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The final pro hockey game at the Spectrum has been played.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Phantoms at Albany: Second Period

I missed the first part of the second period due to some Real Life errand-running. I got home to find the Phantoms on the PK with Giroux in the box, and the score still 1-0. We evidently killed off a 5-on-3 as well, as the Albany announcers are complimenting how well Munroe played during the two-man disadvantage (as well as in the game as a whole). I can also see in the box score that Kalinsky had a penalty shot denied by Manzato.

MAROOOON :) what a nice, nice play! He came off the bench, grabbed the puck behind the play, and bolted in to backhand the puck into the net. Good job by the young'un. Interestingly, earlier in the shift, the Rats seemed to be trying to annoy the Phantoms into a bout of fisticuffs; however, the announcers saw Paddock shake his head "No" at our Szwez as he took to the ice at the same time as the Rats' Gillies. Clearly he wasn't looking to see the Rats or their fans get fired up when we had a one-goal lead, and then along comes Maroon to deflate Albany even further.

Oh, but now we have Angelidis fighting with Szwez. Give the River Rat an E for effort, as he gave up quite a bit of size to Szwez. I'm not so sure if this bout was sanctioned by Paddock or not. I guess we'll see what happens to Szwez's ice time once he's out of the sin bin. ;) Angelidis actually got a takedown, but Szwez got back up and eventually got the second takedown of the fight. Overall, it looked like Szwez got more, and more effective, punches in.

AAAA, MUNY, what a circus save he made there! If that doesnt keep the Phantoms fired up, nothing will. Now the Phantoms are getting ready to go on another PP. The Rats are starting to get frustrated, and they just took a retaliation penalty. As usual, that's the infraction that the ref saw, regardless of what transpired before.

Oh, one of our guys just put a DENT in the post, the puck clanged off it so loudly. Boy, did he catch iron on that one. I like what we're doing in front of the Albany net -- if we had created this level of traffic in front of Wiikman last night, we'd have had more than one goal. Whoa, now Downie rang one off the crossbar. What's this puck got, a magnet in it? ;) In the meantime, we are keeping the goalie Manzato quite busy. He's earning himself a star of the game in my book, because we'd have way more than two goals by now if not for his head's-up play.

Fortunately, Scott Munroe has been exceptionally sharp as well in this game. Albany hasn't had as many chances as the Phantoms have had, but the final obstacle has always been Munroe and he's consistently been there all game long.

Downie and Conboy are fighting afer Downie high-sticked another River Rat who shoved him. The fight didn't take particularly long, but it was energetic. Downie threw all the pounches, and Conboy got the takedown. Chances are that Downie and Conboy will both get more than the five for fighting.

End result: Conboy gets the Bettman 17 (instigation, fighting, misconduct), plus two more for unsportsmanlike conduct and a game misconduct, and Downie got two minutes for high-sticking as well as the five for fighting. The Albany announcers are questioning whether the high-stick was intentional, in which case it would have warranted a match penalty rather than just the two-minute minor. However, there seems to be something amiss with Downie's left hand, I'm still not sure what, and it makes me wonder if it happened immediately prior to the high-sticking incident. In that case, though I'm not saying that an intentional high-stick attempt is an appropriate response, Albany's Dodge got away with an infraction just as much as Downie may have gotten off easy with just a high-sticking call.

Both teams have quite a case of The Nasties now. The second period just ended, so it remains to be seen if tempers will cool down between now and the start of the third period. The Phantoms lead 2-0, which may be our first multi-goal lead since opening night, and we lead on the shot clock 26-20.

We look really excellent right now. We have clearly been the dominant team all game long. The aggravation that we have suffered in prior games, without being able to maintain possession of the puck long enough to get an attack going, is exactly the form of agita that we are inflicting on Albany right now.

Now, what we need is a third period to equal the effectiveness of our first two, coupled with an ability to stay out of the box and not take bad penalties. If we do that, we can break this infernal losing streak.

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