|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Sim and Niittymaki Lead Phantoms to 2-0 Win Over Lowell
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
By Kevin Kurz
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
Antero Niittymaki made 31 saves and Jon Sim scored twice as the Philadelphia Phantoms defeated the Lowell Lock Monsters at Tsongas Arena, 2-0.
Sim, who has now scored a goal in three consecutive games, registered his 24th goal of the season 7:30 into the game. On the play, Sim skated the puck from the corner boards towards to the crease, lost control and caught a break as the puck bounced off of a couple of Lowell defenders and then behind goaltender Brent Krahn.
That goal held up as the game-winner, and Sim added an insurance empty net goal with 29 seconds left in the contest. He now has nine goals in his last games.
It was his team-leading sixth multi-goal game of the season.
Niittymaki was outstanding from start to finish in recording his eighth shutout of the season. His biggest and most spectacular save came with seven and a half minutes remaining when Ryan Bayda, who was stationed at the side of the crease, had an open net on a rebound attempt. Niittymaki quickly moved from his left to his right and got his stick down along the goal line to rob Bayba and keep the Phantoms lead intact.
Niittymaki did not see his first shot until there was less than nine minutes to play in the first period, as the Phantoms registered the first 11 shots on goal of the game. Philadelphia outshot Lowell for the game, 40-31.
Philadelphia killed off all seven of its penalties, including three in the third period against the fifth highest scoring team in the AHL. The Phantoms finished 0-for-4 on the power play.
The victory earned the Phantoms a split in the season series, as Lowell won earlier this season at the Wachovia Spectrum, 1-0.
The Phantoms continue their four-game road trip on Friday in Manchester. Philadelphia also plays at Portland and Worcester this weekend.
The Phantoms have now won seven of their last nine road games.
Phantoms Notes: Eric Meloche, Joey Hope, David Printz and Riley Cote were the scratches. ... Philadelphia is now 6-4 all-time vs. the Lock Monsters. ... The Phantoms improved to 4-1 all-time on March 9.