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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Lose 4-1 To Norfolk in Preseason Action

Friday, October 8, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Craig Anderson recorded 30 saves and Matt Ellison had a goal and an assist as the Norfolk Admirals posted a 4-1 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms today at the Sovereign Bank Flyers Skate Zone.

Anton Babchuk added a pair of assists for Norfolk, which was eliminated by the Phantoms in the East Division Semifinals last spring. Travis Moen, Mike Brown and former Phantom Jim Vandermeer tallied the other goals for the Admirals.

Defenseman Joey Hope netted the lone goal for Philadelphia, while Antero Niittymaki stopped 25-of-29 shots over the first two periods. The Phantoms fell to 0-3 in preseason play, with just Monday's match-up with the ECHL's Trenton Titans remaining.

Norfolk struck twice during a 68-second span early in the first period to assume a 2-0 lead. Moen opened the scoring at the 6:22 mark with a deflection of a shot by Nick Kuiper before Brown doubled the lead at 7:30. Ellison and James Wisniewski received assists on the second goal.

Philadelphia got on the board with 55 seconds left in the first period on Hope's blast from the far circle. Brent Robinson and Nick Deschenes set up the play for Hope, who did not score in 48 games as a rookie last season.

However, Phantoms rookie Ben Eager was sent off for tripping 24 seconds later and Norfolk widened the gap to 3-1 with 12.8 seconds remaining as Ellison tallied the power-play goal from Pavel Vorobiev and Babchuk.

Vandermeer made it 4-1 at 4:34 of the second period - 10 seconds after Wade Skolney was sent off for cross checking. Babchuk and Ajay Baines assisted on the power play goal.

The third period featured no goals, but there was a multi-player brawl at the 6:14 mark that included a combined 134 penalty minutes assessed. Following the fracas, game misconducts were given to Philadelphia's Neil Little, David Printz and Tony Voce, as well as Norfolk's Brandin Cote and Jon Mirasty. Little and Mirasty also received match penalties.

Third string goalie Chris Houle then came on for the Phantoms and stopped all 10 shots he faced the rest of the way.

Phantoms Notes: Not dressed for the Phantoms were Randy Jones, Stephen Wood, Patrick Sharp, Joni Pitkanen, Eric Meloche, Josh Gratton, John Slaney and Peter White... Freddy Meyer and Ryan Ready served as assistant captains.

Photos by Boog Williams

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