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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Little Nets 200th Career Victory With 4-0 Win Over Bridgeport

Friday, March 4, 2005

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Neil Little recorded his 200th career AHL victory in style, stopping all 33 shots he faced as the Philadelphia Phantoms cruised to a 4-0 shutout victory against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

Little became just the 10th goaltender in the history of the league to amass 200 victories. John Slaney and R.J. Umberger led the way offensively for Philadelphia as each tallied a goal and two assists.

Umberger gave the Phantoms the lead with the only goal of the first period. On a three-on-one rush, he took a feed from Ben Eager and beat goaltender Dieter Kochan at 9:39 for his 15th goal of the season.

In the second period, Slaney netted his eighth of the year at 5:29 during a four-on-four situation. Slaney controlled the puck at the side of the net, faked a slap shot, and then skated towards the crease and slid the puck behind Kochan to make it a 2-0 Philadelphia lead.

Josh Gratton's power play goal just 58 seconds later gave the Phantoms a three-goal cushion, while Joni Pitkanen's third period goal with the man advantage capped the scoring.

The Phantoms finished 2-for-4 on the power play and killed off all six of Bridgeport's opportunities.

Philadelphia swept the home-and-home series with their division rival after winning 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday night at the Spectrum, and now leads the season series 4-games-to-3 with one game remaining between the two clubs.

The Phantoms play in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow night before the teams meet again on Sunday in Philadelphia at 5:05 p.m. Philadelphia then begins a four-game road trip on Wednesday in Lowell.

Phantoms Notes: Riley Cote was issued a game misconduct in the third period after his third fighting major of the night. There was a total of 126 penalty minutes in the game. ... Little trails J.F. Labbe by two wins for ninth on the all-time AHL career victories list. ... Umberger has 11 points in his last eight games (2g, 9a). ... Mark Murphy, David Printz and Joey Hope were the scratches.

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