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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Skate To 1-1 Tie With Mighty Ducks

Friday, November 14, 2003

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Antero Niittymaki made 33 saves and Boyd Kane scored Philadelphia's lone goal as the Phantoms skated to a 1-1 tie with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Niittymaki finished with a Phantoms season high for saves, only allowing Chris Kunitz's goal 8:20 into the game. The Phantoms ended a two-game losing streak, which included Wednesday morning's 5-3 School Day Game loss to Cincinnati.

Reigning AHL Player of the Week Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 27-of-28 shots for Cincinnati, which has lost just one of its last six games (4-1-1).

Cincinnati opened the scoring 8:20 into the game - 32 seconds after Philadelphia's Patrick Sharp was sent off for obstruction-hooking. On the play, Tony Martensson took a feed from Michael Holmqvist and centered the puck from behind the net. Kunitz was there to one-time it over Niittymaki's shoulder for his fifth goal of the year.

The Phantoms responded just over seven minutes later with a power-play goal of their own. Dennis Seidenberg began the sequence with a long slap shot from the point. A scramble ensued in front of the net and Kane wound up placing it past Bryzgalov with 4:31 to go in the first period.

Kirby Law also assisted on Kane's third goal of the season, as each player extended his current point streak to six games. At the conclusion of the period, Sharp received a game misconduct for his actions in a fight with Mike Mottau, ending the second-year center's goal-scoring streak at four games.

"I think it was a good point considering we were so short, we got down early and battled back and gave ourselves a chance to win the hockey game," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "Any point is a good point against a good hockey team."

The teams played scoreless hockey in the second stanza despite each having quality scoring chances. Cincinnati came up empty during a 50-second 5-on-3 advantage and Holmqvist hit the post at the 12:09 mark. Philadelphia had several shots during a lengthy possession in the Mighty Ducks end midway through the period.

Neither team came close during the third period and the Mighty Ducks blew a 3-on-1 break during the overtime period.

After the final buzzer, a huge brawl broke out that resulted in a combined 115 penalty minutes assessed, including game misconducts on Philadelphia's Jim Vandermeer, Peter Vandermeer and Jeff Woywitka, and Cincinnati's Cam Severson and Sheldon Brookbank.

Philadelphia, which entered the game with a league-leading 26.36 penalty minutes per game, finished with a season-high 101 PIM.

The Phantoms continue their stretch of four games in five days on Saturday night when they travel to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Philadelphia then returns home on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. to entertain the Providence Bruins.

Phantoms Notes: Mathieu Brunelle was recalled from the Trenton Titans (ECHL) earlier in the day and made his AHL debut ... Freddy Meyer, Randy Jones, Mike Siklenka, Kirk Furey, P.J. Stock and Peter White were scratched ... Philadelphia is 17-3-3 all-time when playing the Mighty Ducks at home ... The Phantoms will play at Cincinnati on Feb. 25 & 27 ... Four Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders dropped the opening puck ... Law has 11 points (5G, 6A) over seven games in November.

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