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

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Phantoms @ Hamilton Bulldogs 1-6-09; Second Period

Early in the second period, there seems to be an issue with the ice. They're sending out for a bucket of snow, I presume from what the Zamboni shaved off during the intermission, and are repairing an area all along the boards near the hash marks with it. The snow has been applied, and they are following up with a dose of water to freeze it over.

After giving the touched-up area enough time to freeze over, play was allowed to resume.

Now, BOTH Phantoms alumni are on the ice for Hamilton: Gainey and Anderson.

To my surprise, the Bulldogs' shot on goal over three minutes into the period was the first shot of the second frame for either team.

While we are getting set up in the Bulldogs zone, Bellamy gets hauled down, no call. On the same shift, Klotz gets shoved to the ice: no call. Boy, I hope that we get the same measure of leniency if one of our defenders takes down a Hamilton player.

Here we go -- now there IS someone else from Hamilton getting called for hooking, a couple of plays later. This is the Phantoms' second PP of the game. Ross is out with Szwez, Sirianni, Curry, and Syvret. CURRY!!! He scores with a huge bomb from the left point -- NICE job! And it's a pleasure to see our powerplay actually looking potent again -- this is the first game in a while that we looked in-control from the first drop of the puck with the man advantage. Curry gets the goal, with assists from Syvret and Sirianni. That assist puts Syvret back into a tie for the lead-scoring AHL defenseman. 2-1, Hamilton.

During a protracted stoppage in play, our announcer mentioned that we have six players on recall to the Flyers: Munroe, Nodl, Gratton, Giroux, Kalinski, and Powe. Some of the above-mentioned guys are injured -- Giroux, Kalinski, and Powe. Gratton missed some time with a hand injury, as well -- this blogger would like to see the Flyers stop breaking our guys once they call them up.

Laliberte is getting sent off for tripping, resulting in the bulldogs' third PP of the night. Syvret proceeds to clear the puck out. The Bulldogs come back in, but the Phantoms are doing a goo job of keeping them from getting set up. Out it goes, thanks to Beaulieu and BTW, welcome back to our PK unit, Josh. Hamilton did manage to generate some scoring opportunities, but the Phantoms defended well.

The penalty is over, but lo and behold, we are getting sent to the box once again. It's Syvret this time. Curry and Matsumoto are creating a shorthanded rush, during which we weren't able to get a shot off -- but we did manage to whittle some seconds off this shorthanded stint, so I'll take it.

Once the Bulldogs got the puck back down to our end, we had some issues getting it cleared again. The puck bounced off Koharski at one point, to which I grumble, "MOVE, will you?" Bad enough we have a deficit of skaters on the ice; we don't need an official to create additional obstacles for us to overcome. Three Phantoms in front of Teslak were not enough to keep the rebound from going to Steve Gainey, and the Bulldogs are now ahead 3-1 with their second PP goal of the game.

With 2:34 left in the second period, the Phantoms are getting a PP -- we really, really need to cash this opportunity in. Unfortunately, Hamilton cleared the puck out, and pursued it with us into our end, resulting in a game of keep-away at our half-boards. Eventually we get ourselves in position in the Bullogs end, albeit with half the man-advantage gone. We are cycling the puck, and while I don't mind seeing us control the puck, I would like to see us direct the disk on net since we're not going to score too effectively by passing around the perimeter.

We did end the period having taken the same number of shots in this frame as the Bulldogs did: 9. We also scored one goal apiece. The score at the end of two periods is Hamilton 3, Phantoms 1.

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