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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 11-26-08: Third Period

During the intermission, the announcer told us that the Phantoms have 32 shots on goal, even though the online box score says 33. So we'll have to keep an eye on that, to see if the stat gets tweaked in the box score at any point during or after the game.

I don't know what the Penguins coach said to them during the intermission, but they came out like someone lit a fire under their tail feathers. Yes, they started on the PP and had another man advantage shortly thereafter, but they're doing their darnedest to stay on the attack. Our D and goaltending have been good, though, and the score has remained 3-1. And of course, as I type that, Powe and Laliberte take the puck right down and team up for a Phantoms goal. Laliberte scores his second of the game, assisted by Powe. We have our three-goal lead back, which is good, but one shift later we are about to go on the penalty kill once again. Guenin will sit.

Raduns promptly clears the puck the entire length of the ice, right to Berkhoel. The same aggravation that the Phantoms have had in recent games, we are inflicting on Wilkes-Barre, clearing the puck promptly and picking off passes. I like when we dole out the agita MUCH better than when we're on the receiving end of the agita.

Curry is fighting with Henrich. Not too many punches were thrown, and Curry eventually got the takedown. Dang, this has been a fight-fest game, and what's interesting is there haven't been any repeat customers so far. No PPs resulted from this bout; it was just the fighting majors for each.

OMG that was some good D on Wilkes-Barre's part -- Beaulieu took a shot on goal, which necessitated a nice save on Berkhoel's part, but he left a big rebound. Had the Pens' defenseman not been RIGHT there to sweep the puck clear, it would have been a guaranteed goal for the Phantom that was only a few inches farther away from the biscuit. As it is, the score remains 4-1 Phantoms.

Maroon is now fighting Mormina -- he's giving up a noticeable amount of size to the 6'6" Pen. Maroon landed a bunch of body shots and actually fared pretty well, given the fact that Mormina's the size of a freaking HOUSE. It was only a little lopsided.

NICE neutral-zone poke-check by Beaulieu. We are clogging the ice for all we're worth. I am hearing Laliberte's name a LOT in these waning minutes of the game. If Paddock awards ice time based on performance, then it's not surprising that the guy with the two goals is on the ice and gunning at every opportunity for a, um, I can't say it during the game but let's just say there's a headgear reference involved. ;)

To my great surprise, the Pens pulled their goaltender in the final minute, even though they're down by THREE goals. I'm not entirely sure I've ever seen a team employ that strategy when they're trailing by that wide of a margin. Sure enough, with 3.6 seconds left, we clear it from our blue line and bury an ENG. That was Powe, going POW again for his second of the night.

So while the Flyers were busy winning a 3-1 game in Carolina, the Phantoms put away the Penguins by a score of 5-1.

SOG: Phantoms 45 (or 44, if you listen to the announcer's tally); Penguins 25.

The Stars of the game: #3: Munroe; #2 Ross; #1 Laliberte I'm a little surprised that Powe and his three points (2G, 1A) didn't get a mention. Then again, by the time he scored the empty-netter, the stars were probably already chosen. Ross did score a superb SH goal as well as registering 6 SOG, so he was a worthy choice as a star.

Oh, and the Pens fans did go home with SOMEthing to smile about. Their goalie John Curry, who's called up to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the moment, was moments away from registering his first NHL win in his first NHL game. I don't root for either Pens team, but I can empathize with the goalie fans in the W-B crowd. I know how happy I am when any of our callups does well, particularly when said player is one of our netminders! So the fans got something upbeat to think about, even in a loss, and Phantoms Nation gets to be happy about the results of the contest.

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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