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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Phantoms at Hershey, 11-15-08, Pregame and First Period

We're at the GIANT Center in Hershey, watching the pregame warmups. Varlamov will be starting again for Hershey, while Aubin will be in goal for the Phantoms.

Beaulieu is out on the ice again tonght. Last night, he dressed for the team but didn't tae a shift. I"m sure he's close to returning from his injury, but only time will tell if that return will take place tonight.

Jared Ross is up with the Flyers in Montreal tonight, which is why we have Beau dressed, plus we have a guy called up from Mississipi (Chase Trull). Also with the Flyers are Darroll Powe (injured), Andreas Nodl, and Josh Gratton.

Interestng: in the final minute of the pregame skate, most of the Phantoms team has gone up the tunnel already. But ALL of the Bears are still on the ice, and they remained so almost to a man until only a few seconds remained in the warmup. I'm not used to seeing a team stay out that long en masse -- I wonder if that's a directive from the coach?

Scratches: Ross, Bellamy, and Hersley.
Starting lineup: Aubin, Giroux, Kane, Kalinski, Guenin, Syvret.

I justs realized, as I sit here watching the pregame pump video for the Bears... The Phantoms don't seem to be using a pump video this season. Huh. That's the first time in a while that I remember us not havng any pregame video/music.

WHAT did the Bears fans all holler in unison when the anthem singer reached", land of the free"? Good grief. I'll have to ask about that on the boards later.

Laliberte, Matsumoto, and Klotz are now out. We take an early holdng penalty, though, with Bartulis going off. We hold off a flurry of chances by Hershey, and with 1:07 remainng in the PK, the Bears take a penalty as well. Now it's 4 on 4 in the Bears end, with Matsumoto and kalinski out with Ratchuk and Curry. The play goes barreling into the Phantoms end, taking out both our net and the goalie as well. The game is still scoreless. Hershey has three SOG with 16:34 remaining, and we have none.

Now that we're on the PP, I would hope to see us create some opportunity. Kane, Laliberte, Giroux, KeDantis, and Syvret are out. DeSantis unleashed a blast from the middle of the blue line, but it went high and hit the glass. Just as the penalty ended, I belief it was Giroux that took a beautiful shot from the right faceoff circle, but Varlamov made a nice save to keep it out. Thisrought on a scrum at the net, resulting in Kane going off for roughing and Amadio (Bears) going off for high-sticking. We'll be at 4 on 4 for for a while. Two minutes, unless Peltier calls somethng else (as he is won't to do).

The Bears seemed to be about to get out of their end, but Laliberte had a nice takeaway at the blue line and kept it in. Good job.

We're at even strength now, and with 13:30 left, the Bears have 5 SOG and we have 2.

Clackson just had a LONG and feisty bout with McNeill. I'd say "edge McNeill", but Clackson hung in there pretty well, including getting up from the original takedown and keeping the bout going for another minute or two. Unfortunately, shortly after that, we took a penalty for hooking. The good news is, Josh Beaulieu is the one in the sin bin, so he is in fact well enough to play tonight. :) (Hey, I take my good news wherever I can find it, thank you.) More good news: we gave NO shots up during the penalty kill that followed

Phooey. Aubin got stripped of the puck behind the net, and though he hurried back into the crease, he never really recovered from the gaffe. He wound up down on the ice and the Bears drew first blood on the scoreboard.

WTH am I looking at? Number 17 on the Bears was just about SITTING on top of Kane in the slot in front of the Bears net, as play exited the zone and went back toward our side. OK, that left both teams at 4 on 4, but.. HELLO? Interference? Since when can he sit on our guy with the puck two freaking zones away?

Karma caught up soon after, though, as the Bears went on a PK for something else entirely.

Phooey. We're in our end, and Guenin lookes banged up. I didn't see what happened but given the positions of everyone at the time, I'm thinking he blocked a shot.

Clackson, Maroon, and Raduns are out. They're keeping the Bears D busy around Hershey's net, but unfortunately we didn't manage to cash it in.

We had a 42-second 5 on 3 PP, but it was relatively unproductve. We have no more SOG now than we did when we went on the first part of that powerplay; we are being outshot 11 to 3. We spent too much time passing on that freakin' two-man advantage and not enough time getting it on net. Plus, one of our own forwards apparently was trying to pass it back to the point, but missed entirely and wound up clearing the puck.

Just as the remainder of our PP was about to tick off, another Bear took a penalty and we wound up with the man advantage again. We should have about a minute or so left on the PP to start the second period, unless we score :) which would, of course, be nice.

No dice. The period ended, and we have 1:05 remaining in our power play. SOG at the end of the frame: Bears 11, Phantoms 5. The score is 1-0 Hershey.

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