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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Phantoms vs. Albany River Rats, 1-31-09: First Period

The good news" Nate Guenin and Boyd Kane are back in the lineup. The not-so-hot news: Andreas Nodl is scratched. Klotz is also scratched, as well as Hersley. To make room in the lineup, Chris Zarb was reassigned to Mississippi earlier in the week. Ross has got an A on his jersey, as Kane has resumed wearing the C.

44 seconds into the contest, we start off with my unfavorite penalty, Delay of the Game. I never liked seeing our NHL team get saddled with a penalty when the puck was cleared over the glass, and I like it even less now that the rue has migrated down to the AHL level. (Unlike most rules, which get a test run at the AHL level first, then move up if they're deemed satisfactory.)

I expect to see our lines looking a bit more "normal" tonight, as opposed to what we've seen in the past few weeks with Kane out and Briere in. Matsumoto, Sirianni, and Maroon are out together. So were Ross, Kane, and Laliberte at the start of the game. Clackson, Bellamy, and Raduns appear to be a line, also.

I can see that we are gong to get another penalty, as the ref's arm is up. With 13"49 left in the period, Raduns goes for tripping. We have one shot on goal so far, compared to ALbany's 4 shots.

Matsumoto and Laliberte are the first PK pairn and Laliberte nearly got a breakaway for a SH scoring opportunity. Guenin and Syvret are the D. Unfortunately, a Rats defender stripped him of the puck at the Albany blue line. Next up, Ross and Kane, with Parent and Bartulis. After them, Matsumoto and Laliberte were out again.

At the end of the penalty, the SOG are Abany 8, Phantoms 2.

Ryan and Beaulieu are our fourth liners; this time, we have them out with Matsumoto. We have seven D dressed (Bartulis, Ratchuk, Guenin, DeSantis, Syvret, Curry, and Parent).

Parent and Albany's #36 level one another behind the Phantoms net. (He keeps facing the wrong way, so I can't see his name.)

Wow, we really have a houseful tonight. Most of the first level is occupied, and along the sides of the second level, most of the seats are full as well. Only on the ends are the sections sparsely occupied, but even then every section has at least some people in it. Nice.

A River Rat just stole the puck from one of our guys at the blue line, resulting on a clear shot on net. Munroe saw it all the way, however, and froze the puck, so no harm done. ('Cept maybe a certain forward buying his former college teammate a dinner. ;) )

We are now being outshot 11-3, or at least we were until Matsumoto got the puck in the slot. He fired on net, and while it didn't go in, it bumped our total up by one. Nowe we seem to be hemming the Rats into their own end, which is something we haven't done in this game until now. By the time the puck got frozen, we had improved our shot clock stats to 11-6, plus we drew a penalty on the deal. Oh, make that TWO penalties, as the River Rat got two for roughing and two for unsportsmanlike conduct. So we have four minutes to try and draw first blood before the period is out.

First PP unit: Ross, Kane, and Laliberte, with Syvret nd DeSantis. The Rats are doing a good job of holdng us off, but we are set up in their zone. We finally get a darn puck through traffic, but the goalie freezes it and we'e going to an offensive-zone faceoff. Matsumoto, Sirianni, and Maroon are out with Curry and Ratchuk now. A minute and a half into the four minute man advantage, we have only gotten one shot on goal. C'mon, guys, let's have at these Rats. Albany keeps finding ways to clear the darn puck on us. FINALLY, another puck on net, and another faceoff. And another cleared puck, dagnab it. One minute left in the man advantage, and the ref's arm is up in OUR zone. Looks like that's the end of our PP: DeSantis is making his way to the sin bin. So we will have 56 seconds of 4 on 4, followed by a PK.

Matsumoto, Raduns, Bartulis, and Parent are out. And we can't seem to get the heck out of our zone at 4 on 4, which doesn't bode especially well for when the Rats get their player back. Nowe we're on the PK, but Ross manages to get the puck and makes a nice air-dump of a clear. Laliberte an Raduns are the next PK pair. OH, we got our player back and followed it up with a GREAT scoring chance, but it stayed out of the net. Beans. We have 51 seconds remaining in the period now. Clackson, Matsumoto, and Bellamy are on the ice. Looks like the third and fourth line combinations are going to be a little bit on the fluid side tonight.

The period is over. The score remains 0-0, and the SOG are Phantoms 9, River Rats 11.

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