Holy cow, one of the Albany broadcasters went downstairs between periods to find out more about the Downie/Conboy fight. The Phantoms contend that Conboy BIT(!!!) Downie on the hand. Good grief. If that's the case, that really needs to be a suspension. The game misconduct that Conboy was assessed was for "persisting in a fight" once the linesmen started breaking it up, not for anything connected to an alleged bite.
In any case, the Phantoms have begun the third period on the PP. Albany killed that off, and a few minutes later the Phantoms got to show off a good PK again. It's frustrating the Rats' fans to see the Phantoms get some shorthanded chances. In our end, we are getting solid goaltending by Munroe and nice D by Guenin in front of the net to prevent an opportunity by Albany.
LMHO, the gamecast has the scoreboard display on it, and they just showed two Phantoms on the bench on the Kiss Cam. One obliged by kissing the other on the helmet. Bwahaha! I like seeing our guys have sense of humor. :)
Then again, we can afford to be good sports about it, as we're still leading by a pair of goals and we just had another great sequence of stops in our own zone. Munroe's another one of my "star of the game" nominees. At this point, I'd be choosing the goaltenders and the GWG scorer, the order of which will depend on what the final score is.
Now the Rats are really, really pressing to get onto the board. We are going to have to really bear down and hold the fort if we want to keep things as they are. So far, we have withstood a couple of strong attacks, but if we let up even marginally the way the Rats are playing now, we'll live to regret it. We are being outshot in this period so far 11-3.
Our D is not lying down on the job, however. we just had a defenseman check an attacker in such a way that not only the Rat, but the linesman nearly joined the Phantoms on the bench. :D
I know that "trap" is a four-letter word to a lot of Philadelphia fans, but the Phantoms are really making a point of clogging up the ice. The Rats are finding it harder and harder to get through neutral ice withut turning the puck over and when they dump it in, we are getting there first. Per the announcers, we haven't given up a shot to Albany in over five minutes. Now we are in the final minute, and the goaltender is pulled for the River Rats.
Albany calls a timeout after the Phantoms ice the puck. (Actually, what happened is that we shot on goal from our side of the red line, and the puck went wide.) 28.8 seconds remain in the third period, with the faceoff in the Phantoms' zone.
Empty net goal by Syvret! That pretty much seals the deal for the Phantoms, as far as the win goes. However, we still have one more possible accomplishment for the afternoon that requires the clock to run out before I'll use the word.
There! Thats the final horn, so I can gladly announce that Munroe gets the shutout! It's the first shutout against the River rats this year, the end of our losing streak, and the continuation of a LONG shutout streak that Munroe has had in the Albany building. I think going into the third period, he hadn't allowed a goal in Albany for over 145 minutes, thanks in part to the 5-OT marathon game we played there in the spring. If that's the case, we can bump that total up to "over 165 minutes" now. Also, we didn't allow another shot on goal from the time that the announcers read the third period shot clock as favoring the River Rats 11-3. The next shot that was directed in on either net was the empty-net goal. At the end of the game, both teams had 31 shots.
My own personal stars of the game are Munroe, Downie (GWG), and Manzato (Albany goalie).
The box score, which is here, shows that the Albany media member who chose the stars was thinking along the same lines as I was.
Great game, Phantoms! I'm glad we can end the weekend on a high note!
Now the Flyers and Phillies have to do their part to continue the good results. The Phantoms have set the tone for the rest of our local teams. :)