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

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Phantoms vs. Norfolk Admirals 3-4-09: Second Period

61 seconds into the period, former Phantom Pete Zingoni heads to the sin bin. Matsumoto, Laliberte, Maroon, Syvret, and Kukkonen (nice keep-in!) are out. Syvret pinched way in to the half-boards and fired the puck on net, but Helenius got over to the post soon enough to keep it out.

Next up: Kane, Nodl, Ross with Curry and Ratchuk. Freaking Norfolk clears the puck on us.

With four seconds left on the PP, Ratchuk gets sent off for interference. Lies, mistakes, errors, I tell ya. ;) Anyway, it's our turn to kill a penalty. Kalinski, Raduns, Guenin, and Syvret are out. Munroe makes another post-to-post maneuver. Kalinski goes one on one with a defenseman shorthanded. He gets practically all the way to the net before the Dman separates him from the puck, which drifts over to where Helenius can swat it away.

Back in our end, Kukkonen blocked a shot and left the ice in pain. Must have been a wicked blast, from the sound of it -- he was on the opposite end of the ice, and you could clearly hear the puck hit him. Ouch. The trainer is checking him out on the bench even as I type. However, the other problem that happened was that JUST as the penanty ended, Norfolk scored to tie it at 2-2. Rats.

The GOOD news is that on the next shift, Clackson went to BURY an Admiral at the Norfolk half-boards. The puck's momentum carried it into the slotk where Sirianni one-timed it home for an unassisted goal. 3-2, Good Guys. :)

Oh, and Clackson, on his next shift, got a point-blank shot on goal and tried to poke home the puck from where it landed after the save. (Not quite far enough from the goalie for me to want to call it a "rebound".) Norfok's players weren't too pleased with this. There wound up being a nice conference at the crease's edge.

The Phantoms went on another PP shortly thereafter. With six seconds remaining in that man advantage, Norfok took another penalty. The 5 on 3 ddn't last long enough for us to do a lot with it, but more importantly, it kept Norfolk's penalty killing unit on the ice when they wwere anticipating a return to full strength.

We got some nice scoring opportunities on that second PP, but the score remained 3-2. However, I am pleased to see that after returning to 5 on 5 hockey, we are continuing to press offensively and we are keeping Norfolk hemmed into their end. We haven't had this kind of sustained offense in a few games.

Gratton BURIED a guy in the Norfolk end, to the delight of the crowd. :) The next shift, he tried to dole out another big hit, but the other guy was a bit more prepared this time around and he didn't get knocked into the next time zone.

Gratton fought with Henley, and GOOD GRIEF did he ever give up a ton of size and reach. Henley's 6'6", 258 lbs. Gratton (6'2", 214, and there's no way on earth he's only four inches shorter than this guy) landed the first few punches, including to Henley's face, but then Henley let loose with a flurry of punches, some of which didn't seem to hit much and others which landed on Gratton's head. This eventually led to a Henley takedown. I'd give the fight to Henley, but Gratton gets a tip of the cap for going with a freaking behemoth.

Norfolk has another Jolly Green Giant on the roster, btw. Vladimir Mihalik is 6'7" and 222 lbs.

EEEYIKES. Norfolk got hold of a loose puck inches from our net. Munroe got the pad jammed against the post. Somehow the puck stayed out. Doggone, that was a close call. Just as this was going on, the final minute of the period was announced. So we narrowly dodged the bullet of giving up a late goal.

So anyway, I'm pleased to say that at the end of the second period, the Phantoms lead 3-2. SOG are Phantoms 23, Admirals 22.

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