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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Sim Scores Two More in 4-2 Phantoms Win in Manchester

Friday, March 11, 2005

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Jon Sim continued his recent scoring spree with two goals tonight to lead the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 4-2 victory over the Manchester Monarchs at Verizon Wireless Arena.

Sim scored twice for the third game in a row and has 11 goals in his last eight games for Philadelphia, which improved to 2-0 on its four-game trip through the Northeast. Tony Voce and Joni Pitkanen also scored to help the Phantoms win for the eighth time in their last 10 road games.

Antero Niittymaki made 25 saves for Philadelphia, which re-claimed first place in the AHL's East Division with 78 points. Binghamton resides in second place with 77 points, followed by Norfolk (76) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (75).

Adam Hauser finished with 17 saves for Manchester, which has lost four of its last six games overall and at home. Philadelphia also completed a two-game sweep of the Monarchs following a 1-0 home win back on Dec. 17.

Philadelphia tallied the lone goal of the first period during an obstruction-tripping minor on Manchester's Jeff Giuliano. Just 26 seconds after going on the man advantage, Voce tipped a shot past Hauser at the 16:42 mark for his 15th goal and seventh power-play score, which ties for most on the team.

Manchester won the opening face-off of the second period and proceeded to score seven seconds in on Tim Gleason's eighth goal. It was the fastest opening goal of a period ever in a Phantoms game, as Philadelphia's record is eight seconds and the previous record by an opponent was 13 seconds.

The Phantoms re-took the lead with 4:20 to go in the second on Sim's third shorthanded goal in the last four games. As teammate Eric Meloche served a hooking minor, R.J. Umberger set up the wrister from the left side which was Sim's 26th goal of the year and 24th as a Phantom.

Pitkanen netted a key insurance goal 4:23 into the third stanza on a turnaround shot from the far circle. Ben Stafford and Todd Fedoruk set up the defenseman's fifth goal that widened the gap to 3-1.

Giuliano cut it to 3-2 with his seventh goal at the 11:48 mark and the Monarchs pulled Hauser for an extra attacker, but Sim spoiled the comeback bid with an unassisted empty-netter with 35.1 seconds remaining.

The Phantoms continue their four-game road trip on Saturday afternoon in Portland. Philadelphia then plays in Worcester on Sunday before its next home game on Friday, March 18 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Worcester.

Phantoms Notes: Joey Hope, David Printz, Mark Murphy and Riley Cote were scratched ... Meloche played in his 300th AHL game ... Freddy Meyer played in his 100th game as a Phantom ... Fedoruk won two fights during the first period ... Philadelphia leads the all-time series 4-2 ... Philadelphia is 3-0 all-time on March 11 ... The Phantoms improved to 19-1 when scoring at least four goals in a game.

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