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

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Phantoms at Hershey Bears 1-17-09: First Period

I wasn't able to catch this game from the very beginning. However, Clackson has had the obligatory bout with Amadio. I swear those two have scrapped in almost every Phantoms/Bears contest we've had so far this season. The Phantoms wound up on a PP from that event, as Amadio picked up an extra minor.

At the time of the end of the PP, the Phantoms were outshooting the Bears 5-1. Thats the good news. The bad news is that we are nearly at the END of the first period and we have not had a shot on goal since. Not at even strength, not on another PP, not while shorthanded. Nada.

The Bears, meanwhile, have been offering us approximately a shot per minute from that point forward. The final horn just sounded, and we were outshot 16-0 during that time period. We are currently being outshot 17-5 as we go into the first intermission.

If that were the only place where we were trailing, it wouldn't be quite so tough. However, we have also given up two goals to Alexandre Giroux, the darn Phantoms-killer that Washington shouldn't have sent back down. One of those goals was at even strength, and the other was on a late Bears PP. So the Phantoms trail 2-0.

We do not have Briere in our lineup. However, it was announced earlier today that Briere will, in fact, partake in a third rehab contest with the Phantoms, in our home game on Sunday night. That serves multiple purposes. First of all, it lets Briere rehab another game before returning to the Flyers. It gives our GM time to straighten out the Flyers' salary cap situation in advance of Briere's return to the Flyers lineup. And as the Phantoms are going to have a jersey auction on Sunday night, it will be a huge boost to the fundraising effort to be able to auction off a Briere jersey along with those of the rest of the team.

One more note before I close out this post... we incurred one of those penalties that no coach will gripe about, nor will any player complain about having to kill off. Laing of the Bears laid out Szwez with a hit, shaking him up badly enough that he headed up the tunnel with our trainer. Moments later, Oskars Bartulis flattened Laing and left HIM in a heap on the ice. Laing wound up communing with the Bears trainer, and Bartulis got two minutes for charging. But when players are sticking up for one another, no coach or teammate will raise an objection to being shorthanded.

Here's hoping that neither player is dented too seriously. I'll be on the lookout for both of them in the second period.

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