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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins: Third Period

I was out of my seat for the first few minutes of the third period. We can thank the "Helping Hands" handprint auction for that. However, the good news is that Claude Giroux restored our one-goal lead while I was on the concourse, assisted by Kalinski and Guenin. WTG! :)

Now we have 8:38 remaining in the third, and Muny has had to be sharp. The Penguins seriously want to get that goal back, and they are not going away quietly. SOG are Phantoms 25, Penguins 27, so we have had relatively the same number of opportunities in the third period so far.

Unfortunately, we just got a Delay of Game penalty -- darn that freaking rule -- when Kalinski's clearing attempt cleared the glass instead and became a souvenir for someone behind the bench. Giroux and Ross are out with Syvret and Guenin. They were soon followed by Raduns and Kane, but the same D pair remained on the ice. Munroe ugs the post, so the ensuing SOG hit him squarely on the pads with a loud thud. We had a few interesting moments when both teams were playing Hot Potato with the puck, but finally Syvret got hold of it and bounced it up the slot and across the blue line, killing extra seconds.

Guenin laid out flaton the ice to block a shot. You knew I wasn't going to get through a game without observing that at least once. :) OMG though, we have had two shots go straight through the crease, including one that I don't know how it didn't ping off a skate and in. We neeeeeed a clear.

And we got one. THANK GOD. My flipping bood pressure can only take so much of this.

Now Laliberte picked off a pass and he and Maroon are headed the other way. We finally have gotten set up in the other end for a while, even though not a lot has come of it. Oh, never mind, an offensive-zone draw has come of it. :) I'll take it. And I'll take the NEXT offensive-zone draw that was generated by the Penguins icing the puck. That'll work. We have 3:05 left, so the more time we spend in front of John Curry, the less time the Pens have to try and tie the game.

The Phantoms really do look like they're going into a shutdown mode. I hate to use that four-lettered word T-R-A-P, so let's just say that we have three guys ranged across the Neutral Zone to impede the Pens' progress any time they try to break out. So far it has been working, as we have been intercepting passes and dump-in attempts and dumping them right back out.

There are less than two minutes left now, and Guenin just laid down in the slot to block another shot attempt. With 1:29 remaining, we have iced the puck and the Penguins have pulled Curry for the extra skater. Kane Ross, Giroux, aGuenin, and Syvret are on the ice, and coach is calling a timeout.

SOG are Phantoms 25, Pens 28. Neither goalie has seen rubber since the save I mentoned that went thud off Munroe's pads.

Giroux stole the puck, knocking Caputi down, and sprang Kane who went full tilt to the Pens end. His shot on the empty goal went wide. The puck wound up down in front of Scotty again, but Munroe froze it with his glove with 49.7 seconds remaining. Now it's the Penguins' turn to call a timeout.

This final minute is going to be the death of me. We have had several clearing attempts, none of which have crossed the unprintable blue line. Finally, after a defensive-zone draw, Syvret decided to chip it off the half-boards and we FINALLY got the miserable thing the heck out. We came semi-close to scoring, but time ran out before we could add an insurance goal to our tally.

The final score was Phantoms 2, Penguins 1, and unlike the last time we saw this team, the action was evenly matched. The stars of the game were pretty fitting -- the two goaltenders and the scorer of the GWG:

#3: John Curry
#2 Scott Munroe
#1 Claude Giroux

The Phantoms have a rare midweek home game coming up on Wednesday the 17th.

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