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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Lose 1-0 to Lowell

Friday, February 11, 2005

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Cam Ward stopped all 28 shots he faced as the visiting Lowell Lock Monsters posted a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Ward made eight saves in the first period and 10 in the second and third to notch his fifth shutout of the season. Mike Zigomanis provided the only goal as Lowell won for the fourth time in its last six games.

Antero Niittymaki made 22 saves in the loss for Philadelphia, which was shut out for the first time in 2004-05.

Lowell tallied the lone goal of the game at the 5:58 mark of the first period following a long rebound of a Ryan Bayda shot. Danny Richmond collected the carom well beyond the near circle and sent a cross-ice pass to Zigomanis, who one-timed in his 20th goal from the far circle.

The Phantoms came up empty on several chances in the second period, including having a goal disallowed at 2:50 as the referee ruled that the whistle had already been blown.

In the third, Philadelphia outshot Lowell, 10-4, and had a golden opportunity to even the score when Lock Monsters center Eric Staal received a high-sticking major at the 8:47 mark, but Ward stood his ground.

"When you get a power play late in the game, you hope to at least get even there," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "We had a couple of good looks at the net, but bottom line the power play has got to score.

"The team played hard tonight. We started pressing a little bit late in the game, but that second period I thought we really played hard. We created a lot of good looks at the net and spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. We're not unhappy with our effort tonight. We're playing more like a team right now."

The Phantoms begin a season-high five-game road trip on Saturday in Norfolk. Following the All-Star break, Philadelphia plays at Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and Cincinnati again from Feb. 18-23. The Phantoms' next home game is slated for Friday, Feb. 25 vs. the Hershey Bears.

Phantoms Notes: Wade Skolney, Josh Gratton, Joey Hope, Rosario Ruggeri, Randy Jones and Todd Fedoruk were scratched ... Jeff Smith served the second of a three-game AHL suspension ... Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton entered the game as the only teams not to have been shut out this year. The Penguins were also blanked 2-0 tonight by Hershey ... The Phantoms are 5-4 all-time against Lowell, including a 2-3 mark at home ... Philadelphia is set to play in Lowell on March 9.

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