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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Win Big Over Albany
Ruzicka Posts Three-Point Night

Saturday, December 10, 2005

By Brian Smith
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA - Phantoms rookie Stefan Ruzicka had another breakout night against the Albany River Rats, scoring twice and adding an assist, as the Purple throttled the Rats 6-1. In the most lopsided win of the season, six Phantoms finished with at least two points.

Veteran John Slaney had eight of the Phantoms season-high 51 shots and added a goal and an assist, putting him just three points away from becoming the American Hockey League's (AHL) all-time leading scoring defensemen. His run at the history books shows him with 451 points.

Before the Phantoms captain added to his totals, several other Phantoms supplemented theirs. In the first of three first period goals, Philly native Tony Voce grabbed a loose puck from behind the Albany net and came out in front. As netminder Frank Doyle drifted away from the near post anticipating the centering pass, Voce deftly lifted the puck on the backhand just inside the shortside pipe at 5:53.

Brent Kelly was in the right place when a loose puck banged off the end boards and directly into the low slot. Kelly swooped in and swatted the puck home on the backhand, giving Philadelphia the 2-0 lead.

The Phantoms made it 3-0 when Ruzicka finished off a flurry of offensive activity that had Doyle diving to and fro. Initially, David Printz blasted one from the high slot and eventually the puck made it to the right wall where Dan Cavanaugh was able to pitch it on net. At 18:37 Ruzicka forked the puck out of the crease and into the cage.

BJ Abel set the table for the fourth goal as he brought the puck down the right side boards, while Slaney trailed slightly, blazing a path straight down Broad Street. Abel found him with a backhand saucer pass and Slaney wonderfully one-timed it home for the 4-0 advantage.

Brad Ference put Albany on the board with a late power play goal in the second. Ruzicka then answered with one of his own just 1:11 into the third. Slaney and Chouinard had the assists for the 5-1 lead, as the 20-year old scored his fifth of the season and fourth against Albany.

Chouinard put the proverbial icing on the cake at 11:09 for the 6-1 final. The win ended a three game skid for the Phantoms and pushed their record to12-14-0-2 and keeps them in their third place perch in the East Division.

Next up is a Saturday night tilt on the road against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The Phantoms then return to the Wachovia Spectrum Friday, Dec. 16 as they host the Hamilton Bulldogs.

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