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

Friday, December 12, 2008

Phantoms at Springfield 12-12-08: Second Period

Munroe made a FANTASTIC two-save combo early on -- he had to make a diving east-west move in order to keep the puck out, after a Falcon got hold of the rebound from his first save. Yeowza. That's one way to start the second period with a blood pressure spike.

The Phantoms went onto a PP not long after that, which the fans in Springfield heartily disagree with, as there've been chants of "Ref, you s_ck!" The fans are even unhappier now, as Nate Raduns just scored, assisted by Kalinski and Ratchuk (all rookies) just after the end of the PP. 4-0, Good Guys, and you can hear a pin drop in the Springfield arena right now.

Dang, Dubnyk has made a few really solid stops over the past few minutes. This last one was a nice glove save on Clackson. We have been keeping him busy since that fourth goal, and he has been very much up to the challenge. The shots on goal, about halfway through the second period, are 23-11 Phantoms.

We spent a few hair-raising moments fending off Falcons' scoring chances, but fortunately for us, Munroe and his teammates combined to keep the puck out. Muny did the chief part of the work, but even our forwards were pitching in to deflect shots away from the net.

We are about to go shorthanded, to the sarcastic applause of some fans. This may be the first time we've gone shorthanded in the game, which could explain why the fans are on the ref's case. Yep -- the only other time we were going to be shorthanded, Lefebvre retaliated and turned a Falcons PP into a 4-on-4. It took the Falcons quite a while to get set up in our zone, but once they did, they earned some of our best chances of the game. Moreover, we got lucky, as the Falcons kept the puck so long during a delayed penalty, they missed out on having a 5 on 3 because our penalty to Maroon expired. So we're basically now killing two 5-on-4 situations in a row. The Falcons played keep-away during the delayed penalty when Raduns wanted to take possession. Then they must have realized that cycling the puck was doing them more harm than good, so they TRIED to get a Phantom to take possession of the puck. They shot it toward Kane, but he's a veteran and knew enough not to take the bait. That's why by the time a Phantom finally did get the puck and play stopped, the teams were at even strength again.

The Phantoms soon went on our fourth PP of the game, however, in the final two minutes of the second period. Dubnyk proceeded to keep our attempts out of the net, but when the Falcons got a shorhanded 2 -on-1 break, they shot wide, so fortune was on our side on that one.

Ross/Kane/Giroux were on the ice in the final 15 seconds of the period. Ross came oh-so-close to getting, um, a headgear prank ;), but it wasn't meant to be. The score at the end of the second period is Phantoms 4, Falcons 0. The Phantoms got 15 shots on goal during the second period, for a total of 28. The Falcons registered 6 SOG during the second, for a total of 13.

I have a feeling that Springfield's coach is going to be bending an ear or two during the second intermission, given the disparity in shots and scoring chances, and also for the fact that no one realized that they were frittering away a chance to have a two-man advantage during that extended delayed penalty.

The Phantoms are aware, I'm sure, of the Flyers' huge comeback in last night's game, when they rallied from a 5-1 deficit to win 6-5 in a shootout. So we are, or should be, aware that even a four-goal lead can evaporate in the course of one period, and we will have to keep on playing like we mean it and want to put the Falcons out of the game for keeps.

Here's to a third period that's as solid as the first two were.

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