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

Friday, April 24, 2009

Phantoms at Hershey Bears, Game 4, East Division Semifinals, 4-24-09: First Period

I had a few connectivity issues tuning into the cybercast. I got online just in time to hear that both teams have had one powerplay. Hershey has had two SOG and the Phantoms have had none, and there is no score yet. We are about seven minutes into the game.

BOMBSHELL: J-S Aubin started in goal in place of Scott Munroe, and I have no idea why. Stay on your feet as long as possible, JS; be patient, make the shooter commit first, and make yourself big in net.

Former Phantom Triston Grant's team, the Milwaukee Admirals, have swept their first-round opponent. I'm glad for him. I don't particularly follow Western teams this year, but since T-Bird's on the MilAds, I would like to see them have a long run.

JVR is going off for hooking. It'll be Hershey's second PP of the game, and we have 9:59 left in the period. Both teams have three shots on goal.

I just checked the box score. Munroe is the backup tonight, so I'm not thinking he's injured. (If he is, it's not bad enough to keep him from dressing for the game.) I'm not sure what the rationale is behind having a goalie change at this point in the series, but here we are.

7:40 left in the frame; we gave up three shots on the PP. Here we go with another penalty vs. the Phantoms. Time to glance over at the box score and see who our whistle-happy ref is. Ciamaga. Aaah... never mind. No comment. Let's leave it at that.

I realize that I grew up watching standup goaltending, so seeing a netminder leave his feet still strikes me as something my childhood idols would have avoided whenever possible. In the past, oh, decade and a half, I have seen lots of butterfly goaltending, and therefore the sight of a goalie in a split is not foreign to my eyes anymore. HOWEVER... Munroe and Aubin have a very different style when it comes to how they respond to an incoming puck, or even a potentially incoming disk. Aubin tends to drop into the split more readily, and I'm not as accustomed to seeing that because Munroe had a lot of the home games down the stretch during the season. Seeing JS drop into the split, sometimes before the puck has actually been shot, is giving me anxiety.

OK, Ciamaga, you ignored the hook Osala had against Clackson, and moments later you call a borderline infraction against Clackson? For making some CONTACT behind the NET? GRRRRR... Onto the PK we go, once again.

In the past six and a half minutes, the Bears have had seven shots on goal. We haven't had any in that time. Here we go on the farging PK again. Matsumoto/Laliberte with Syvret and most likely Guenin (he's not on screen). NICE stop by Aubin!

50 seconds left in the PK, Hershey is outshooting the Phantoms 11-3. Nice clear, Bartulis. Kalinski/Kane are the forward pair, and Kane cleared the puck as soon as the Bears brought it back in.

We're at even strength again, with very little time left in the period. JVR, Sirianni, and Nodl are out together with Bartulis and presumably Kukkonen. Finally, we get a shot on goal. Neuvirth hangs on for the faceoff.

Maroon, Matsumoto, Laliberte, Syvret, and Guenin are out. We buzz a bit around the Bears net, but the horn sounds to end the period. Hershey outshot the Phantoms 11-4. It appears that we will be at even strength to start the second period. (There was some extracurricular grouchiness after the horn, so we'll see if anyone is in the sin bin for either team when the wecond frame begins.)

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