White Returns to Haunt Phantoms, 3-2
Friday, October 25, 2002
By Mike Williams
PHILADELPHIA - It was fitting that Friday night at the First Union Spectrum was Halloween Night, because a former Phantom returned to haunt his former team.
Peter White's goal early in the third period snapped a tie, helping the Norfolk Admirals to a 3-2 decision over the Phantoms.
The win lifted the Admirals to a 5-0-0-1 record for the 2002-03 campaign, despite the Admirals failing to capitalize on two five-minute power plays late in the second period.
Five minutes into the third, White gave the Admirals the lead for good. Cutting to the net from the right circle, White took a Peluso feed and slipped it past Niittymaki.
Michael Leighton made 26 saves in net for the Admirals.
Antero Niittymaki rebounded from a very shaky start the previous Friday night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to make 20 stops for Philadelphia.
Niittymaki’s night started slowly, however, when Norfolk took an early 1-0 lead 3:49 into the game. Mike Peluso tapped in a Marty Wilford rebound past Niittymaki at the top of the crease with the Admirals on a power play.
The Admirals extended their lead to two goals when Casey Hankinson ripped a shot under the crossbar from just inside the blue line.
But late in the period, Peluso's tripping penalty helped put the Phantoms on the board.
Andre Savage zipped down the right wing past two Norfolk defenders. The 27-year-old veteran tucked a backhander over Michael Leighton's shoulder to cut the Norfolk lead to one.
The second period opened with more of Savage. Referee Eric Furlatt awarded the Phantoms a penalty shot after Wilford covered the puck in the crease 28 seconds into the second.
Savage was selected to take the penalty shot and tried to beat Leighton through the pads. This time, however, the sophomore netminder stopped Savage.
Leighton continued his fine work later in the period. Savage and Ben Stafford were stopped within 20 seconds of each other on successive breakaways.
Norfolk killed a Philadelphia power play with ease at the midway point of the period, just before Peter Vandermeer was handed a high-sticking major.
The Philadelphia penalty kill a strength all last season continued to shine and stymied the Admirals for the duration of the major.
Furlatt put that penalty kill to the test again at 17:35 of the middle period, issuing a boarding major and game misconduct to David Harlock for a hit on White with Jim Vandermeer already serving a minor.
"Those penalties were tough to swallow," Stevens said.
The Phantoms did more than kill the major, however. Ian MacNeil followed up a Jim Vandermeer opportunity with a shot that beat Leighton high for a 2-2 game.
But White's goal sealed the victory for Norfolk.
***SOUTH JERSEY SPORTS INSIDE THE GAME***
Savage, Lefebvre Recalled
The Flyers recalled Savage and Guillaume Lefebvre after the contest for Saturday night's game versus the Islanders on Long Island.
Norfolk: D Scott Balan, LW Mike Souza, RW Cam Bristow and D Dmitri Tolkunov
PHANTOMS: LW Jack Baker, RW Mike Siklenka
1. Norfolk - Peter White (game-winning goal, assist)
2. Norfolk - Michael Leighton (26 saves)
3. PHANTOMS - Andre Savage (goal)
The Admirals saw Philadelphia kill off two majors near the end of the second period, but took the lead for good on the White goal.
Save of the Game
Leighton stopped Savage and Stafford on breakaways at the six-minute mark of the second period.
Hit of the Game
Philadelphia's Brad Tiley dropped Norfolk rookie Yorick Treille with a center-ice hit two minutes into the third period.
8:58, 1st period: After Peter Vandermeer belted Burke Henry into the side boards, Henry jumped to his feet and challenged Vandermeer. Henry landed several shots early, but was tagged with an instigation penalty and the requisite 10-minute misconduct.
Despite the two majors in the second period, the Phantoms outshot Norfolk, 18-8…American Hockey League on-ice officials have followed their National Hockey League brethren in adopting jersey numbers this season…
The Phantoms bussed to Hartford immediately after the contest for a Saturday night faceoff with the Wolf Pack. Philadelphia returns home on Sunday night to meet the Cleveland Barons at 5:05 p.m.
The Admirals visit Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday night.
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