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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Sim Scores Again in 4-2 Phantoms Win at Hershey

Saturday, March 26, 2005

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

Jon Sim tallied his second game-winning goal in as many nights as the Philadelphia Phantoms pulled out a 4-2 victory over the Hershey Bears tonight at the GIANT Center.

Philadelphia trailed 2-1 through two periods before captain Boyd Kane evened the score 1:41 into the third when Joni Pitkanen set him up for a breakaway from the blue line. Freddy Meyer also assisted on Kane's eighth goal of the year.

Later in the period during the Phantoms' third and final power play, John Slaney skated around traffic in front and sent a pass through the crease to Sim, who knocked it past Bears goaltender Peter Budaj at the 15:21 mark.

The goal was Sim's 34th of the year and 10th game-winner, which extends the club record he established in Friday's 5-1 triumph over Springfield. The left winger also scored in his fifth straight game and now has 14 goals in his last 11 games.

Antero Niittymaki finished with 26 saves, including 15 in the third period, to collect his sixth win in his last seven starts. The Phantoms have captured seven of their last nine games and 10 of 14 on the road.

With the win, Philadelphia maintained its two-point lead over Binghamton for first place in the AHL's East Division. The Phantoms and Senators are set to face off against each other this Wednesday.

Peter Budaj stopped 27-of-30 shots for Hershey, which fell to 3-6 vs. the Phantoms this season. The teams have three meetings left, including Friday in Philadelphia.

Hershey jumped out to a 1-0 lead 4:25 into the game when a deflected shot fell right to Jeff Ulmer, who tapped it past an out-of-position Niittymaki. Carl Mallette and Mathieu Darche assisted on Ulmer's 21st goal of the year.

Philadelphia used its first power play of the night to even the score at 1-1. Just 12 seconds after Bears defenseman Martin Wilde was sent off for tripping, Patrick Sharp took a feed from Ryan Ready and set up Slaney for a long slap shot that beat a screened Budaj.

It was the 10th goal of the year for Slaney and his sixth on the power play.

Former Phantom Dennis Bonvie gave Hershey a 2-1 lead at the 12:53 mark of the second period before Kane's equalizer early in the third. Following Sim's game-winner, the Bears pulled Budaj with 50 seconds remaining and Eric Meloche sealed the victory with an empty-net goal, his sixth, with 13.3 seconds left.

Phantoms Notes: Joey Hope, David Printz and Todd Fedoruk were scratched ... R.J. Umberger had an assist on Sim's goal and has seven points (1G, 6A) in his last four games ... Slaney has nine points (2G, 7A) in his last eight games ... Philadelphia improved to 24-1 when scoring at least four goals ... The Phantoms lead the all-time series, 55-40-8, including a 24-24-4 mark when playing in Hershey ... Sim's five-game goal-scoring streak is a team season high ... Pitkanen now has a team-high five-game assist streak.

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