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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Adirondack Phantoms reach Calder Cup finals via EA Sports simulation

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adirondack Phantoms reach Calder Cup finals via EA Sports simulation

You have got to love the media machine that is cranking out non-stop press releases about the new AHL kid on the block, the Adirondack Phantoms, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.

This one came across my e-mail and you have to love it whether a hockey fan, a Phantom fan, or a gaming fan.

I don't know who had time to play several hundred games but I know of one guy in our office who would be up to the task along with a former writer who has been posing as a grad student for the past year..read on.

GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Phantoms, proud AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, announced today that a simulation run by EA Sports NHL 10 forecasts Adirondack reaching the 2010 Calder Cup Finals, before losing to the Abbotsford Heat in seven games.

A simulation run by EA Sports NHL10 predicts that in their first season in the American Hockey League, the Abbotsford Heat will capture the Calder Cup and bring the AHL's coveted championship trophy to British Columbia.

The simulation was conducted by artificial intelligence or logic of NHL10 that uses real-life data from each player. Results are extrapolated when two teams play based on player ratings and line combinations and include variances such as injuries and hot streaks to give a realistic outcome of a game or series.

The Adirondack Phantoms, who won two Calder Cups in Philadelphia before relocating to Glens Falls, N.Y., at the onset of the 2009-10 season, were the Eastern Conference champions despite their own fourth-place finish in the East Division. The Phantoms eliminated the Albany River Rats, Hershey Bears and Worcester Sharks before falling to Abbotsford in a seven-game final series.

The Heat, in their first season as the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, finished fourth in the North Division but authored postseason upsets of the Rochester Americans, Toronto Marlies and Chicago Wolves to reach the Calder Cup Finals.

EA's simulation resulted in four teams who missed the actual Calder Cup Playoffs last season winning their respective divisions in 2009-10. Albany finished first overall in the regular-season AHL standings with 105 points; the River Rats' parent club, the Carolina Hurricanes, finished first overall in EA's simulation of the 2009-10 NHL season. The Manchester Monarchs, Rochester Americans and San Antonio Rampage were projected to be the other regular-season division champions.

Hershey's Keith Aucoin came out as the AHL's scoring champion, leading the league with 97 points. Bears teammate Alexandre Giroux scored a league-high 44 goals, and Christian Hanson of the Toronto Marlies was the top-scoring rookie with 31 goals and 83 points.

The American Hockey League and Electronic Arts Inc. recently announced an extension of their multi-platform marketing and licensing agreement, giving EA Sports the exclusive license to feature authentic AHL teams, players and jerseys in its best-selling hockey videogame franchise, NHL10, which is available now in stores worldwide.

The Phantoms are gearing up for a busy three-game weekend as they kick things off against the defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears on Friday, October 16th for a 7:30 pm face off at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Saturday, October 17th Adirondack hosts the Albany River Rats at 7:00 pm in the first game of the Time Warner Cable Cup series. Sunday, October 18th the Phantoms travel to Connecticut to face the undefeated Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 4:00 pm at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

The Time Warner Cable Cup Four-Pack is now on sale at the Phantoms office, starting as low as $56. 2009-10 Phantoms full and partial season ticket packages are still available for the 2009-10 season presented by Bud Light. For more information please contact the Adirondack Phantoms at (518) 480-3355 or online at http://www.phantomshockey.com/.

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