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

Friday, January 16, 2009

Phantoms vs. Lowell Devils 1-16-09: First Period

Here's our second game with Briere in the lineup. In the timespan between the pregame warmup and the opening faceoff, it looks to be a good crowd tonight, despite the facts that the wind chill gives us a temperature of 0 degrees F, and the Sixers have a home game at the Center tonight. (Normally, inclement weather or another event running concurrently at the Sports Complex have a negative impact on walk-up attendance.)

Start: Munroe, Syvret, Parent, Briere, Nodl, Ross

Boy, do I ever have laryngitis. I'll have to resort to "Doing the Wheeler" in the event of having reason to celebrate for the Phantoms tonight, as my voice is seriously out of commission.

I missed some of the scratches, due to some conversation regarding some neighboring fans and where their seats are located. However, Teslak is still our backup and Aubin remains scratched. I still have no idea just how he injured himself back in November, but boy it must have been a doozy, poor guy. It's a good seven weeks since then, and he has played a grand total of one period. I do wish the AHL would require teams to at least give us an idea of the ETA of injured players' return to the lineup.

Here comes Briere through the tunnel, once again high-fiving every little kid's hand that's extended in his direction. :)

Hee, the ceremonial first puck was dropped by "Andy Reid" and "David Akers" -- or at least, two people with the same names as those Eagles-connected individuals. :D Speaking of Da Iggles, Sunday's game has been rescheduled for 7 PM, to allow people time to watch the Eagles game and still come to the Phantoms game if they so choose.

With 15:25 remaining in the first period, the Lowell Devils seem to be slightly less hypnotized by the presence of Briere in the ineup. We are being outshot 4-2, rather than seeing him get double-teamed and having open ice created for our other players.

Blast it, and now the Devils have scored 24 seconds later. We had a scramble in our end (with a different line than Briere's on the ice), and one too many times, the Devils got the puck first. So we trail 1-0, and now the shot clock reads Phantoms 3, Devils 9.

But now our top line is making some waves in the Lowell end, which I like the look of. BINGO, there goes NODL with a goal! We just did precisely the same thing to Lowell that they did to us a minute and a half ago: just kept tryying to get the puck on net until finally Nodl fired it into the net from the slot. Assists to Ross and Bartulis. 1-1.

We are still creating chances in the Devils end, even though we haven't gotten a shot since we scored. Any time spent on the attack can be transated into a goal, if all goes well, though, so I don't mind.

Crud, this can't be good. Maroon just went face first into the boards, went down, and didn't move. The Devils' captain got two minutes for boarding. Finally, our trainer got Maroon backfrom la-la land, and they went to the bench. I don't know why they didn't go drectly up the tunnel, as Maroon looks like he's not entirely coherent yet I hope he's not as out-on-his-feet as he appears to be from this angle. :(

Nodl nearly had a PP goal, what a shot! But he is now stationed in the slot for another try. Nope, no dice, Devs clear.

Parent is now gong into the sin bin for interference. Ross and Briere are the first PK forward pairing out, and they are joined by Syvret and Curry. Eeeeek, we just had a moment where Munroe and Curry both were sitting inside the net after a mad scramble. However, the puck remained out.

Nodl and Matsumoto are our second PK pair, with Bartulis and DeSantis, and they cleared the puck. Nice. That gives us the opportunity to bring out the first K unit again, for the final half-minute of the kill. Briere proceeded to break up the ice just as the penalty expired, causing a Devils defender to hook him down. Not only did said Devil get two for hooking, but another Devil got two for unsportsmanlike onduct. The Phantoms are about to go on a two-man adantage for two minutes.

Or not -- as ROSS scored early on, assisted by Syvret and Briere. We still have 1:46 of 5-on-4 PP remaining, as well. :)

AGAIN!!! We score with 53 seconds remaining on the PP. THis was Laliberte from Matsumoto and Rachuk! 3-1 Good Guys. :) they're changing goalies now, from Frazee to Caruso. But really, I don't blame the goalie. Maybe the coach is trying to wake his team up.

LOL, Ross, Briere, and the Devils' Gionta are on the ice together. Three of the most vertically-challenged guys in the league, I'd wager. :D

At the end of the period, the SOG are Phantoms , Devils, 14. But the score is 3-1, Phantoms, so I don't mind our being outshot.

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