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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Phantoms @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 12-30-08: Third Period

AAAAH, we came so close to tying the score again in the first minute of the PP -- too bad our guy lost an edge and fell while attempting the shot. Doggoned force of gravity, sometimes that thing's such a nuisance. We did look great during this early-period PP, even if we didn't score.

Here comes another opportunity for us to get a PP goal, however. The Pens actually got the puck and started a shorthanded rush, but fortunately for us they went offside. Now we're back in their end, where it will be nice if we have another round of Curry vs. Curry. Nope, this time it was Maroon who blasts a shot on net, but Curry-the-goalie was up to the challenge. DeSantis, Ratchuk -- OH, man, insane scramble in front of the Pens' net but Curry-the-goalie manages to keep the darn biscuit on the outside of the net. Darn. That's the end of the PP.

And the darn Pens managed to get it to our end, at which point a Penguin got to a rebound first and cashed it in. 4-2 bad guys. "Woo!", my foot.

Nodl shoots an absolute BOMB on net, but Curry-the-goalie makes the stop. I really do like some of the chances we've been creating. Those were conspicuous by their absence in the past couple of games. Maybe some of our flu-ridden guys are feeling more like themselves now, compared to how they might have felt a few days ago.

I'd also like to point out that the MOVING ADS that are set into the boards are annoying and visually distracting. I don't know how the players put up with them. I keep seeing the ads changing themselves while play is in progress, and it makes me thankful that we haven't resorted to that gimmick in Philly yet. The Spectrum certainly won't, and I hope the Center never does. I'm not over-fond of the sort of self-updating lit-up ads in the boards like they've got at Nassau Coliseum, either. I'm old enough to remember when the boards were blank, so let's just say that I thought that the STILL ads on the boards were irksome, till the moving ones were invented.

Clackson makes a trip into the sin bin for roughing, so we get to spend some time shorthanded yet again. We clear the puck almost right away, though, so that's an auspicious beginning to the PK. Wilkes-Barre brings it back in, and provides Munroe with the opportunity to make yet another nice save. AIEEEE, mad scramble in front, including a pileup of guys from both teams all over the crease. Fortunately, the Pen that eventually got the loose puck was too close to roof the shot, and Munroe snared it.

We're back to even strength, so now it's time to give Curry-the-goalie a workout. Right after this commercial break, that is.

Bother. W-B got a three-on-one with Curry back, and they passed it over to an open man (Lovejoy) for a goal. 5-2, Bad Guys. The Pens have now got 46 shots on goal and the game has multiple minutes left to go in it. It's the second game in a row that we have yielded more than 45 shots.

Sirianni just made a serious bid to pot his first goal as a Phantom, but it wasn't meant to be. *This* time. If he keeps that up, he'll be racking up goals for us in no time, to go with the assist he got in the last game.

Now we're on a late-game PP. Sirianni, Laliberte -- oh, who gets demolished by a crosscheck, so now it's our turn to get a two-man advantage with 2:08 remaining in the third period. We're pulling the goalie, as well, so now we have six skaters to their three. MAROOOOON buries the PP goal with 1:31 left in the third period! 5-3, and we still have a one-man avantage. Oops, make that two, as our goaltender is pulled and so we have 6 skaters to their 4.Maroon is carryng it in again, takes it behind teh net and SCOOOORE, it bounced of I-know-not-what when he shot it from behind the goal line. I think it went in off a Pens' defender. That's our second PP goal on this man advantage.

The score is 5-4, we have 40 seconds left, and the Phantoms have called a timeout. Ross is taking it in and trying his best to get that thing on net, but no go. Syvret took a shot from the far end of the ice, and we are getting a faceoff in the Pens' end with 11 seconds left and our goalie pulled. Ross doesn't win the draw and now there's a stampede of 11 skaters heading to the Phantoms end. Blah, there goes the empty-net goal. 6-4, Bad Guys and we have only a few moments left.

The final score is 6-4, Penguins, and the Pens also got 49 SOG. 23 of those came during that unending shorthanded sequence that we had to withstand in the second period.

Our next game will be in the New Year, at 6:05 PM in the Spectrum. The Phantoms have to catch a flight to Toronto after the game, so the game time had to be moved up to an hour earlier.

The audio was cut off before the stars coul be announced, but it won't take long for that info to make it to the box score.

So we close out 2008 with a four-game winless streak, but given the injuries, callups, and flu that struck the team right then, as far as I'm conerned it's just one of those blips that eery team deals with during a season. Here's to a happy, healthy, and successful 2009 for the team.

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