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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Falls 4-2 to Binghamton

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Denis Hamel scored twice to lead the Binghamton Senators to a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms in front of a crowd of 9,143 tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Brandon Bochenski and Jason Spezza each added two points as Binghamton evened the six-game season series at two wins apiece. The Senators have now won eight of their last 10 games and drew within six points of the first-place Phantoms in the AHL's East Division.

Ray Emery picked up the win by stopping 29-of-31 shots, while Neil Little made 19 saves in the loss.

Mark Murphy recorded a goal and an assist for the Phantoms, who had a two-game winning streak come to an end. Philadelphia fell to 1-5 all-time vs. Binghamton at home.

"I am not unhappy with the effort of our hockey team," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "I thought we had every opportunity to be up early in the game and I thought we were the better team tonight to be quite honest. I told my team that. We made some mistakes that wound up in our net."

Philadelphia took the first six shots of the game, but Binghamton opened the scoring with its first shot of the night. On the play, Bochenski beat Phantoms defenseman Stephen Wood to the puck along the near wall and centered it to Arpad Mihaly, who wristed a shot into the top left corner at the 9:20 mark.

The Phantoms began the second stanza by taking the first nine shots before Binghamton again beat Little on its first shot of the period. Hamel tallied his 24th goal by deflecting an Anton Volchenkov shot through Little's pads at 5:55.

Spezza also received an assist on the play and then set up Bochenski's 14th goal at 8:12 that made it 3-0.

Philadelphia finally got on the board with 7:54 left in the second period when Murphy rang a shot off the post and in following a flurry in front of the Senators net. It was the first goal since Dec. 15 for Murphy, who was playing in his 400th game as a pro.

Receiving assists were Dennis Seidenberg and Brent Robinson, who registered his first career AHL point.

Hamel answered with another power-play goal 6:07 into the third period, with assists going to Antoine Vermette and Brian Pothier.

B.J. Abel capped the scoring with 8:34 remaining when he one-timed in a feed from Randy Jones. Murphy also set up Abel's second goal of the year.

"We played really well and Emery made some great saves," said Abel. "We were in it the whole game, but just ran out of time. The one thing we can control is our effort and tonight we worked hard and did the right things."

The Phantoms' two-goal margin of defeat tied for the largest of the season, but it was the first game not involving an empty-net goal at the end.

The Phantoms are back in action on Friday when they travel to take on the Norfolk Admirals. Philadelphia's next home is set for Sunday at 7:05 p.m. vs. Norfolk.

Phantoms Notes: Boyd Kane, Wade Skolney, Freddy Meyer, Josh Gratton, Joey Hope, Todd Fedoruk, David Printz and Ben Eager were scratched.

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