|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Cruise to 5-0 Win over Bridgeport
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
By Al Cohen
The Philadelphia Phantoms scored four times in the second period and Antero Niittymaki stopped all 22 shots he faced in a 5-0 rout of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight at the Wachovia Center.
Freddy Meyer, Patrick Sharp, David Printz and Northeast Philadelphia native Tony Voce all scored in the decisive middle period to help the Phantoms win its third straight game. Philadelphia finished with three power-play goals and registered its largest margin of victory since March 8 of last season.
Niittymaki made 10 saves in the second period and eight in the third in recording his first shutout of the year. Last season, the native of Finland finished with a club-record seven shutouts.
Wade Dubielewicz turned aside 27-of-32 shots for Bridgeport, which posted a 4-2 victory in the teams' first meeting of the season back on Oct. 17. The Phantoms and Sound Tigers, who finished first and second in the East Division a year ago, are set to meet six more times.
Philadelphia opened the scoring at 4:55 of the first period during the first power play of the game. Joni Pitkanen accepted a pass from fellow defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on the play and fired a shot from the near circle.
Dubielewicz made the save but couldn't control the puck as Josh Gratton whacked away at it until it trickled over the goal line. The goal was Gratton's first of the season.
The Phantoms outshot Bridgeport, 13-4, in the first period and then blew the game open with three goals during a span of 2:27 in the second stanza. Meyer began the spurt when he one-timed in a pass from Voce at the 6:45 mark. Rookie R.J. Umberger also set up Meyer's second of the year.
Sharp widened the gap to 3-0 at 8:33 as he slammed in a crossing pass by Ryan Ready. Sharp, who netted his third goal, remained the only Phantom to record a point in all five games this season.
Printz made it a four-goal lead just 39 seconds later when Ben Eager set him up for a breakaway. John Slaney also assisted on Printz's first career AHL goal.
Voce capped the second-period scoring with 40.9 seconds left by following in the rebound of a shot by Seidenberg. Peter White added an assist on Voce's team-leading fourth goal that made it 5-0.
The Phantoms are back in action this Friday when they travel to play the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia's next home game is set for Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks at the Wachovia Spectrum.
Phantoms Notes: Todd Fedoruk, Wade Skolney and Joey Hope were scratched ... Boyd Kane sat out due to a broken bone in his left hand ... Voce has six points (4G, 2A) in his last three games ... Bridgeport was 0-for-6 on the power play ... This was the 37th shutout in Phantoms history ... It is the club's most lopsided shutout since a 5-0 win over Norfolk on March 23, 2001.