|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Nittymaki Records Second Straight Shutout in 2-0 Win over Milwaukee
Saturday, February 19, 2005
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
Antero Niittymaki made 28 saves to notch his second shutout in as many nights as the Philadelphia Phantoms posted a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals tonight at the Bradley Center.
Niittymaki, who registered 36 saves in Friday's 3-0 win in Cincinnati, stopped 12 shots in the second period and eight in the first and third tonight to record his fourth shutout of the year. The 2005 AHL All-Star has now compiled shutouts in consecutive starts for the first time since March 27 & 31 of last season.
Patrick Sharp and Tony Voce each scored third-period goals to help Philadelphia win its third game in a row and fourth straight on the road. The Phantoms also completed a two-game sweep of the defending Calder Cup-champion Admirals, as Philadelphia posted a 5-1 victory at home back on Dec. 12.
Brian Finley finished with 22 saves for Milwaukee, which has lost four of its last six games. The Admirals had a three-game home win streak snapped and lost at the Bradley Center in regulation for the first time since Dec. 27.
Philadelphia entered the third period in a 0-0 tie for the first time all season before Sharp took advantage of a turnover by Admirals defenseman Dan Hamhuis to give the Phantoms the lead for good. Sharp gained possession of the puck in the Milwaukee zone and fired a shot past Finley at the 1:24 mark for his team-leading 17th goal.
A charging call on Milwaukee's Jordin Tootoo midway through the third led to an important insurance goal by Voce. Jon Sim and R.J. Umberger set up the rookie's 10th goal and sixth power-play score at the 11:08 mark.
The Phantoms denied Milwaukee on all four of its man-advantage situations and have now killed their opponents' last 27 power plays.
The Phantoms continue their season-high five-game road trip on Sunday in Grand Rapids. Philadelphia then plays at Cincinnati on Wednesday before its next home game on Friday, Feb. 25 at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Hershey Bears.
Phantoms Notes: Joey Hope, Wade Skolney, Josh Gratton, Randy Jones and Rosario Ruggeri did not travel due to injury ... Mark Murphy and Jeff Smith were scratched ... Niittymaki has started the last 13 games for the Phantoms ... Philadelphia has allowed just one first-period goal in its last six games ... The Phantoms have not surrendered a second-period goal in their last five games ... Philadelphia holds a 5-3 lead in the all-time series ... The Phantoms have recorded a shutout in back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 23 & 24 of last season vs. Bridgeport and Hershey.