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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: Second Period

I was just about to gripe that we were spending the first couple of minutes of the period hemmed into our zone. Then Matsumoto's line got us out of trouble and headed down to the Albany end... And Matsumoto's shot on goal somehow found the net. NICE. I'm not sure, until I watch the replay on the archives, if the goalie was cheating or just plain missed the puck. I think he had his angle wrong. In any event, Matsumoto is now the proud owner of an unassisted goal, and the Phantoms have a 2-0 lead.

We generated some nice chances during a PP a short time later, which included a fantastic shift by DeSantis, but Albany managed to prevent us from inflicting additional damage on the scoreboard. We were dominant enough that if Albany starts a parade to the box, they're sure to give up a goal eventually if we keep the pressure on like we just did.

A ten-skater scrum in front of the Phantoms net wound up with Clackson and a River Rat (La Couture) separating from the dogpile in a shoving match. However, due to the linesman's intervention, it never escalated into a full-fledged fight. Both guys are now sent off for roughing, and we are at 4 on 4 for two minutes.

I sit corrected. The Phantoms are about to get a 4-on-3 PP for 1:05. (Less, if we score or get called for something ourselves.) We have Ross, Maroon, Giroux, and Syvret, out (one defenseman and three forwards). Man, we came SO CLOSE on that shift. We have a very potent PP, and Abany is a struggling team, so we have to cash these chances in when we can. Syvret has twice gotten the puck on net HARD, from the high slot, but we haven't managed to bury the ensuing rebounds.

I just realized that Ross is wearing a third A, in lieu of having our captain Boyd Kane in the lineup.

We're back at full strength now. Shoot. I was really hoping we would pad our lead with the man advantage. On the other hand, here goes another River Rat into the box for hooking, so I might just get my wish if all goes well. We have DeSantis, Syvret, Ross, Maroon, and Giroux out. MAROOOOON! Oh, what a gorgeous goal from the rookie! Assists are from DeSantis an Syvret, and now the Phantoms lead 3-0.

With 9:08 remaining in the period, the Phantoms have 19 SOG and the River Rats have 13. And we are about to embark on a PK of our own, as Bartulis goes off for hooking. Kalinski, Raduns, Guenin, and Syret are out. LMHO, the little kid behind me pointed out that "Our #7 (Guenin) hit a River Rat on the butt with the stick". That's unsurprising. :D

Halfway trough the PK, Munroe has only faced one puck. With 30 seconds left in the PK, GIROOOOOUX steals the puck and buries a SH goal. Freaking beautiful! FREAKING beautiful! 4-0 Phantoms and our special teams are back to being dangerous no matter if we're playing with the man advantage or shorthanded.

Again, I realize that the River Rats are a struggling team. But that's all the more reason for us to have our act together and keep applying pressure, and that's exactly what we've been doing. I'm pleased that we don't look shell-shocked after the implosion on Saturday.

Speaking of implosions, it appears that Albany is in a frustrated mode. They just took a roughing penalty and we're on the PP again. We have Laliberte, Donati, Matsumoto, Ratchuk, and Curry out. That would be an equivalent of a fourth forward line, so it's apparent that Paddock is showing enough sportsmanship to let some guys who don't normally see PP time get out there. Plus, it gives our regular first PP unit a break; they've had a ton of ice time in this portion of the game.

OMG Clackson just freaking BURIED a River Rat at the blue line. It was an open-ice hit and the Rat's helmet went sailing through the air. Immediately, another Rat (#27) went after Clackson. Both of them earned double minors from the encounter. The stunned River Rat, number 11, eventually did get up after being attended to by the trainer. Looks like everyone is in one piece. (One somewhat dented piece, perhaps, but one piece nonetheless.) The combatants have gone up the tunnel, as there's only 3:18 remaining in the period.

Phooey. We couldn't get the bleepin' puck the heck out of our end, and now we're going on the PK as a result. Laliberte heads to the sin bin with 2:09 left. Giroux, Ross, Curry, and Bartulis are our first PK unit. Darn if they didn't generate an offensive chance again. HOLY COW, I thought Giroux was gonna check the GOALIE (Peters) at the goal line, when he came out of the net to play the puck. Fortunately, either Claude thought better of it, or wasn't intending to hit the netminder, but he thumped into the boards just inches away from Peters.

The PK is over, as is the Second period The Phantoms lead on the shot clock, 23 to 16, and on the scoreboard 4-0.

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