|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Defeat Toronto 3-1
Philadelphia On Six-Game Road Win Streak
Thursday, December 18, 2003
By Al Cohen
Dennis Seidenberg and Kirby Law each scored in the third period to lift the Philadelphia Phantoms to their sixth straight road win - a 3-1 decision over the Toronto Roadrunners at the Ricoh Coliseum.
Wade Skolney also scored for Philadelphia, which has won 11 of its last 14 games overall. The Phantoms, who moved past Hershey into second place in the East Division, have won six in a row on the road for the first time since Feb. 11-March 11, 2000. The road win streak is the longest in the AHL this season.
Celebrating his 32nd birthday, Neil Little made 13 saves to notch his sixth win in his last seven decisions. The Phantoms were making their first-ever visit to Toronto and avenged a 4-2 loss to the expansion Roadrunners back on Oct. 18.
Each team finished with just 14 shots on goal, as Philadelphia established club records for fewest shots allowed in a road game and fewest combined shots in a game. The Phantoms also tied the franchise mark for fewest shots taken in a road game.
Toronto had a three-game home win streak snapped as it began an eight-game homestand. Making his debut with the Roadrunners tonight was defenseman Jeff Woywitka, who played the first 29 games of the season with the Phantoms before getting traded to the Edmonton Oilers organization on Tuesday.
Philadelphia got off just two shots in the opening 20 minutes to match a team season low for a period, but went to the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Craig Berube carried the puck into the zone to begin the scoring sequence before dropping it off to Ian MacNeil. The center drew the defense toward him before sending it to Skolney, who uncorked a slap shot from the top of the circle that sailed over the left shoulder of Roadrunners goaltender Stephen Valiquette at the 9:28 mark.
The goal was Skolney's first since March 21 of last season, while MacNeil's assist was the 100th of his pro career.
Toronto evened the score at 1-1 two minutes into the second period on Mike Bishai's ninth goal of the year. Michael Henrich and Igor Ulanov set up the line drive that beat Little top shelf.
The score remained the same heading into the final period, when Philadelphia took control with a pair of goals 3:14 apart. Seidenberg tallied his seventh goal and team-leading fourth game-winning goal at the 3:24 mark - 27 seconds after Henrich was sent off for hooking. Kirk Furey and Peter White set up the shot from the point that deflected off a Roadrunner and into the net.
Law provided the insurance goal at 6:38 when his turning shot made its way past Michael Morrison, who replaced Valiquette after Seidenberg's goal. The unassisted goal was Law's team-leading 12th of the year.
The Phantoms continue their three-game road trip on Friday in Syracuse. Philadelphia then plays at Hamilton on Tuesday before its next home game on Friday, Dec. 26 vs. the Hershey Bears.
Phantoms Notes: John Slaney and Joey Hope did not travel due to injury ... Mike Siklenka was a healthy scratch ... Siklenka and Ben Stafford also celebrated their birthdays today ... Nick Deschenes made his first appearance since Nov. 14 vs. Cincinnati. The rookie left wing had missed the last 14 games due to a charley horse and short stint in Trenton ... Philadelphia also attempted just two shots in a period during the third stanza of its last game (Sunday vs. Hershey) ... The Phantoms are 4-0 all-time on Dec. 18 ... Philadelphia is 13-for-13 on the penalty kill over the last three games ... White has four assists in his last three games ... Seidenberg has a four-game point streak (1G, 4A).
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