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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Phantoms vs. Norfolk Admirals 12-20-08: First Period

At the end of this afternoon's Flyers game, the Flyers called up Jonathon Kalinski and sent down Scott Munroe, who had served as Niittymaki's backup today.

Now, Munroe is starting for the Phantoms, making him the first player since (I believe) Freddy Meyer to dress for both teams in the same day. A few years ago, Meyer was called up and dressed for the Flyers in warmup. However, he was scratched from the game, so he was sent down and played for the Phantoms that night.

J-S Aubin is our backup tonight. This is the first time I've seen him on the ice since he injured himself during the game on Black Friday.

After tonight, the Phantoms will be off from December 21 through Christmas Day.

Randy Jones is not on the bench. He is eligible for one more Phantoms game before he HAS to go back to the FLyers or clear waivers and stay down. So maybe the Organ-eye-zation wanted to give themselves a little more leeway regarding getting the Fyers' D roster organized, as there's quite a logjam on the big club at the moment. If the team decides not to play Jones again, then our next game is on December 26. The Flyers will have until the day after that to fgure out what to do with their relatively large group of D, all of whom deserve to be seeing ice time with the way they have played lately.

Chris Gratton is with the Admirals and is on the ice right now. He just barely missed beng able to play against his cousin Josh, who's up with the Flyers and played this afternoon.

Steve Downie is also in the lineup for this game for the Admirals. We just had a shift where Downie and Clackson were on the ice together, and no fight occurred. However, we have only spent about three and a half minutes of game time yet; the night is young. :D

With 1:16 left in the first period and the SOG even at 4 apiece, the Phantoms are getting the first P of the game. Raduns, Maroon, and Nodl are on the ice for the first PP, with Ross and Syvret. IT's been a long time since we have had a four-forward PP unit. Ross is on the point, as he was for a lot of last season when Berube was our coach. Next up: Laliberte, Giroux, Kane, Ross, and Syvret. The ref's arm is up again, so we are going to get 37 secons of a two-man advantage. NICE. :)

Downie's going into the sin bin. Time to make Norfolk pay. Which we can't exactly do when the darn Ads clear the darn puck. Let's try this again. And again.

There goes the two-man advantage. But we still have over a minute of PP time remainng, so it's time to hop to it. Ratchuk/DeSantis are with laliberte, Maroon, and Raduns. We are having a bear of a time getting ourselves set up so far. It's the end of the PP, and Clackson is on the ice with Szwez and Nodl. There's a partial change now, as Clackson and Nodl stay out with Giroux, Bartulis, and Curry. Downie did not remain on the ice upon his exit from the sin bin; he went to the bench and was replaced by a different forward.

With 11:55 left in the period, the Phantoms have 7 SOG and the Admirals have 5.

Bellamy, Klotz, and Raduns are out as a line. Syvret/Guenin are the D pair. Guenin blocked a shot. Hey, I think I broke my streak of typing that phrase last night. Darn. We will have to start a new consecutive-game "Guenin blocked a shot" streak tonight. :)

We have had a lot of end-to-end rushing tonight, as well as last night and on Wednesday. In prior years, that was not the Phantoms' style and we usually lived to regret it if we played river hockey for too long. BUt in the past few games, we have been pretty much thrving with that style of play. Or at least, it hasn't come back to bite us. So FWIW, while I am not ready to dub this as "our new style of play", I like to think that maybe we will be the ones making the other teams regret getting into an end-to-end skating game. That goes double for if our opponents find themselves worn out by all the activity before the contest is over.

Oh, get real, ref, Guenin was just standing up to an attacker. I see the ref's arm up, so he's going to be sending Nasty Nate to the sin bin with 5:31 remaining in the first period. SOG at this time are even at 8 apiece. (Interference? Didn't the Norfolk guy have the puck two seconds before Guenin stood him up? What the hey?)

Yeah, thanks ref, now the darn Admirals are up by a PP goal That didn't take much time. Doggone it. Zebra 1, Phantoms 0. [scowl]

Giroux just got the puck swatted off his stick by a Norfolk guy as his line was trying to rush the puck. Every now and then he tries to create a play with something that's a bit more high-risk than you usually see at this level. This would be one of those times. But he's learning. He doesn't go for the low-percentage move as often now as he did early in the season.

AT the end of the first period, there is a scrum behind the Norfolk net. Downie s on the ice, no surprise. ;) Nothing much came of it, other than some vocabulary that I could lipread (and can't repeat here) as our guys were on their way bck to our bench.

Norfolk currently leads 1-0. SOG are even at 9 each.

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