New Look Roster, Same Result; Phantoms Fall 2-1 to Bears
Saturday, March 23, 2002
By David Unkle
The Phantoms and Bears played at the beginning of the month (a 4-3 loss) and since that time, some things have changed and some stayed the same. The Phantoms have gone 3-5 including last night's game since that loss. In the twelve games preceding the March 1 game against the Bears, the Phantoms were 2-6-4. Not only did the Phantoms see their Southern Division lead evaporate but they were overtaken by the Norfolk Admirals and these Hershey Bears. Coming off a 2-0 victory Wednesday night against the Wilkes-Barre Penguins, Philadelphia lacked the sixty minute, both ends of the ice effort that is necessary to win games. The Phantoms Mike Watt got things started when he deflected a shot from Jim Vandermeer for his ninth goal of the season at 3:07 of the game. For the Bears, the defense was the offense last night as both goals came from blue liners. Hershey tied the game at 1:17 of the second on Brett Clark's shot off the face-off beating Phantoms' goalie Corey Hirsch. It was Hirsch's first appearance since a loss against Springfield on March 10. With 5:05 to go in the game, Jaroslav Obsut scored on the power-play following a hooking call on David Harlock, beating Hirsch up high. To Hirsch's credit, he played outstanding last night; it was the offense that let him down. In 23 games with the Portland Pirates this year, he posted a 6-12-5 records (2.67 GAA). In a game decided by special teams, it was the Phantoms failure to capitalize (0-5) and the Bears ability to capitalize (1-5) that made the difference in the game. We've had trouble all year scoring goals and special teams are going to be a big factor. Tonight we lost a special teams game they scored a power play goal with five minutes left to go in the hockey game when they needed it. We've got to find a way to score goals now; when you only give up two goals, you've got to find a way to win said Head Coach, John Stevens. Considering the events of the last week, the teams played a more consistent game compared to their earlier game against Hershey. Still, the intangibles had to factor into the outcome.
Photos by Pedro Cancel
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