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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Penguins Capture East Division Finals With 3-1 Win Over Phantoms In Game Six

Friday, May 14, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

The Philadelphia Phantoms' season came to an end tonight at Wachovia Arena as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captured the East Division Finals with a 3-1 victory in Game Six.

Tomas Surovy recorded a goal and an assist and Andy Chiodo stopped 20-of-21 shots for the Penguins, who won the series four games to two. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will now face the Hartford Wolf Pack in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Mark Murphy scored the lone goal and Antero Niittymaki registered 19 saves for Philadelphia, which had won the East Division regular-season title. The Phantoms are now 0-2 when meeting the Penguins in postseason play, as they also fell in six games during the 2001 Western Conference Semifinals.

Following a scoreless opening period that featured two power plays for each team, Wilkes-Barre got on the board 3:34 into the second on Surovy's fourth playoff goal. Ryan Whitney took a feed from Michel Ouellet on the play and fired a bouncing shot from the near circle.

Surovy was able to deflect the puck past Niittymaki as the Penguins tallied the first goal for the fifth time in the series.

After Philadelphia failed to capitalize on a double minor to Penguins defenseman Ondrej Nemec just over three minutes later, Wilkes-Barre doubled its lead during a 4-on-4 situation. Patrick Boileau netted his second goal of the postseason at the 11:33 mark with a hard slap shot from the far circle. Surovy and Whitney received the assists.

The Phantoms killed off a 67-second 5-on-3 situation to start the third period and then cut the deficit to 2-1 at the 2:51 mark. With Shane Endicott serving an interference minor, Freddy Meyer launched a slap shot that sailed wide and off the end boards to Murphy, who knocked in the rebound.

Murphy finished the 2004 playoffs with a team-high five goals and nine points.

Niittymaki was pulled for a sixth-attacker with 73 seconds remaining and Matt Murley sealed the win with an unassisted empty-netter at 19:04, his third goal of the postseason.

Phantoms Notes: Stephen Wood, Nick Deschenes, James Laux, Les Borsheim, Joey Hope, Mike Peluso, Stefan Ruzicka and Craig Berube were scratched ... Kirk Furey returned to action after being scratched the last six games ... Each team had six power-play chances ... Philadelphia fell to 4-4 all-time in Game Six of a playoff series ... The Phantoms are 45-33 all-time in postseason play.

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