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

Friday, November 14, 2008

Phantoms vs. Bears 11-14-08: Third Period

Matt Clackson went up the tunnel just as the third period began. I'm not sure why, but the trainer did not follow so I'll presume it's an equipment issue.

Once again, Neil Little is nowhere to be seen. Our normal MO was for him to be the "eye in the sky" for the first two periods, then join the other coaches behind the bench for the third period. But he hasn't been on hand for the past two or three home games.

We really, REALLY need to spend more time harassing Varlamov. We're about five minutes into the period, and we've had the odd shift here and there on offense, but we only have two shots this period to show for it so far.

Clackson is back. He and one of the equipment guys came back a minute or two ago, so all is right with the world. Or at least, it WOULD be if I was convinced that Beaulieu was healthy enough to actually take a shift. We'e got the right number of players dresed, but I honestly have not seen Beau take a shift at all in this game.

Yikes, that was close! Hershey just pinged one off the iron. But it stayed out and that's the main thing.

We have ten minutes and change remaining in the period. Given the amount of time that Hershey spent on the attack in the second period, we're fortunate to only be trailing by one goal. So all we have to do is put ONE in and it'll be a whole new game.

What we need is more defense like we just saw from Kane, Curry, and Bartulis,who teamed up to prevent a Bear from getting what would have been a fantastic chance to score, as well as more offensive chances like Kane just got when he took the puck down to the other end. Both of those were great plays, and the only thing wrong with the sequence was that we didn't manage to score a goal.

We're on the PK now, with Ratchuk in the sin bin for delay of game. Once again, for some reason, everyone from both teams has drifted to Munroe's right. Now it's Raduns/Kalinski out, and they came close to getting another SH chance. I'm really enjoying seeing those two young'uns on the ice. :) NICE clear by Boyd Kane -- very head's-up play. It killed just enough time for the penalty to end.

Finally, a PP... It's only our second one of the game. Giroux, Laliberte, Kane, Syvret, and Desantis are out. Aw, shoot, we came SO CLOSE. Matsumoto, Kalinski, and Maroon were pressing, but Varlamov froze the puck.The same line is tryuing again, and we have about 40 seconds left in the PP. No dice. Giroux, Laliberte, Kane, Ratchuk, and Curry are out. Darn it, no dice. We got some chances, which is an improvement over how things went earlier in the game, but we didn't manage to cash something in.

It's crunch time now: 1:11 left in the game. If we can get out of our end, I'm sure Munroe will be pulled. We have Syvret, DeSantis, Kalinski, Matsumoto, and Raduns on the ice. The Phantoms call a timeout with 56.4 seconds remaining. Kane, Laliberte, Giroux Syvret, and DeSantis are out. We got to Hershey's end and Muny left the ice, to be replaced by Kalinski. Come on, guys, we need to get it on net, not take it around the perimeter. There is a huge scrum of guys at the post to Varlamov's right. 13 seconds left and there's a faceoff in the Bears end. The same six guys stay out. But we're hung up in the darn corner and can't get another chance at the goal. Beans. It's a case of "too little, too late", coupled with a PP goal given up during a regrettable penalty we might have done well to avoid.

Final score, Hershey 3, Phantoms 2. SOG Phantoms 24, Hershey 39.

Stars of the Game:
3 Kalinski
2 Mink
1 Bourque.

Round Two of this home-and-home series will be tomorrow night in Hershey. See you there!

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