Lefebvre Scores the Game-Winner in 3-2 Phantoms Victory
Hershey's Winless Streak Now 16 Games
Friday, January 25, 2002
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
Guillaume Lefebvre broke a 2-2 second period tie with his 14th goal of the season, leading the Phantoms to a 3-2 victory over the rival Hershey Bears at the First Union Spectrum.
After Hershey came back from a two-goal deficit to tie the score in the second period, the Phantoms executed a perfect odd-man rush. Mark Freer led it, coming across the blue line and finding Pavel Brendl to his left. Brendl fed a tape-to-tape pass to Lefebvre streaking down the near side, and Lefebvre easily banged it in at the 11:00 minute mark of the middle frame.
"It was a great pass from Pavel - I went to the net and he passed the puck right to me," said Lefebvre. "We got some really great penalty-killing, like we have all year, and played a strong third period."
The victory was the Phantoms' second in a row, while Hershey's winless streak was increased to a franchise record and AHL season high 16 games.
"They played us hard tonight," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "They gave us all we could handle, but our guys played well despite being tired at the end from killing so many penalties."
Hershey was 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Phantoms were 0-for-2.
Maxime Ouellet won his second straight decision, and has given up two or fewer goals in 16 of his 28 starts this season. Philadelphia upped its home record to an impressive 13-5-5.
The Phantoms tallied twice in the first period in jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Brad Tiley was credited with his sixth goal of the season after a little bit of luck. Tiley was trying to dump the puck to the corner, when Hershey defenseman Jeff Paul attempted to play the puck and instead deflected it into his own net just 2:23 into the contest.
Craig Brunel scored his first of the year midway through the opening period, swatting a loose puck into the Bears' net.
The Bears cut the Philadelphia lead in half with a goal during a five-on-three power play. Brian Muir's slap shot from the point through a screen sailed over Ouellet's left shoulder at the 15:13 mark of the first period.
Physical from the start, the game featured several good fights. First, it was Francis Lessard and Rocky Thompson dropping the gloves in the opening period in a spectacular heavyweight battle in which both players landed several quality shots. At the end of the second period, Kirby Law went hard into Bears goalie Phil Sauve, igniting a mosh-pit like scene in and around the Hershey goal crease. Referee Jeff Smith handed out 36 penalty minutes with a half-minute left in the period.
Matt Herr also scored for Hershey.
The Phantoms face the Norfolk Admirals at the Scope tomorrow night before returning for a three-game home stand next week, beginning with a game against the Admirals on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES - Philadelphia entered the game with the AHL's best goals against average (2.47). ...Peter Vandermeer was issued his team-leading seventh misconduct at the end of the second period. ...Lefebvre's goal was his first-game winner as a pro.
Photos by Gregg Williams