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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: First Period

Our starting goalie is Scott Munroe. I can see in the box score that Darroll Powe is back in the lineup -- THAT'S a welcome sight, for sure!

The first penalty of the game goes to Matsumoto, 4 minutes and change into the period.

It seems like the audio is a few moments ahead of the video... Either that, or the W-B/S announcer is clairvoyant. ;)

Anyway, Ross is in a 2-against-1 battle in the corner for the loose puck, and wins. He fires the puck around the back boards, despite the pair of Penguins hounding him.

Oh, boy, just as the PK ended, the Pens came this-close to scoring. But Munroe made a nice save, and our D stepped up nicely to prevent a clear shot on an empty net in the aftermath of the stop. Crisis averted.

I don't like the problems we are having clearing this puck -- even when we did get it out of the zone, a Penguin (Bissonette, I think) intercepted the puck and brought it right back in. We need to get the heck away from our own end and start creating some chances of our own; the Pens got some offensive momentum from that powerplay and we need to take their energy away.

We have an offensive-zone draw, so let's see if we can do something constructive with that.

Powe is on a line with Matsumoto and Laliberte. Bellamy is also in the lineup, with Raduns and Beaulieu. I'm so glad to see our injured guys coming back. Clackson is with Szwez... Well, I don't know who the third player is, because the Pens got called for a penalty before I got a good look at him. :)

DeSantis, Maroon, Ross, Syvret, and __ (couldn't see him, but likely Giroux). I like how we look on this PP -- we keep getting it on net, and we keep preventing the Pens from clearing the puck. Darn Pens goalie, he made a couple of NICE stops on what I thougth was a sure goal. Matsumoto, Laliberte, Powe, Curry, and Ratchuk are our second PP unit. Literally seconds after the penalty expired, the Phantoms went right back on the PP. So I guess we'l see who that first PP unit player was... Yep. Giroux. :D

Come on, guys, let's get it on net this time like we did with our previous man advantage. I'm not so sure about this PP, as I sit here and look at TWO of our guys behind the goal line. HOLY COW, just as the Pens returned to even strength, their goalie Berkhoel made another pair of fantastic stops. Oh, this netminder's gonna be a pain in the tail, he is. I can see that.

Clackson and Bissonette are fighting. Bissonette literally got a headlock on Clackson, but he pulled himself loose and the fight kept going. That was a pretty active bout; I'd say Bissonette got more punches in, plus the takedown, so I'd give him the edge here. He also gave Clackson a pat on the back. Personally, I can't help but notice that Clackson, like Riley Cote last year in the NHL, seems to have no lack of willing waltz partners even though he's a rookie. It's a nice gesture of respect to a young guy who's just breaking into the league, and I credit that to his style of play as an old-school tough guy. He doesn't run around doing dumb stuff; he just sticks up for his teammates, hits hard, and willingly drops the gloves no matter how much size or weight he's giving up to his opponent.

Bartulis is off for high-sticking now. The Pens proceeded to get away with a trip during their powerplay -- you KNOW it's a penalty when the opposing announcer says his own team got away with one. ;)

ROSS draws first blood with a shorthanded goal! What a freaking gorgeous play! The goal was unassisted. Ross is such a head's up player, and if he's not the fastest guy on the ice for either team then I'd like to see who could outrace him. Wow.

At the end of the first period, the Phantoms are outshooting the Penguins 14-5 (!!!), and we lead 1-0.

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