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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: Second Period

This second period has gotten off to a slow start Not only did we not cash in a PP goal of our own, when we went on the penalty kill a little while after returning to even strength, the Penguins did manage to draw first blood, and they now lead 1-0. To add to the aggravation, my unfavorite rule came into play as we got a delay-of-game infraction for clearing the puck over the glass, so we are currently shorthanded once again. With 15:28 left in the period, we have 13 SOG compared to the Penguins' 11.

We have managed to clear the puck out a couple of times (minus that one episode of sendng it into the crowd), so I'm pleased to se our PK agetting the job done.

We're back to even strength, and Sirianni just fed Ratchuk for a scoring chance that I still don't know how it stayed out. What a freaking stop by (John, the goalie) Curry on a point-blank attempt by Ratchuk.

Maroon, Sirianni, and Matsumoto are continuing to apply pressure. This is the best we've looked all period long so far. We haven't lit the lamp yet, but this was the first sustained pressure we have had since the frst period. So it looks like we're getting our legs under us.

Next up: Raduns, Clackson, Szwez with Ratchuk and (Sean, the defenseman) Curry. And to make matters better, we are about to get a PECOOOO POWER PLAY, so let's hope we get some good stuff done. Matsumoto/Sirianni/Maroon are out, and *OH*, Sirianni came this-close to getting his first goal as a Phantom. Oh, so freaking close...! Now it's Ross/Kane/Nodl's turn to try and even the score. We are havng some issues getting set up again, though. That's been a pain in the tail for us more than once tonight. Ratchuk finally charged up the center of the ice and blasted the puck, but Curry-the-goalie flashed the glove and froze the puck. That was a Patrick-Roy-style glove save, minus the extended Statue-of-Liberty pose afterward.

Dagnab it all. The Pens scored shortly after returning to even strength. Man, we are not looking at our best. I was hoping that darn flu that's been hitting the team would have had some time to clear up in the interim between our previous game and this one, but we have a lot less spring in our step than I'm used to seeing. So I'm thinking that maybe the flu hasn't finished impacting the team's energy level. Beans.

Anyway, we have 9:50 remaining in the period, the SOG are Phantoms 15, Penguins 14, and we are about to go on another PP. Here's hoping we get some good stuff done here. Ross/Kane/Nodl are out, with Kane stationed right at the crease to look for rebounds. Our shot on goal, unfortunately, rebounded to a Penguin and we got to spend some time regaining control of the puck in our end. When we got back, Curry went a mile out of the net to try and get the puck, but somehow he STILL got himself back into the blue paint in time to stop the ensuing shot on goal. DOGGONE IT ALL TO HECK.

However, we get another crack at the man advantage not long after returning to even strength. Let's see how this goes. It's Raduns/Kane/Nodl this time, with Syvret and Ross. (Four-forward PP units are not such a common sight anymore, after being a stape of last year's special teams.)

Boy, what does it take to register a son-of-a-gunning shot on goal on our power play tonight? MAN. Ten seconds remain in the man advantage, and Curry-the-goalie hasn't seen a puck come his way. Aggravating. And, I'm sure, aggravating for the Phantoms as well, particularly since we've been so solid on the PP for so many games.

Back to even strength we go, with the Phantoms now trailing on the shot clock for the first time in the game, 16-17. And, of course, trailing on the rather more important stat of the scoreboard, 2-0. We have nearly five minutes remaining in the period.

We have a heck of a nice crowd for this game. Looks like a LOT of peole decided to take in a game as part of their Christmas vacation. Here's hoping we entertain them with a great comeback, preferably sooner rather than later.

Ryan is out now. He's wearing number 22 and we haven't seen a lot of him yet in this game. His linemates are Clackson and Szwez.

These guys drew a hook9ng penalty on the Pens during their rush up ice. Let's see if we can get organized and get some good stuff done. We have had a LOT of PP time in this period, and with luck, the Pens' PK units will be feeling it by now. Syvret took a nice SOG from the pont, but Curry-the-goalie saw it all the way. We have another four-forward PP unt, with Ross manning the point and Kane in the crease. The next unit to come out is Matsumoto/Sirianni/Maroon (who I would have SWORN did NOT go all the way offside, grrrrrr) with Curry-the-Dman and Ratchuk. Sirianni BLASTED the puck on goal, but we couldn't quite corral the rebound. Of course, offensive-zone draws are good, and we're getting one even as I type. It's now even strength, but the same group of forwards is out. SOG are even at 18-18.

(Non-sequitor of the day: after going clean-shaven for most of the season, I notice that our goalie coach is in the scouts' box sporting some face fuzz. This is new. :) )

The period is over, SOG remain even at 18-18, and the Phantoms trail the Pens 2-0. Let's hope that we can get our rears in gear and come out with guns blazing to start the third period.

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