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Phantoms Rally For 4-1 Win In Hershey
Slaney Sets Record For Most Career Goals By AHL Defenseman

Saturday, February 21, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Rookie defenseman Freddy Meyer recorded a hat trick and John Slaney broke the AHL record for most career goals by a defenseman as the Philadelphia Phantoms rallied for a 4-1 victory tonight at the Giant Center and improved to 10-0 vs. the Hershey Bears this season.

With Philadelphia trailing 1-0 entering the third period, Meyer evened the score on the power play at the 4:57 mark before Slaney netted the game-winner with 8:46 remaining. The goal was the 125th in his AHL career, eclipsing the mark held by Jim Wiemer, who accomplished the feat over 548 games from 1981-95. Slaney has played 399 career AHL games.

Meyer added two more goals to record the second hat trick of the year for the Phantoms, who had shut out the Bears in their last three meetings. The 10-game winning streak vs. Hershey is a new club record for most consecutive victories against one opponent.

Neil Little made 21 saves to win for the fifth time in his last six starts, while Peter Budaj stopped 27-of-30 shots for Hershey. The Bears, who have lost six of their last seven games, have two more match-ups remaining with the Phantoms.

As expected, the game was physical from the onset, as the teams had to be separated from each other during warm-ups and the first penalty occurred just nine seconds into the game. But things settled down and Hershey assumed a 1-0 lead on the power play with 2:44 to go in the first period.

As Mark Murphy served a roughing minor, Pascal Trepanier netted his eighth goal on a slap shot from between the circles, with Steve Brule and Martin Hlinka receiving assists on the play. The goal ended the Bears' scoreless streak vs. Philadelphia at 238:54, which spanned over 11 periods since the first stanza of a 6-2 Phantoms win on Dec. 26.

Following a scoreless second period, Meyer evened the score with a one-timer while cutting to the net. Ben Stafford and Boyd Kane set up the power-play goal at the 4:57 mark.

After Steve Gainey hit the post during a 3-on-1 shorthanded rush, Slaney tallied his historic goal during another 3-on-1 break. P.J. Stock carried the puck down the near side before centering it to Slaney, who rocketed in his ninth of the year from close range at 11:14.

Meyer widened the gap to 3-1 at the 12:41 mark during a 4-on-4 situation. Murphy and Ian MacNeil assisted on the shot through the five-hole. Meyer completed his first career hat trick with an empty-netter with 33.5 seconds remaining.

The Phantoms continue their season-high seven-game road trip with games in Cincinnati on Wednesday and Friday. Philadelphia will also play in Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before its next home game on Sunday, March 7 vs. Albany.

Phantoms Notes: James Laux and Wade Skolney were injured scratches, while Nick Deschenes, Jeff Smith and Jay Leach were healthy scratches ... Earlier in the day, Leach and Les Borsheim were signed to tryout contracts ... Borsheim became the 38th different player to appear in a game with the Phantoms this season ... Peter White returned from a two-game suspension ... The teams will next meet on April 2 in Philadelphia ... Meyer's hat trick was the 20th in Phantoms history.

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