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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Defeat Hershey 3-2 in Overtime

Saturday, October 23, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Philadelphia native Tony Voce scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner 1:09 into overtime, as the Phantoms continued their recent success against the Hershey Bears with a 3-2 victory tonight at the GIANT Center.

A day after scoring his first career goal in Philadelphia's 5-3 win over Hamilton, Voce evened the score at 1-1 early in the third period and recorded his first game-winning goal in the extra session.

The rookie from Boston College University gained possession at center ice on the decisive play before dropping it back to a trailing Joni Pitkanen. The defenseman gave it right back to Voce, who beat Hershey goaltender Tom Lawson from a difficult angle to lift the Phantoms to their second straight win.

Making his first appearance of the season, goaltender Neil Little stopped 30-of-32 shots to earn the win, while Lawson finished the night with 38 saves for the 0-4 Bears.

The victory was Philadelphia's 13th in a row over Hershey. Last year, the Phantoms outscored the Bears 47-14 in sweeping the 12-game season series.

Following a scoreless opening period, Hershey assumed a 1-0 lead 5:40 into the second stanza. Mathieu Darche took the initial shot on the play from the far circle and Eric Perrin got a piece of the rebound as the puck came to a halt inside the Philadelphia crease.

Marek Svatos swooped in and managed to slide the puck past a sprawling Little to put Hershey on top. The goal was Svatos' first of the year and just the Bears' fifth in four games.

After rookie R.J. Umberger and Ben Stafford set up Voce's tying goal 1:19 into the third period, the Phantoms moved ahead 2-1 with 1:54 to play in regulation.

Patrick Sharp entered the Bears zone on the play and faked a shot from the far circle before finding Mark Murphy on the other side for an easy shot past an out-of-position Lawson. It was Murphy's second goal of the season.

But Phantoms defenseman John Slaney was called for holding with 1:06 left and Hershey pulled Lawson for a 6-on-4 situation. During a scramble in the closing seconds, Darche was able to poke it past Little to make it 2-2 at the 19:55 mark of the third period.

The Phantoms are back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Wachovia Center. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet.

Phantoms Notes: Todd Fedoruk, Wade Skolney and Joey Hope were scratched ... Boyd Kane sat out due to a broken bone in his left hand ... The game featured Phantoms left wing/center Jeff Smith and referee Jeff Smith ... Sharp has registered a point in all four games this season ... Umberger tallied his first career point.

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