|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Defeat Albany 3-2
Seidenberg Scores Game-Winner 41 Seconds into Overtime
Sunday, April 10, 2005
By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
Dennis Seidenberg scored 41 seconds into overtime to lift the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 3-2 victory over the Albany River Rats tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum.
Philadelphia went on its third and final power play with 49 seconds to go in regulation when Albany's David Hale was sent off for roughing. With a 4-on-3 advantage in overtime, Philadelphia calmly worked the puck around between Jon Sim, John Slaney and Seidenberg, who one-timed a rocket past River Rats goaltender Scott Clemmensen.
The goal was Seidenberg's 13th of the year and his sixth game-winner, which leads all AHL defensemen.
"Sim deserves a lot of credit for drawing the penalty that gave us the power play," said Seidenberg. "We moved the puck pretty well, faked the shot a couple of times and John (Slaney) hit me with a nice pass and I just had to put it in."
Ben Stafford and Mark Murphy also scored for Philadelphia, which clinched home-ice advantage during the first round of the upcoming Calder Cup Playoffs. The Phantoms (46-24-3-4, 99 points) also remained three points behind first-place Binghamton in the East Division with three games remaining. The Senators have two games left to play.
Antero Niittymaki stopped 31-of-33 shots to notch his 31st win of the season, which ties a club record. Neil Little previously accomplished the feat in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Clemmensen finished with 32 saves for Albany, which had a seven-game win streak come to an end. The River Rats are also 0-5 vs. the Phantoms this season and winless in their last nine visits (0-8-1) to Philadelphia.
Stafford put Philadelphia on the board with 4:22 to go in the opening period when he one-timed in a feed from Todd Fedoruk. Boyd Kane also set up Stafford's 14th goal.
Following a scoreless second period, Ryan Murphy evened the score at 1-1 with his 13th goal at 7:21 of the third, and Zach Parise put Albany on top with his 17th during a 2-on-1 rush at the 15:41 mark.
But Philadelphia responded 33 seconds later on Mark Murphy's 12th goal from R.J. Umberger and Sim.
"It was certainly encouraging to see, when we give up a goal late, that we came right back and tied it up on the next shift," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "(On the power play) It was great execution by all guys involved on the ice to get that puck in the net."
Philadelphia concludes the regular season with a trio of games next weekend. The team hosts the Hershey Bears on Friday at 7:05 p.m., plays at Albany on Saturday afternoon and entertains the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday at 5:05 p.m.
Phantoms Notes: Joey Hope, Eric Meloche, Charlie Cook and David Printz were scratched ... Philadelphia is now 6-3 in overtime games ... Four of the Phantoms' five wins over Albany this year have been decided by one goal ... Seidenberg has 10 points (3G, 7A) in his last seven games.