|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Defeat Sound Tigers 4-3 in OT
Seidenberg Scores Twice, Including Game-Winner
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
Dennis Seidenberg scored his second goal of the game 1:51 into overtime tonight to lift the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 4-3 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Wachovia Spectrum.
Jon Sim and Boyd Kane also scored, while Wade Skolney added a pair of assists as Philadelphia won for the sixth time in its last eight games. The Phantoms evened the eight-game season series at three wins apiece, including a perfect 3-0 mark at home vs. the Sound Tigers.
Starting for the 17th time in the last 18 games, Antero Niittymaki stopped 13-of-16 shots to register the win. His counterpart Dieter Kochan made 35 saves on 39 shots as Bridgeport had a three-game road win streak come to an end.
Philadelphia opened the scoring for the first time in the last four games thanks to Seidenberg's ninth goal of the year. Ben Stafford won a face-off in the Bridgeport zone to begin the play and Seidenberg launched a slap shot from beyond the near circle that made its way through traffic and past Kochan at the 11:56 mark.
Bridgeport retaliated at 5:18 of the second stanza as Phantoms rookie Ben Eager served an interference minor. Following a Philadelphia rush, Bridgeport countered with a 3-on-1 and Brendan Yarema slammed in a feed from Rob Collins to even the score. Cole Jarrett also assisted on Yarema's seventh goal.
Sim put Philadelphia back in front 1:58 into the third period during a scramble in front of the crease, with assists going to R.J. Umberger and Skolney. The Phantoms went on a five-minute power play three minutes later following a high-sticking major on Richard Seeley, but it was Jarrett who scored shorthanded at 9:01 to knot the score at 2-2.
The Phantoms re-took the lead with 8:14 to go in the third when Kane's shot from the side found its way through Kochan. Riley Cote and Skolney assisted on Kane's fifth goal, but Chris Campoli answered for Bridgeport at 15:42 to make it a 3-3 game.
On the decisive play in overtime, Sim took a feed from John Slaney and offered a crossing pass to an oncoming Seidenberg, who whacked it past Kochan for his fifth game-winner of the year, which is tops among all AHL defensemen.
"We got some good, hard-working goals there and kept bouncing back," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "Every time there was a breakdown, it was a major breakdown and the puck wound up in our net, but the important thing is we got two points heading into a big weekend."
The Phantoms now hit the road for two games, as they play at Bridgeport on Friday and in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday. Philadelphia's next home game is set for Sunday at 5:05 p.m. vs. Wilkes-Barre.
Phantoms Notes: Joey Hope, Stephen Wood, David Printz, B.J. Abel and Mark Murphy were scratched ... Philadelphia has allowed just two first-period goals in the last 11 games ... Bridgeport's 16 shots were a season low by a Phantoms opponent ... The Phantoms are 17-1 when scoring at least four goals in a game ... The all-time series is now even at 10-10-2 ... Seidenberg was a plus-4, while Skolney was a plus-3.