ALBANY, N.Y. – Mike McKenna made 28 saves, but the Albany Devils lost to the Adirondack Phantoms, 4-1, Wednesday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The outing was the 12th and final game between the two teams and the Phantoms skated away with the Time Warner Cable Cup despite the series finishing, 6-6. The first tie breaker was points towards the standings and the Phantoms earned 13 points (6-4-1-1), while the Devils took 12 (6-5-0-1).
“Over the course of the game they were getting pucks deep and we weren’t able to move the puck,” said head coach Rick Kowalsky. “They constantly pressured when we had the pucks and I think over the course of the game there wasn’t a lot left.”
Michael Ryan led the Phantoms with a hat trick that included two third period goals. He is now tied with Denis Hamel for the team lead with 25 goals.
Offensively, the Devils night was highlighted by a tally from Andy Thomas to open the scoring midway through the first period. The play started with Adam Henrique winning a battle behind the net and finding Matt Anderson on the right half wall. The puck was worked to Thomas who sent a floater towards the net from the blue line at 9:49.
The assist for Henrique moved his point total to 50 on the year, tying him with Matt Taormina (2009-10) for the Devils AHL record for points by a first-year player. It was also Anderson’s team-leading 54th point.
In the second period, Albany was faced with six penalty kills and Adirondack took advantage while playing 5-on-3. Michael Ryan sent a wrist shot short side at 4:48 with assists going to Matt Read and Eric Gustafsson.
Goaltender Mike McKenna kept the score even with a breakaway save on Jonathon Kalinski and a backdoor save late in the frame.
“In the second we took a lot of penalties,” McKenna said. “We did a great job throughout the game killing them, but we eventually allow two 5-on-5 goals.”
The Phantoms got to McKenna two more times with the game-winning goal at 3:14 of the third. Ryan was camped out on the side of the crease and redirected a shot/pass from Dan Jancevski. Ryan added his third tally with a quick stick in the paint at 17:34.
Matt Read had an empty-net goal at 18:37.
McKenna finished his 37th outing showing eight saves in the first, 13 in the second and eight in the third. At the opposite end, Johan Backlund earned the win with 19 saves.
Albany is now 32-40-1-9, while Adirondack improves to 29-37-4-6.
The Devils remain on the road for a 7:30 p.m. contest on Friday, Apr. 8 at Springfield. The game can be heard on 104.5 FM “The Team” ESPN Radio or online at AHLLive.com.