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

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Phantoms vs. Norfolk Admirals, 3-15-09: Third Period

BWAAAA HA HA HA, the music guy started playing the theme from The Three Stooges ("Three Blind Mice") when the three officials came out. So whether he's calling our zebras Three Stooges or Three Blind Mice, either way he's tweaking the officials. Heh heh heh. :D

They're changing credit on the second goal. Now it's Sirianni from Ross and Kane.

Here comes a PECOOOO POWER PLAY. Maroon is stationed at the crease for rebounds or deflections from Matsumoto/Laliberte shots. Syvret and Kukkonen are the D. Unfortunately, ew are spending this first shift in OUR zone, which is not what we want to be doing. OK, now we finally are getting set up in the Norfolk end. But not for long. Grumble. Norfolk carries it out, we carry it back in.

OH! We have a very near miss on our first try, but the goalie was down after attempting to make the save, and Ross fires it into the open net for our first lead of the game. Assists to Kane and Curry, and we managed to get that disk into the net with all of 4 seconds remaining on the PP.

Curry just LEVELLED the Ads' number 44 who was carring the puck up the far boards. He lined him up and sent him flying. NICE hit. :) The Phantoms Phaithful appreciated it, too.

Nice team D. Keller from the Ads grabbed the puck and charged into our zone, full speed ahead, but all by himself. Our two D had already stayed back and covered him, two of our forwards came in behind him, so the only choice he had was to try and dump the puck in. We regained possession and headed out again.

SON of a BLANKETY BLANK BLANK BLANK, we were just about to have a great scoring chance, but we got whistled for too many men on the ice. BLAST. Szwez heads off to serve the penalty. Konopka gets flattened by Bartulis at the half boards when he tried to et in position to shoot. It actually took a few seconds for me to see who it was that threw the hit, because they went sliding out of sight at the base of the boards for a few moments.

We have killed the penalty but still I like our defensive play right now. We are sending otwo forwards in deep, and the third one is making a point to stay back and help the D more than worry about attacking. Matsumto has been one of the guys who still attacks, though, and with his speed that's pretty sensible. But Helenius has stood his ground with Matsumoto, and later with Szwez who was all alone at the Norfolk net trying to swat the puck by the goalie any way he knew how. (If I were Norfolk's coach, I wouldn't be one bit happy about seeing a Phantom duelling with Helenius and not one blue-clad teammate anywhere nearby to help out.)

Uh oh, we kind of fell out of that pattern I described earlier, and wound up with a 2 on 1 break against us. Fortunately, two of our other players managed to get back into the play before any damage was done, and the puck woudn up under a dogpile of players at the boards.

Kane just passed the puck half a mile, from deep in our end to Sirianni who was charging for all he was worth at the center ice circle. He and Ross barreled in to try and get a scoring chance. We ddn't get a goal, but the play was nice enough to inspire an excerpt from "Sweet Home Alabama" to be played. :) (Ross is from Huntsville, AL.)

We have 3:09 remaining in the game, with the Phantoms leading 3-2 and the SOG Phantoms 29, Admirals 24. Norfok is busting their collective tail to tie this game. I hate that we just had to have a faceoff in our end, because it let the Ads set up and crash our net, looking for a goal. Munroe froze it, and here we go facing off in our end again. This time we won and out goes Ross's lne. The D changed while our forwards were at the far end of the ice, with Bartulis and Kukkonen coming out for a pair of fresh players on the blueline.

Norfolk is trying the dump-and-chase method. We got to it first, but since we didn't quite clear it out, it let them get a chance. Grrr. Munroe took care of that, and wound up gloving the puck for a faceoff to his right. Matsumoto, Kaliberte, Maroon, Guenin, and Syvret are taking the draw. This eventually turned into a giant dogpile on Munroe's stick side. The last guy to get up looked like a blue pancake on the ice while he waited for the other players to get off him and line up for the faceoff.

The more the clock winds down, the more desperate the Admirals are becoming. Konopka needs to be sat on right about now. His shot went wide, but I don't like him getting near-miss chances this late in a close game. With 35.1 seconds left, a shoving match to Scotty's right ended up with one Admiral on the ice, and his teammate backing over him and landing on Ross who also was on the ice. Ross didn't appreciate this much and when he got up, he had some comments to make to the nearest Admiral (which wasn't the guy that fell on him).

Timeout, Norfolk. Ross's line remains on the ice with Guenin and Syvret. We neeeed to get this doggone biscuit out of our zoe. Munroe makes a nice catch with his glove, just wide of the net, and brings the mitt up with a bit of extra flourish to the sound of cheering from the crowd. The Phantoms call timeout with 25.4 seconds left and the Norfolk goalie pulled.

The same guys are on the ice for us. And ten skaters are mobbed in front of the net -- how Munroe even came close to seein the puck, never mind keeping it out, I don't know. No shot on goal was registered on the board, so maybe someone else batted the disk out of harm's way. IN any event, we wound up icing the thing with 4.1 seconds left. Same five guys remain on the ice for us once again. And this time, we win and get a ten-skater scrum in the corner.

Stars of the game. #3: Zingoni (NOR), #2 Kane, and #1 Ross. SOG were Phantoms 29, Admirals 28.

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