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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Phantoms vs. Albany School Day Game, 11/19/08: First Period

Not only is Jared Ross back from the Flyers, he's in the starting lineup. Along with our defensive callup D'Amour, for whom I saw a transaction yesterday, we have another new name in the lineup: Donati. He's sitting with the forwards and wearing number 6. (D'Amour is number 4.) I saw no indication online yesterday that we were calling up another player, so I'll have to do a little looking around online when I get home.

We took a penalty early, but through the first minute and a half of our PK, the Rats have not gotten a puck on net.

Just as we returned to even strength, Munroe had to be sharp. Nice work, Muny. :)

D'Amour is paired with Ratchuk. Kalinski just made up for his trip to the sin bin by getting the primary assist on a NICE Phantoms goal by Szwez. :) Ratchuk got the secondary helper. We took the shot, and Szwez was off to the side in perfect position to lob the rebound into a wide-open net. Grand teamwork so far -- we look ten zillion times better than we did on Saturday in the final frame of the Hershey game. Yes, I realize that the River Rats aren't anywhere near as stacked of a team as the Bears are, but still, we aren't showing any after-effects from that brutal drubbing.

I saw on a Flyers message board that Powe is healthy enough to return to play, but I'll have to look around to see official confirmation of that. (Either that, or I can just wait till the next Fyers game and see who's on the roster. ;) )

Ross is on a line with Szwez and Clackson, with D'Amour and Ratchuk on D. I missed the announcement of the scratches, so I'll have to have a look at who's out there and figure out who's missing by process of elimination. Now it's Raduns with Beaulieu and Laliberte, with Bartulis and Curry. Incidentally, Beaulieu is actually taking real shifts in this game, as opposed to Friday when he dressed but didn't play, or Saturday when the only shift I saw him on the ice for was the one in which he took a hooking call. So it's nice to see Beau back.

Guenin and Syvret, our two assistant captains, remain as a D pair. Matsumoto is on a line with Kalinski and Donati. They just generated a really nice rush. Clackson is out with Giroux and Szwez... Now that I think about it, one player I don't see is Kane, who was on a line with Giroux over the weekend. He's neither on the bench nor on the ice. Hersley is also missing from the lineup, but I believe he's injured, as is Bellamy.

We need to get the heck away from in front of our net. Muny has been more than up to the challenge, but we keep having our D dueling with Rats for loose pucks in front of our crease. If we let that happen too often, it'll eventually cost us.

FINALLY, btw, we see Neil Little back where he belongs, as the Eye in the Sky for the first part of the game. He's been off scouting in Parts Unknown in recent weeks.

The forward line combinations are, to put it mildly, not written in stone. Every time I think I know what line is out, I notice someone different is on the ice. Ditto for the D, which I think we have seven of at the moment. Ratchuk is out with his regular partner, DeSantis. We also have D'Amour, Curry, Syvret, Guenin, and Bartulis dressed on D. That's a good way to break in the newest member of the blueline corps. It also means we don't have four full lines of forwards dressed, so someone's going to be double-shifting here and there.

Syvret and Guenin are out as defensemen, but this time it was SYVRET who blocked a shot... Normally, that's Guenin's purview. Speaking of Nasty Nate, he's headed to the box for cross-checking.

The PK is over, and apparently River Rats are allowed to try and run Matsumoto over when the puck is nowhere near him. GRRR...

And AGAIN, in the final minute of the period, a Rat (Petruzalek) tried to throw a check on Guenin, but missed and hit the boards hard. Only problem is, the puck was nowhere near Guenin at the time. Mumble, grumble...

The first period is over, and the Phantoms take a 1-0 lead into the locker room. SOG: Phantoms 12, River Rats, 9.

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