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

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Phantoms and Phantoms Phan Club at Norfolk Admirals 4-4-09

Hooray! When we stopped at the rest area on the way home, I figured out why my freaking wireless internet was acting up.

So here, without further ado, is the blog file from Saturday night's game.
Here we are at Scope Arena, Section 213. It's in the penalty-box-side corner which, IIRC, we defend twice. That's fine by me... I've always preferred spending time in the general vicinity of my team's netminder, ever since the days when I had an immense case of hero-worship for Bernie Parent. :)

Here come the Admirals, and wouldn't you know it? They're warming up on our end of the ice. Shoot. Oddly enough, they entered the ice from a door at the other end of the arena, near the Zamboni tunnel, and skated all the way to this end to warm up. Meanwhile, the Phantoms entered the ice from a door that's pretty much directly in front of our section, and skated down to the opposite side of the ice to warm up. Bizarre,

I hadn't realized, until Mark read through the Admirals' game program, that this is Norfolk's final home game of the season. Their remaining games, including the one in Philly tomorrow night, are all on the road.

I brought only the smaller of my two SLR lenses with me. Some arenas are fussy about people carrying cameras with detachable lenses, and I figured that I would rather reduce the odds of getting into a debate with guards at the door. As it turned out, it was a non-issue anyway as the guard did not go through the bag with a fine-tooth comb.
I see Jeff Szwez warming up with the team. Last night, he was absent from the lineup. Also on the ice for pregame -warmups are Josh Gratton and Josh Beaulieu. I know that we are allowed to warm up with one or two more players than we actually dress, so I will hold off on predicting who's in tonight's game until the scratches are announced.

Scratched: 2 6 8 12 23 24 36 37 Liquorice, Sloane, DeSantis, Klotz, Kempe, Bellamy, Hersley, Kalinski – that was unexpected, to put it mildly.)
Starting lineup: Aubin, Guenin, Syvret, Kane, Sirianni, Ross

Yep, this is definitely the end where we SHOOT twice. Why the teams' benches are on the opposite end of the rink from the entrances they use is utterly beyond me.

]Syvret and Kane come in on a 2 on 1, and YEAAAH we score on the very first shot of the game! Kane from Syvret and Ross. Fantastic! Norfolk proceeds to buzz around our net in an attempt to equalize the score. But Aubin is up to the challenge.

Eeee, we just executed a pas in front of our own net that must have made Fred Shero turn over in his grave. One of his maxims was to never have a cross-ice pass in front of your own net. First of all, one of our guys had to et creative to keep an Admiral from picking off the puck in the slot, and second, Aubin was wandering off to one side so the net was wide open.; Gaaah. My blood pressure. Fortunately, nothing bad came of it.

Nor did any mishaps occur courtesy of the Admiral who took the puck in his own neutral zone and started hustling up the middle. Syvret and I think Ratchuk combined to chase him down and bat the puck off his stick from behind. Nice D by our boys, and as an added benefit, no penalty-worthy maneuvers were committed.

Oh, Clackson came a hair's breadth from scoring from the very top of the crease. Only the quick thinking of an Admiral defender, who blocked the shot attempt with a strategically-placed stick, kept he puck from going on net at ooint-blank range.

OK, go figure... Kalinski was announced as a scratch, yet there he is on the ice with Szwez and JVR. Someone goofed up the list of scratches. I suspect it was Beaulieu's name, and not Kalinski's, that should have been announced.

OH OH OH how did we not score into the wide freaking open goal? Helenius was behind the net, only to have the puck decide to be uncooperative and go to a Phantom out in front. A Norfolk defender made what we all know was a save, though it will go on record as a blocked shot. However, we get the puck back and SCOOOOORE the next time around! Curry from Clackson and Ross! 2-0 Phantoms!'
SOG with 6:57 remaining in the period are even at 6-6.

With just under a minute left in the frame, Brookbank goes for interference and we get the first PP of the game. We have had only one SOG since we scored the second goal, while Norfolk has had 9.

We actually spent most of that final 55.5 seconds in our own end, but eventually the period ended with the Phantoms leading 2-0. We will have about 1:05 of powerplay time remaining at the start of the second period. SOG: Phantoms 7, Admirals 15.

We are on a delayed penalty right now and it is taking forever for a Phantom to get control and stop play. And BLOODY HADES, don't you know that the Ads get repeated scoring chances until one goes in? Aubin was down and someone was able to flip the puck over his outstretched glove. Aw, it was our old pal Zingoni. Gee, amigo, spare a thought for your former team, would ya? ;)

Well, at least we don't have to kill a penalty, Though e had a hair-raising moment soon after getting scored on whee t looked like Aubin's angle was off and something might sneak n at the post. Fortunately, that one stayed out.

Sirianni clangs one loudly off the post while trying to break in 2 on 2 with Ross. Drat. But at least it got us into the Norfolk end for a while. That goal against was the result of spending way too much time on D and not enough time on the attack.

SOG with 13:09 left in the period: Admirals 17, Phantoms 10.

Argh. Not only are we going on a PK, but it appears that we are going on a two-man disadvantage. What the flying leap is going on here? Kalinski goes for unsportsmanlike conduct and Curry goes for interference.

Blast. There goes the tying goal. 2-2. IMO, it's BOGUS to call unsportsmanlike conduct call at a time like that, IMO, but what can you do? We still are at a 5-on-4 PK.

OK, we did kill the rest of that penalty, but the score remains 2-2. SOG are Admirals 23, Phantoms 11.

Whoa, Clackson nearly gave us the lead again with another shot attempt from just outside the crease, No dice... THIS time. If he keeps crashing the net like that, those pucks re going to tart going in for him.

Eeeeee yi yi yi, did we dodge a bullet when a Norfolk bomb of a shot hit the post with about 3 and a half minutes left in the frame! Hey, if we can get b ounces like that around our own net, it's time to test the bounces that we get in front of Norfolk's net. We have spent too much darn time at this end in this period.

Surprise, we have a PP . We were nearly 30 seconds into the man advantage before the announcement was made. OK, now it's REALLY time to test the bounces in front of the Ads' net! GO PHANTOMS!

GRRR we had a mad scramble in front of Helenius but it came to naught.

Blah, another PK on the way with 37 seconds left in the period. Maroon goes for tripping.

At the end of the second period, the score is 2-2, the SOG are Admirals 26, Phantoms 21, and the Phantoms have 1:23 of PK time remaining when the third period begins.
We killed the infraction, and a few minutes later Sirianni's shot found iron. Gack. Still 2-2.

What in the blue blazes is going on? The ref's arm was up, but nobody has ny idea who the infraction was against. BOTH goalies attempted to head to the bench for an extra attacker. Finally we find out that the Admirals are the team going shorthanded, We need to hit the NET with these attempts. AAH, like THAT! SCOOORE on the PP abnd the Phantoms take the lead back! :) Boyd KANE from Syvret and Ross (who has three assists tonight).

Ohhhh, SO CLOSE to doubling the lead, but the dratted puck wouldn't cooperate during a huge goalmouth scramble in front of Helenius. Eeee. Still 3-2 Phantoms.

We have a little tweaking going on... Raduns is out with Szwez and Kalinski.

A nice stop by Helenius keeps the Ads within a goal.

JVR is out with Matsumoto and Laliberte; that's DEFINITELY a line tweak, and a significant one. What
s up with Maroon?

The Ross line is its normal grouping.

I think I see Maroon on the end of our bench, but that doesn't bguarantee that he'sb well enough to play. Or maybe coach just wants to see what JVR is made of. We hae 5:27 left in the period and SOG are Ads 33, Phantoms 28.

We are seeing a WHOLE LOT of the Ross and Matsumoto lines (the latter with JVR in place of Maroon). Coach definitely wants his top forwards out at crunch time. Syvret and Guenin, and Kukkonen/Bartulis, are in heavy rotation as well. Hee, so of course now he makes a fibber out of me and sends out the Kalinski/Szwez/Raduns. ;) That's OK.

There goes Helenius with a minute and a half left. The Phantoms call timeout with 29.1 seconds left in the period.

Laliberte puts the game on ice with an ENG with 0.4 seconds left! Phantoms win 4-2!

Binghamton also won, so we are still one point behind them. However, we have our game-in-hand on Sunday, in our third contest in three days against Norfolk. So here's to seeing us take that contest and pull ahead of the Senators!

Go Phantoms!

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