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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms' Record Win Streak Ends with 2-1 Loss in Syracuse

Saturday, November 28, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

The Philadelphia Phantoms' AHL-record 17-game winning streak came to an end tonight at the War Memorial at Oncenter as Tim Jackman and Aaron Johnson each scored in a 2-1 victory by the Syracuse Crunch.

Philadelphia lost its first two games of the year before reeling off 17 wins in a row. The team matched the Baltimore Skipjacks' league record of 16 straight victories with Friday's 4-2 triumph over Hershey and broke the mark on Saturday with a 3-1 decision in Hershey. It was the Phantoms' first setback since Oct. 17 in Bridgeport.

Rookie R.J. Umberger tallied Philadelphia's lone goal in the final minute of play and Antero Niittymaki made 29 saves as his personal 12-game win streak was also halted.

Karl Goehring was stellar in goal for Syracuse, stopping 28-of-29 shots, including breakaways by Ben Stafford and Tony Voce. The Phantoms are now winless in their last five match-ups with the Crunch, losing four games and tying one since their last win in the series in February 2003.

The teams played scoreless hockey during the first period before Jackman put Syracuse on the board 7:51 into the second stanza. Alexander Svitov and Greg Mauldin set up Jackman's third goal with a nifty passing sequence.

Philadelphia came up empty on a five-minute power play that bridged the second and third periods before Syracuse tallied an important insurance goal during a 5-on-3 situation. As Mark Murphy and Randy Jones sat in the box with respective slashing and hooking minors, Brad Moran and Mark Hartigan fed Johnson for his second goal at the 12:16 mark.

The Phantoms pulled Niittymaki with 59 seconds to play and narrowed the deficit to 2-1 with 39.2 seconds remaining on Umberger's eighth goal. Jon Sim and Voce received assists on the play.

Philadelphia then called timeout and went back to work, but could not tally the equalizer.

The Phantoms return to action on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m., when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins visit the Wachovia Spectrum. Philadelphia then hosts the Norfolk Admirals at the Wachovia Center on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Phantoms Notes: Todd Fedoruk, Ben Eager, Patrick Sharp and Wade Skolney sat out due to injuries ... Josh Gratton served a one-game suspension because of an accumulation of misconduct penalties in the instigator category ... Philadelphia finished 0-for-6 on the power play ... The Phantoms had their six-game road win streak ended ... Murphy played in his 100th game as a Phantom ... Philadelphia is now 7-2 in one-goal games this season ... Umberger has eight points (5G, 3A) in his last seven games.

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