Nylander scored his second goal when the Amerks were short handed thanks to great pressure by Colby Robak and Michal Repik forcing the play into the Phantoms zone.
Joonas Lehtivuori got the Phantoms within two goals with a rocket of a shot from the blue line past Markstrom. Standing on the party deck I had a great view of the shot and it was impressive.
Mike Kostka sealed the win for the Amerks with an empty net goal to make the final score 5-2. Kostka had the puck behind the Amerks net and as he shot it out he banked it off the side boards and straight down the middle of the ice into the Phantoms empty net.
The Amerks are currently in first place in the North Division and they are also leading the North Division in goals scored. Ok, it’s only five games into the season but it can’t hurt to enjoy things with the way they currently are. After Fridays loss to Hamilton a lot of fans were ready to jump off a cliff.
Repik and Nylander looked great in the game. One player who appeared to disappear that is expected to score some points is Evgeny Dadonov. Other than those three players, I’m still trying to get a feel for who is who. It was great to see some hockey, hopefully I will not have another long delay in posts.