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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Rally For 3-2 Win In Springfield

Friday, January 9, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Kirby Law scored the tying goal with four seconds left in regulation and John Slaney tallied the game-winner 3:43 into overtime as the Philadelphia Phantoms rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons tonight at the Springfield Civic Center.

Philadelphia trailed 2-1 after two periods and came up empty on three power plays over the first 15 minutes of the third. The Phantoms then killed a hooking minor on Craig Berube before pulling goaltender Antero Niittymaki for a sixth attacker with 77 seconds left.

Defenseman Jim Vandermeer stole a pass to set up a final scramble in front of the Falcons net and Law wound up batting the puck in at 19:56 to force the extra session. Former Falcon Boyd Kane and Mike Peluso received assists on Law's 16th goal.

In overtime, Springfield's Peter Ferraro received a hooking minor at 2:04 and then a game misconduct for abuse of the officials. On Philadelphia's seventh power play of the night, Law sent a cross to Slaney, who rocketed in his fifth goal of the year and first game-winner with 1:17 to play.

Law, who was named to the 2004 Canadian AHL All-Star team on Wednesday, finished with two goals and an assist and Niittymaki made 27 saves for Philadelphia, which won its third game in a row. The Phantoms also improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 road games.

Former Phantom Jean-Marc Pelletier stopped 34-of-37 shots for Springfield, which has lost three straight at home. The Phantoms were playing the Falcons for the first time since the 2001-02 season and took a 6-5-2 lead in the all-time series.

Mike Wilson scored the lone goal of the first period to give Springfield an early lead. Krystofer Kolanos and Mike Stutzel assisted on Wilson's second goal of the year 2:55 into the game.

The Phantoms made it a 1-1 game at 3:20 of the second period - six seconds after beginning a 4-on-4 situation. Peter White won the face-off and set up Wade Skolney for a shot on goal. The rebound kicked back to Law at the right side of the net and the right wing tallied his team-leading 15th goal of the year.

But Kolanos put the Falcons back on top at 7:49 of the second following a turnover by Phantoms defenseman Kirk Furey. Kolanos picked up the loose puck and netted his ninth goal unassisted.

Philadelphia killed off all five Springfield power plays and has thwarted its opponent's last 31 man-advantage situations when playing away from the Spectrum.

The Phantoms are back in action on Saturday at 7:05 p.m., when they travel to play the Binghamton Senators. Philadelphia's next home game is set for Friday, Jan. 16 at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Hershey Bears.

Phantoms Notes: Joey Hope and James Laux were injured scratches, while Ian MacNeil was a healthy scratch ... Peter Vandermeer completed his four-game suspension tonight ... Mike Siklenka still has two games remaining on his six-game suspension ... Skolney, who played in his 100th game as a pro, has a three-game assist streak ... Law has a four-game point streak (3G, 5A) ... Springfield will play in Philadelphia on Jan. 25 ... Niittymaki won his third straight start.

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