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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Fall 3-2 in Shootout Loss to Bridgeport

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Steve Regier scored the tying goal with one-tenth of a second left in regulation and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers won their first-ever franchise shootout over the Philadelphia Phantoms at the Arena at Harbor Yard, 3-2.

With time winding down on the clock and with Philadelphia nursing a slim one-goal lead, Regier deflected in a shot by Kevin Colley that appeared to be going wide past goaltender Antero Niittymaki. In the shootout, the Sound Tigers scored on three of four attempts while the Phantoms managed just one goal by Patrick Sharp.

It was Philadelphia's second consecutive shootout loss, as the team fell to Binghamton at home on Sunday.

Philadelphia opened the scoring on a goal by Sharp during a 4-on-4 situation. On the play, Joni Pitkanen fed Sharp with a perfect pass before the shot beat Deiter Kochan at 6:18 of the first period.

The goal was Sharp's 11th point in his last seven games, and he continues to lead the Phantoms in scoring with 26 points overall.

Bridgeport was able to tie the game before the intermission with just 10.1 seconds left. Chris Campoli drew a high-sticking call on the Phantoms' Jeff Smith, and then converted on a slap shot off of the ensuing face off for this fourth goal of the season just seven seconds after Smith was whistled off of the ice.

A goal by the Phantoms' hard-working fourth line gave them the lead midway through the second period. Smith, Pitkanen and Riley Cote cycled the puck around the Sound Tigers' goal before Smith fed Josh Gratton for a shot that found the back of the net, as Kochan was screened on the play at 10:47. The goal was Gratton's fourth of the year and third in his last five games.

After killing off three Bridgeport power plays during the second period, Philadelphia went to work on the man advantage at the end of the frame for over five minutes. Keith Aldridge was called for holding at 19:06, and then 39 seconds later Kevin Colley was issued a high-sticking major when he fouled Mark Murphy.

The two-man advantage carried over into the start of the third period and then Bridgeport's Rob Collins slashed R.J. Umberger just 14 seconds into the frame for a 5-on-3 that ended up being close to three minutes. Philadelphia was unable to capitalize, however, and an interference call to Boyd Kane at 4:30 ended the extended power play.

The Phantoms ended the game 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

Philadelphia is off until Sunday, when it travels to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Phantoms' next home game is Wednesday, Dec. 29 against the Norfolk Admirals. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet.


Philadelphia is now 3-5-2 all-time in Bridgeport. ... The Phantoms fell to 7-3 when a game goes into overtime or a shootout. ... Randy Jones returned to action after missing the last game with back spasms. ... Tony Voce remained out of the lineup with the flu. ... Todd Fedoruk, Joey Hope and Freddy Meyer were the other scratches.

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