White, Jim Vandermeer Lead Phantoms to 4-2 Victory over Hershey
Friday, December 20, 2002
Playing in his first American Hockey League (AHL) game with the Phantoms, left wing Jeff Smith gave the Phantoms a 2-0 lead in the second period; coupled with solid goaltending by Neil Little and offensive support by Jim Vandermeer and Peter White, the Phantoms triumphed over the Hershey Bears, 4-2.
Any time you beat a team in your own division, it's big for us, said Phantoms Head Coach John Stevens. Our goaltending is getting back up to par with the rest of our team. Little was on the shelf with a knee injury since November 20.
It felt pretty good, it was nice to get back out there, said Little. It was a good, solid effort by the whole team. We are getting some confidence back.
Little made 23 saves in earning his first win since a 3-1 win over Norfolk on November 8. Hershey's Mikhail Kuleshov ended Little's shutout bid at 16:20 of the second.
Peter White (1G,1A) put the Phantoms up 1-0 at 4:38 of the second period from Mark Greig (2A) and Jim Vandermeer (1G, 1A). Vandermeer's shot from the left circle caromed off a Bears' player and out to Greig who found Peter White unmarked in the slot.
Smith gave Philadelphia the 2-0 lead at 11:38 of the second period. It was a 3-on-2, Peters called for the puck, I dropped it to (Peters) and he got it back on my stick, said Smith.
Philadelphia came back in the third period with goals by Vandermeer and John Slaney 61 seconds apart at 8:05 and 9:06.
Hershey's Marc Busenburg capped the scoring with 4:20 remaining to make it 4-2.
The Phantoms now hold a 35-27-8-4 lead in the all-time series including a 20-13-4-1 lead at home. With tonight's win, the Phantoms snapped a four game losing streak at the First Union Spectrum against the Bears.
Hershey did not record a shot on goal until the 10:10 mark of the first period.
Philadelphia, which has won back-to-back games for the first time since opening the season with two wins.
The Phantoms upped their record to 7-0-1 when scoring four or more goals.
STARS OF THE GAME:
1. Jim Vandermeer (Philadelphia)
2. Jeff Smith (Philadelphia)
3. Mikhail Kuleshov (Hershey)