Solid Goaltending and Offense Lead Phantoms Over Penguins 5-1
Friday, January 3, 2003
The Phantoms top line of Mark Greig, newcomer Joe Sacco and Peter White combined for ten points on the night as the Philadelphia Phantoms toppled the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. After being shutout in their two previous games, the offense re-emerged as the Phantoms scored five or more goals for only the fifth time this season and their first such game since a 6-5 on November 22.
Hot-handed Peter White (4G, 7A) in his last eight games helped get the Phantoms on the board at 3:19 of the first assisting on Sacco’s first goal as a Phantom.
Sacco, signed to a contract on December 31 and the NHL veteran brings an impressive resume to the team. He has played in 1992 Winter Olympics, five World Championships, along with 704 games at the NHL level.
Sacco’s best season came in 1993-94 while playing with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks where he scored nineteen goals along with eighteen assists. Sacco played last season with the Washington Capitals where he scored seven points (OG,7A) in sixty-five games.
It's been a long time, it felt good to get out there and compete, said Sacco. (Peter White) is a good playmaker and Greig and I used that tonight…the line worked out well.
The Phantoms went up 2-0 on a Mark Greig penalty shot at 7:02 of the first after the Penguins’ Eric Meloche grabbed the puck with his glove in the crease as it was rolling into the net.
It was the first penalty shot scored by the Phantoms at the Spectrum and the first by a Phantom since Jason Zent accomplished the feat at St. John's on February 3, 1999.
After spotting the Phantoms a 3-0 lead, the Penguins came back with a power play goal to open the second period. Toby Petersen’s ninth goal of the season at 0:52 was the only time the lamp was lit for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Phantoms regained the three-goal lead on Sacco’s second goal of the night at 11:03 of the second.
Mike Lephart closed out the night’s scoring when he scored his second goal of the season on a short-handed breakaway at 5:34 of the third period.
Phantoms goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped a season high 38 shots in earning the win.
Philadelphia improved to 10-0-1 when scoring at least four goals in a game Philadelphia Phantoms defenseman John Slaney was among the 21 skaters and 3 goaltenders named to the Canadian team roster for the 2003 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic, to be held Feb. 2-3 at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. The annual All-Star Game between the Canadian and Planet USA squads follows at 7:00 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 3 and will be televised live in the United States.
STARS OF THE GAME:
1. Mark Greig
2. Joe Sacco
3. Antero Niittymaki