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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: Third Period, OT, shootout.

I see Laing back on the ice for the Bears. I have not seen nor heard Szwez's name since Laing hit him in the first period. Great, that's all we need: another possible injury. Our freaking press box isn't crowded enough already with guys in various stages of injury-recovery. :headdesk: I hope it's nothing major.

In the first six or so minutes of the period, both teams have had a couple of Keystone-Kops moments, but neither team has created much in the way of scoring opportunities. Now there's a protracted string of shots on the Phantoms net, but Munroe is equal to the task.

That seemed to wake up both teams, though. There is a lot of end-to-end movement going on, but the teams appear more organized and determined than they did earlier in the period.

We are being outshot in this period 13-2. Once again, the Phantoms have given up more than 40 SOG. Ratchuk blocked a stuff attempt at the post, but the rebound went out into the slot, where a Bear put it in. There was, however, a fallen Bear landing on Munroe at the time the puck went in. And the entire sequence could have been avoided if, as our announcer pointed out, our D's clearing attempt had not hit the referee's skates and stayed in. (That's the second time in this game that Fraser's feet kept the puck in the Phantoms zone, but who's counting?) There are no video replays to support or disprove the Phantoms' objections to goalie interference, however, so the goal will stand 3-2 Bad Guys.

The Phantoms have gone on a PP, as Clackson's preferred waltz partner Amadio has been sent to the box to feel shame. We're getting some chances, but so far, no dice. Nope -- no PP goal for us, at least not this time. The score remains 3-2.

MATSUMOTO -- he got stoned earlier in the game, but he wouldn't be denied this time! He made a nice highlight-reel maneuver at the post to tie the game. 3-3! :) Assists to Laliberte and Maroon.

After a long Nasty Session between the teams with 3:30 remaining, the sole penalty that was assesses was a ten-minute misconduct to Clackson. That's rather mystifying to those of us who can't hear what was going on, but at least we're not going shorthanded this late in the game. And speaking of late penalties, we're getting coincidental minors to Ross and a Bear whose name I missed.

Nodl and Sirianni are our first 4-on-4 forward pair. Matsumoto/Laliberte are next. Nodl/Maroon was yet another combination that we saw during the 4-on-4. But we didn't see a lot else of note, and now the penalties are over.

The Phantoms have called a timeout, prior to a defensive-zone draw. We have given up 48 shots on goal so far, and our season high of shots given up is 49. The game's not over yet, so we could be on the verge of setting a new mark there.

Looks like the Bears are getting back at us for all the times when our clock at the Spectrum has wigged out on them: a little while ago, they took two seconds off the clock. This time, they are adding 2.5 seconds, giving us 9.7 seconds remaining.

There goes the horn to end the third period. We've garnered at least one point from this game. Hershey still has 48 shots on goal as we take the minute-long break before the overtime.

Our first four players: Ross, Nodl, Syvret, Parent. Matsumoto/Laliberte got sprung on a long pass by Parent, but no luck. And there's Hershey's 49th shot. And their 50th and 51st, to boot. Scott Munroe needs a star of the game, have I mentioned that recently?

OMG times ten, Laliberte was robbed, absolutely freaking ROBBED. Machesney stopped two shots, plus a defenseman piled in to help prevent another puck from reaching the net. Oh, brother, we came this-close to a GWG on that play.

Here we go -- the game ended at 3-3, so we are going for the bonus point from the skills competition. Or, in other words, there will be a shootout. Munroe finished the game with 49 saves.

Hershey: no, 0-0
Phantoms, Maroon: no, 0-0
Hershey: no, 0-0
Phantoms, Matsumoto: YES, 1-0
Hershey: no, 1-0
Phantoms, Ross: YES, 2-0
Hershey: yes, 2-1
Phantoms, Nodl: no, 2-1
Hershey: yes, 2-2
Phantoms, Ratchuk: no, 2-2

We are tied after five rounds, so now we go to sudden death.

Hershey: no, 2-2
Phantoms, Laliberte: no, 2-2
Hershey: no, 2-2
Phantoms, Matsumoto: YES!!! 3-2! Phantoms win in the seventh round of the shootout, hallelujah! And I'm laughing -- the Phantoms' announcer's voice isn't quite as hoarse as mine, but it's close. LMHO, poor guy has laryngitis and he gets to call, not just a game, but an OT and a shootout into the bargain. (Not to mention that this is a three-game-in-three-night weekend, so he got to do play-by-play last night as well, and he's likely to be at it again tomorrow at the Spectrum.)

Well, the Good Guys pulled out a 4-3 victory, coming back from behind twice. THIS is more like it! Now if we could just figure out how to allow fewer SOG per game...! But I'd rather lead on the scoreboard than the shot clock, so I'll take it.

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