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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Kelly, Kavanagh Carry Phantoms
Tandem Combines for Tying, Winning Goals in 3-2 Victory over Binghamton

Sunday, November 27, 2005

By Brian Smith
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

BINGHAMTON, NY -- The tandem of Brent Kelly and Pat Kavanagh was too much for the Binghamton Senators on Sunday evening, as the two combined the game-tying and game-winning goals to give the Philadelphia Phantoms a 3-2 overtime win at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, NY.

All the regulation scoring took place in the second period. The Senators started things at 9:54, when Steve Martins intercepted a Phantoms pass in the high slot of the Philadelphia zone and danced in all alone on goaltender Martin Houle, beating him on the backhand to the left post for a 1-0 lead.

But the Phantoms tied it up just 20 seconds later at the 10:14 mark when Ryan Ready found himself part of a scramble in front of the Binghamton net. Ready kept drilling and drilling until he struck oil, finally poking the puck through the pads of goaltender Kelly Guard.

Binghamton regained the lead at 12:29 of the frame when Gregg Johnson approached the rebound of a shot by Lance Ward in the left circle and blasted one just inside the upper right corner.

The Phantoms tied it again on a shorthanded goal at 17:34. Kelly knocked loose a puck at the Philly blueline and went in on a 2-on-1 with Kavanagh. Kelly handed it off to Kavanagh, who tied Guard in a knot and stuffed it home from behind the endline to make it a 2-2 game.

It was a similar situation that generated the game-winner in overtime. This time, Kavanagh was the one working along the left boards before throwing the puck on net. Guard made the initial save, but Kelly was there on the left post to fork in the rebound and give the Phantoms their season-high third consecutive win and a sweep of the weekend.

"We had some self inflicted wounds there in the second period that allowed Binghamton to generate some offensive opportunity," remarked Head Coach John Stevens. "But the work ethic is what we are looking for from our group and we're trying to get all of our lines going, and I thought the last three games have been the best it's been all year."

The Phantoms upped their overall record to 10-11-0-2 and remain in third place in the East Division with 20 points. The rookie backstop, Martin Houle, meanwhile, with two wins over the weekend, pushed his Phantoms record to 3-1.

It was difficult for Stevens not to sing the praises of the 20-year old after the game. "He was certainly a key player on our hockey team tonight, and kept the score close and gave us the chance to win the game in overtime. He deserves a lot of credit for our points on the weekend."

The Phantoms now have four days of rest before their next tilt, which comes against the same Binghamton Senators this Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:05 at the Wachovia Spectrum.

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