Phantoms Week In Review
Monday, February 11, 2002
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
Philadelphia maintained a share of the AHL points lead (67) after going 1-1-1 on its three-game road trip last week. The Phantoms opened the trip by cruising to a 6-3 victory over South Division rival Norfolk on Wednesday. Philadelphia actually trailed 3-2 midway through the final period before tallying four unanswered goals. Mark Greig finished with two goals and an assist; Kirby Law, Guillaume Lefebvre and John Slaney all contributed two points; and Neil Little made 25 saves. Tomas Divisek and Slaney staked the Phantoms to a 2-0 lead on Friday at Quebec before the Citadelles stormed back to win with three third-period goals. Maxime Ouellet stopped 23 shots in his return to the rink where he played junior hockey for two years. On Saturday in Saint John, the Flames assumed a two-goal lead after 20 minutes of action before Divisek and Greig each tallied second-period goals in a 2-2 tie. Little registered 23 saves to extend his personal unbeaten streak to five games (2-0-3), while rookie defenseman Jim Vandermeer had two assists.
LITTLE, GREIG & SLANEY SET FOR THURSDAY'S AHL ALL-STAR CLASSIC
Phantoms goaltender Neil Little, right wing Mark Greig and defenseman John Slaney will comprise half the starting lineup of the Canadian team at Thursday's 2002 Assante & Baker Hughes AHL All-Star Classic, to be held at Mile One Stadium in St. John's, Newfoundland. Little and Greig, who will be making their first career All-Star Game appearances, were voted starters via on-line fan balloting at www.theahl.com. Slaney, a native of St. John's who is playing in his third consecutive AHL All-Star Classic, will join them in the starting lineup after being selected captain for the Canadian squad on Dec. 13. The All-Star Classic will be televised live on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The second of three jersey auctions will take place on Monday, Feb. 18, when Philadelphia battles the Houston Aeros on Presidents' Day. The Phantoms will wear special red, white & blue jerseys and then auction them off following the game, with all proceeds going to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. All second-level seats will be just $5 that day. Don't miss out on Sunday, Feb. 24, when the first 4,500 kids (14 and under) in attendance will receive a Jeremy Roenick bobblehead doll, courtesy of Toyota. It is the first official bobblehead doll featuring a Philadelphia Flyers player.
The Phantoms and Chicago Wolves square off on Friday for the first of two meetings in 2001-02. The Wolves are in their eighth season, but first in the AHL after joining the league from the now defunct International Hockey League. Chicago reached the playoffs all seven years in the IHL, including winning the Turner Cup in 1998 and 2000 and losing in the Finals to Orlando last season. Philadelphia will make its first-ever trip to Chicago on Thursday, March 14.
The Phantoms and Springfield Falcons wrap up their season series this Sunday. Springfield captured the first match-up at home, 3-1, on Jan. 19 as Jason Jaspers evened the score with a second-period shorthanded goal and netted the game-winner 64 seconds into the third. Bruno St. Jacques scored Philadelphia's lone goal, while Maxime Ouellet made 22 saves. The game last month was the first meeting between the teams since the 1999-2000 season, when Philadelphia swept both match-ups (2-1 at Springfield on Oct. 22 & 7-4 at home on Jan. 9). Philadelphia owns a 5-4-2 lead in the all-time series, including a 3-1-1 mark at home.
OVERTIME RECORD SET
Philadelphia established a team record for overtime games played in a season (20) with Saturday's 2-2 tie in Saint John. The total after 55 games exceeds the previous club mark of 19 set in 1997-98. The league record is 24 by Portland (1996-97), Hamilton (1997-98) and St. John's (1997-98).
Philadelphia also extended its team record for ties in a season (13). The previous franchise mark of 10 was established in both 1996-97 & 1997-98. The AHL record for ties in a season is 18, set by St. John's in 1997-98.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Phantoms play seven of their next eight games at home, including their longest homestand of the season - four straight games at the First Union Spectrum from Feb. 22-March 1. Philadelphia is 14-3-7-2 at home this season and has the fewest home losses in the AHL. The team is also unbeaten in its last six home games (3-0-3).
PHANTOMS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
- Goaltender Neil Little leads the league in goals-against average (1.88) and is third in save percentage (.932).
- Defenseman John Slaney is tied for fifth with 56 points (19g,37a), tied for first in assists (37) and tied for third in plus-minus (+20). He also ranks first among AHL defensemen in points, goals and assists.
- Right wing Peter Vandermeer is tied for fourth in penalty minutes (259) and major penalties (23).
- Philadelphia leads the league in penalty killing (.872 percent) and is third in goals allowed per game (2.47) and penalty minutes per game (27.3).
- Philadelphia's recent eight-game unbeaten streak (4-0-4) was its second longest of the year. The team went 13 games without a loss (7-0-6) from Nov. 9-Dec. 7.
- Philadelphia has the fewest losses overall (17) and in regulation (13) in the AHL.
- The Phantoms scored shorthanded goals in back-to-back games (Feb. 3 & 6) after going 28 games without one.
- Goaltender Neil Little is 2-0-3 since his last loss on Jan. 16 at Worcester.
- Right wing Mark Greig exploded for two goals and an assist on Feb. 6 at Norfolk. They were his first points since Dec. 30 at Rochester, as he was sidelined for 12 games due to a shoulder injury.
- The home team has never won in six all-time regular-season meetings between Philadelphia and Saint John.
This year, the Phantoms have instituted a Designated Driver program at their games. It occurs during each weekday game. All fans are encouraged to sign up and agree not to drink alcoholic beverages during the duration of the night, and provide safe transportation for the other members of their group. Every designated driver receives free O'Doul's non-alcoholic brew in Bullies, two free tickets to a future Phantoms game and has his/her name placed in a raffle to win a Phantoms windshirt ($75 value). One windshirt is awarded at every Wednesday and Friday night game.
Tickets to all Phantoms home games are $12, $16 and $17 for adults, and $8 for all children 14 and under, and are available now at the First Union Center box office and all Ticketmaster locations throughout the Delaware Valley. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling (215) 336-2000 or (856) 338-9000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Contact the Phantoms office at 215-465-4522 for information on group discounts, birthday packages and the Family Four Pack.
The Philadelphia Phantoms are on the World Wide Web at www.phantomshockey.com. The site is the best way for fans to stay updated with the latest news about the Phantoms, including timely scoring updates, statistics, news releases, player biographies and more.