We just had some great D in the second minute of the period, to prevent Downie from getting to a loose puck in front of our net. He's flat-out dangerous on the ice, and I still curse the fact that the Phantoms lost him in a trade.
Fortunately,m we have a few dangerous guys of our own, and that would include Ross, Groux, and Kane, who are generating some scoring chances even as I type. Unfortunately, none went in yet, but we have already gotten five SOG in four minutes. If we keep this up, we will be listening to cheering fans before long.
Bartulis made a nice play to break up a Norfolk attack in our end. Laliberte has been on a roll, taking the puck up the ice for us just about every time he gets hold of it.
CRUD CRUD CRUD. Guenin went into the boards awkwardly and came up with his right arm dangling. Darn it. He made a beeline up the tunnel, along with the trainer. I suspect we will be playing with five D for the remainder of the contest.
Speaking of dented guys, Mihalik did make a return to the ice in the third period. I'm personally not convinced that a guy who was "out on his feet" should have been sent back into the game, but I'm the cautious sort when it comes to possible concussions. (And IMO, all teams shoud take a similar stance on that score.)
With 10:30 left in the third period, the SOG are Phantoms 25, Admirals 27. Our guys are really doing a great job keeping Norfok hemmed into their zone, and we are working our collective tails off in the attempt to tie this game again. Come on, guys, you can do it. One goal, that's all we need to even it up. Here comes Ross's line. Maybe they'll do us the honors. :) Ah, now we're going on the PP -- one of the benefits of preventing our opponent from clearing the puck for minutes on end: eventually, you'll draw a penalty. Syvret and DeSantis are out with Giroux, Ross, and Kane. We had a wee blip during this shift, as the Ads broke out shorthanded, but we regrouped and headed back down to camp in Norfolk's end. Now it's Ratchuk, Curry, Nodl, Laliberte, and Maroon. Still no luck. Two SOG have gotten on net, but none have gone in yet. Ratchuk had a shot blocked just as our PP ended. That was a nice move by the Norfolk player. (Dang it.)
With 5:43 left, SCOOOORE! :) Giroux buries the puck, assisted by Jared Ross. SWEEEET. We also lead on the shot clock, 29-27. That's what comes of practically living in the Ads' end for the entire third period so far. Of course, Nofrolk is not too happy and they are suddenly playing with a lot more energy. They got a 2-on-1 against us, but Bartulis stood his ground and let Munroe take care of the puck carrier. Save, Muny. The score remains 2-2. Now we're back to a lot of end to end play again. If all goes well, maybe Norfolk will be tired from defending nonstop for the vast majority of this frame.
Boy, does Laliberte ever have wheels. He took off with the puck like it was on fire, sprinted the lenfth of the ice, and got us another shot on goal.
As an aside, I would love to know whose glove has been lying at our half-boards for the past three or so shifts.
Last minute of play in the third period... Normally I would hate to see us give up a point to a divisional rival if we see OT from this contest, but given that we needed most of the game to tie the score, I won't gripe about that tonight.
Yep, we are about to go into the extra session. The SOG at the end of the third period are even at 30, and the score is 2-2.
On to OT. Our first grouping is Ross, Giroux, Bartulis, and Syvret. Aw, WHAT THE FLAME is this? The freakin' Admiral slams right into Munroe, and no call? On what planet is that not goalie interference? GRRR...
Anyway, we had a faceoff just outside our zone. Next group to come out: Laliberte, Nodl, Ratchuk, Curry. We are facing Downie on this shift, and his line came dangerously close to ending this game the wrong way, but Munroe made a nice save and kept the score even.
Next: Kane, Raduns, Syvret, Bartulis. A norfolk blast from the blue line was deflected hgh into the netting in the corner, so we're having another draw. I'd like to see us go and annoy the other netminder for a while, as Munroe has already stopped three shots in less than two minutes. Curry, DeSantis, Ross, and Giroux are takign the draw now in the neutral zone. NOW we look like we are going to break out . Finally. Yep, Ross is battling for the puck and came up with it in the corner behind their net. No SOG came of it, though. Finally, after yet another near-goal from Norfolk, Nodl and Maroon took it down and Maroon earned our first extra-session shot.
With 1:34 remaining in the OT, the Phantoms have 31 shots and Norfolk has 35. It's time to get back on that roll we were on earlier in the third period.
One minute left in the OT. Come on, guys, we can do this. I despise shootouts, so please give us a happy ending before the final horn sounds.
The Phantoms call a timeout with 43.9 seconds remaining in the period. We are about to have a draw just outside Norfolk's zone. Riss, Giroux, Syvret, and Bartulis are out. Yikes, the puck came over the glass and hit a little boy in the head. He's up and getting some first aid, but he's bleeding from I'm-not-sure-where and he's crying. Owie, poor little guy. I hope he's all right.
Shootout. PHOOEY. I freaking HATE SHOOTOUTS. Ending a team game with an individual skills competition is just not cool. But I'll take the bonus point for the skills contest, should we come out of this victorious. Better us than them, after all.
But it wasn't meant to be. Double Phooey. This is the first time in this entire season that we have lost an OT or shootout game. Norfolk 3, Phantoms 2.
#3 Ramo (Norfolk)
#1 Bochenski (Norfolk, GWG)