Unbeaten String Extends to Six Games as Phantoms Tie Flames 1-1 in Defensive Battle
Sunday, February 3, 2002
By David W. Unkle
SJSports Staff Writer
For 59 minutes and 45 seconds, the Phantoms couldn't solve Goalie Kay Whitmore. But the game has exactly sixty minutes in regulation and that difference was all the Phantoms needed Saturday night. Before an AHL season high crowd of 14,505 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, the Phantoms came from behind with 14.3 seconds left in regulation as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie in overtime against the defending Calder Cup Champion Saint John Flames.
After falling behind 1-0 at the beginning of the second period on an even strength goal by Flames Jamie Wright, the Wings defense shut down the Flames in the third period, allowing a total of three shots on net. Despite the Herculean effort put forth by the defense, the Phantoms offense generated only eight shots and couldn't seem to get the rebound when Whitmore was caught out of position. At 16:08 of the third period, Flames forward Jeff Mitchell was whistled for boarding giving the Phantoms their third power play of the evening. Thirty-two seconds later, an apparent game-tying goal was waved off on an interference call against Pavel Brendl. "I was coming to the...I got pushed into their goalie and fell down...the referee call it like I hit the goalie" said Brendl.
At 17:37, the Phantoms were caught with too many men on the ice leading to a 5 on 3 advantage for the Flames. Having pulled goalie Neil Little, the Flames missed the opportunity to seal a road victory when Jason Botterill missed the open net with a little more than 30 seconds to play in regulation. An odd-angle shot by Phantoms Kirby Law was stopped by Whitmore but Brendl was positioned at the front of the net. On his only shot on goal of the night, Brendl was able to poke through the game-tying goal (his eighth goal of the season) giving the Phantoms faithful something to cheer about. "Kirby intercepted the pass...when you're down late in the game, you have to put the puck on the net no matter where you are" said Brendl.
The Phantoms All-Star goalie Neil Little stopped 35 of 36 shots in the game (including five in overtime) which kept Philadelphia in the game all evening. The Phantoms hit the road for three games (after Sunday's 4-4 tie against the Rochester Americans) followed by the All-Star break. The Phantoms return to action on Friday, February 15 against the Chicago Wolves.