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

Friday, December 26, 2008

Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 12-26-08: First Period

Despite what I thought the transactions indicated, it turns out that Nodl is NOT up wth the Flyers, as I can see him in the starting lineup. In the first three minutes of the game, he and his line (with Ross and Kane) accounted for three shots on goal.

About four minutes into the contest, Klotz and Boogaard fought. It was a modest fight, with a lot of grappling for position mixed with some punches thrown in close. From what I could SEE of it over the people standing up (grrr) it appeared to be a draw.

With 15:17 left in the period, the Phantoms incurred the first penalty. Chris Zarb went to the sin bin for hooking. Ross, Kane, Bartulis, and Syvret were the first PK unit.

I missed the list of scratches, but it's clear that Guenin is among them. I'm not surprised, as he went off injured during the last game and did not return. The fact that Zarb a defenseman, was called up during the break between games led me to expect that we wouldn't be seeing Nate tonight.

Munroe has had to be alert during this PK. He's looked good, as he has for the past several games running. However, I expect that we will see Aubin getting some ice time during the road games with which we will close out this months schedule.

We are back to even strength. We have got six D dressed tonight, rather than seven, and the pairings are Zarb/DeSantis, Ratchuk/Curry, and Syvret/Bartulis.

Raduns is on a line with Szwez and Clackson. Right now they are buzzing in the Pens' zone. With 9:01 remaining, the SOG are Phantons 8, Penguins 3. They've earned us an offensive-zone draw, for which we wil have Ross in the faceoff circle and Kane with Nodl (rather than the called-up Giroux) on the wings.

Here comes our first PP. Matsumoto, Maroon, Sirianni, Curry, and Ratchuk are on the ice. Unfortunately, at the moment we are having a hard time getting the puck into the W-B end and keeping it there. We've come close to gettng set up a few times, but the rotten Penguins keep either clearing it or intercepting it and carrying it up ice out of harm's way. Now it's Minute Two if the PP, so let's see what transpires with Ross, Kane, Nodl, Syvret, and DeSantis... Nope, so far we still are retrieving the darn disk from in front of Munroe. Finally, we get set up, but I can hear Munroe's stick banging on the ice to announce the return of Minard. No good -- we went completely shotless on that man advantage. And now I can see the ref's arm up, waiting for us to get possession so he can send one of our guys off. Clackson is gong for tripping. We're back to Ross, Kane, Syvret, and Bartulis killing the penalty. And Munroe :), who once again is doing well. He's craning his head to see through the crowd, but since he's been stopping the puck effectively, I'd say he's kept the biscuit in his lne of sight.

Our second PK unt is Raduns, Nodl, Curry, and Ratchk. GOOD GRIEF. The flipping puck just ricocheted into the Phantoms bench in such a way that a lid from one of the water bottles bounced off the glass next to the tunnel and into the seats. For SURE I'm going to watch that sequence online when I get home, because I'd like to see how many laws of physics got broken in the process of having a kid in the 8th row get hold of a water bottle lid. (He did return said lid to the equipment manager, when he saw that the lid-free bottle had to be set off to one side.)

Now we have some good news and bad news. The good news is, we have a PP. The bad news is that our trainer is talking at length to Chris Zarb on the bench. I guess as long as the two of them don't migrate up the tunnel, all shall be well. But Zarb had an injury in Mississippi, from which he recently returned to the lineup, so I don't want to see him needing to have chats with trainers, thank you very much.

Yet again, btw, we are going shotless in this PP so far. Our most recent two shots came just after or previous power play ended, and since then, we've gotten nada.

Now, with seven seconds remaining in the PP, we are going on a two-man PP. I heard an ugly crash into the boards, though I couldn't see who exactly made that noise, and now a Penguin is heading off for cross-checking (after a ten player glaring match in the corner behind the Pens' net). Fortunately, it appears that everyone from both teams is still in one piece, which is not always the case after a thud like that emanates from somewhere the ice.

The first penalty is over, the second penalty s exactly halfway over, we have 15.3 seconds left in the first frame, and we STILL are waiting for a PP shot on goal. That's not a good thing, guys -- let's give the goalie a puck to stop, shall we?

Ah, just as I type it, they do it. A shot on goal. Meaning that we will finish this period with 11 SOG instead of 10. Meanwhile, the Penguins have 6 SOG.

The Phantoms will have 44 more seconds of PP time remaining at the start of the second period.

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