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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Lose 5-3 To Mighty Ducks
School Day Game Attracts Crowd Of 10,092

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Cam Severson recorded a goal and two assists and Tony Martensson scored the game-winning goal with 1:45 left in the second period as the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks posted a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms in front of a School Day Game crowd of 10,092 at the Wachovia Center.

Mike Mottau and Joel Stepp each added a goal and an assist for Cincinnati, which has won four of its last five games. Subbing for last week's AHL Player of the Week Ilya Bryzgalov, goaltender Eddy Ferhi stopped 34-of-37 shots to notch his first win of the season.

Patrick Sharp totaled a goal and an assist for Philadelphia, which has dropped two in a row after a three-game win streak. Neil Little started in net and allowed four goals on 19 shots over the first two periods before being replaced by Antero Niittymaki, who stopped all four shots he faced in the third.

Philadelphia had its six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) vs. Cincinnati come to an end, losing to the Mighty Ducks for the first time since March 28, 2001 and losing at home for just the third time in 22 match-ups. The two teams will meet again this Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Cincinnati took the lead just 24 seconds into the game when Mottau netted his second goal of the year following a Philadelphia turnover in its own zone. Severson and Nick Smith assisted on the play. Mottau and Sheldon Brookbank then set up Cincinnati's second goal by Michael Holmqvist at 4:43 during a 4-on-4 situation.

"We started the year where we had a great first 40 minutes and then let teams back in the hockey game, said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "But for whatever reason that wasn't the case this afternoon. We let them dictate the play early and then probably the last 50 minutes we couldn't have played better."

The Phantoms got on the board with 28 seconds left in the opening period on Ian MacNeil's first goal of the season. On the play, Mark Murphy and Ben Stafford worked the puck to MacNeil, who fired a slap shot over Ferhi's shoulder from between the circles.

Severson widened the gap to 3-1 when he tallied his second goal during a scramble in front of the Phantoms net at 3:52 of the second. But Philadelphia scored the next two goals to even the score at 3-3.

Kirby Law made it a one-goal game at 6:42 with his fifth of the year. After taking a pass from Boyd Kane, Sharp made a nifty move to put a shot on goal from the far side and Law was there to put in the rebound. Sharp then scored the equalizer from a difficult angle at 9:08 off a feed from Mike Peluso.

Sharp has now scored a goal in four straight games and has seven points (4G, 3A) in that span. Law (5G, 5A) and Kane (1G, 6A) both extended their point streaks to five games.

"It was loud out there and it was working towards our advantage with the kids into it, and then we got into it," said Law about the School Day Game crowd. "I don't think we got the start we wanted to, and they are a tough team to play against with a lead, and it was our own fault."

The score remained the same for the next 10 minutes until Martensson scored his second of the year at 18:15 of the second period. Cory Pecker's initial shot on goal went wide, but the puck bounced back to Martensson for an easy putback before Little was able to get back into position.

Severson capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:29 remaining in the game.

The Phantoms are in the middle of four games in five days. Philadelphia hosts Cincinnati again on Friday at 7:05 p.m., plays at Bridgeport on Saturday night and entertains the Providence Bruins on Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Phantoms Notes: Prior to the game, Jim Vandermeer was reassigned from the Flyers ... Mike Siklenka, Kirk Furey, Randy Jones, Freddy Meyer and P.J. Stock were scratches ... Philadelphia still leads the all-time series, 31-9-3 ... Each team was 0-for-2 on the power play and had just 16 penalty minutes ... The Phantoms entered the game leading the league with 27.15 PIM per game ... Philadelphia is now 6-7-6 all-time when playing at the Wachovia Center. The team has two more games to play there this season.

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