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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Fall 4-1 in Hershey

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Jeff Ulmer had a goal and two assists and Peter Budaj made 29 saves to lead the Hershey Bears to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms tonight at GIANT Center.

Mathieu Darche added a pair of goals and Cody McCormick chipped in a goal and an assist as Hershey won for the fourth time in its last five games. After losing 16 straight meetings with the Phantoms, the Bears have now won three in a row.

Riley Cote tallied the lone goal and Antero Niittymaki stopped 23-of-26 shots for Philadelphia, which lost its fourth consecutive road game.

Hershey opened the scoring 6:56 into the game when Johnny Boychuk slid a pass through the crease to Ulmer, who placed it past an out-of-position Niittymaki. Ulmer's 13th goal of the year extended his scoring streak to seven consecutive games.

McCormick doubled the Bears lead to 2-0 with 1:43 left in the first following some quick passing by Darche and Ulmer. It was McCormick's third goal of the year and first since Nov. 12.

The margin grew to 3-0 at 11:58 of the second stanza after an obstruction-holding call on Cote. Nick Naumenko took the initial shot during the power play and the rebound kicked out to Eric Perrin, who fired away. Darche deflected the floater past Niittymaki for his 17th goal.

Philadelphia's penalty-killing unit had been 31 for its last 33 prior to Darche's score.

The Phantoms avoided their first shutout of the season when Cote netted his second goal from the doorstep at the 17:32 mark. Rookie Tony Voce assisted on the play to record his first point since Dec. 29.

Niittymaki was pulled for an extra attacker with 2:07 remaining and Darche capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 44 seconds to play.

The Phantoms are back in action on Friday at 7:05 p.m. when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins. Philadelphia then plays at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday and in Norfolk next Wednesday.

Phantoms Notes: Joey Hope, Josh Gratton, Wade Skolney, Rosario Ruggeri, B.J. Abel and Todd Fedoruk were scratched ... Tonight's game was originally scheduled for Jan. 22, but was postponed due to heavy snowfall in the area ... Boyd Kane played in his 100th game as a Phantom ... Philadelphia is 0-for-25 on the power play over the last six games ... The Phantoms remain one of just three teams not to have been shut out this year (Wilkes-Barre & Lowell are the others).

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