|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Rally To Win 5-4 At Wilkes-Barre
Saturday, November 22, 2003
By Al Cohen
The Philadelphia Phantoms fought back from a three-goal first-period deficit tonight to beat inter-state rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 5-4, at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
Mark Murphy had two goals and Neil Little stopped 24-of-25 shots after replacing Antero Niittymaki early in the first period. Peter White and Kirk Furey each added two assists and Kirby Law registered the game-winner at 7:14 of the final period for the Phantoms, who won their third straight game.
Kris Beech and Matt Murley both had three-point nights for the Penguins and Jean-Sebastian Aubin stopped 23 shots as Wilkes-Barre suffered its fifth loss in a row.
After the Penguins scored on three of their first four shots to chase Sher-Wood AHL Player of the Week Niittymaki from the net, the Phantoms began their comeback.
Murphy got the Phantoms on the board at 9:07 with his sixth of the year, taking a pass from Peter Vandermeer and P.J. Stock.
Mike Peluso opened the second period with a 5-on-3 power-play goal at the1:03 mark, cutting the Penguins lead to 3-2. Furey fed White, who made a pretty pass to Peluso, who was waiting in the left crease.
Shane Endicott doubled the Wilkes-Barre lead again at the halfway point of the second period, scoring on a big slapper from the top of the left circle. Robinson and Brendan Buckley notched the assists.
The rest of the game belonged to the Phantoms. Murphy scored his second of the night and third in two games on a 2-on-1 with White at 12:48. Joey Hope added the second assist, as the Phantoms were again within one.
Captain Boyd Kane tied the score at 4-4 early in the third period with an amazing individual effort. He muscled a falling Penguin off the puck along the boards, cruised in through the left circle, and threw it in on Aubin, who thought he had it. The puck trickled through his pads at the 5:54 mark for Kane's fourth of the year.
Law put the Phantoms ahead for good with a power-play goal at 7:14 of the third period, stuffing the rebound of a Dennis Seidenberg shot past a shaken Aubin. Furey added an assist for his third point in two nights.
Playing in his 300th game as a Phantom, Little notched his first win in two weeks. The Phantoms have now tied their longest win streak of the season, which occurred from Nov. 2-8.
Michel Ouellet opened the scoring for Wilkes-Barre just 3:45 into the game on a give-and-go pass from Beech. Murley started the play, skating down the far side, and got the other assist. Darcy Robinson and Murley's quick passes set up Beech for his first of the night at 5:31, stuffing it past Niittymaki from the left crease. Beech struck again three minutes later, again taking a pass from Murley. Dave Karpa got the other helper.
The Phantoms are back in action on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. when they entertain the Portland Pirates at the Wachovia Spectrum. Next week, Philadelphia hosts the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. and the Penguins on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Wachovia Center.
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