|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Comeback Kids: Phantoms Top Hartford
Slaney Moves Within Two Points Of Record
Sunday, December 11, 2005
By Brian Smith
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
HARTFORD, Conn. - The Phantoms did things the hard way Saturday night, coming from behind a total of three times before taking a 3-2 shootout victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack before 4,664 at the Hartford Civic Center. John Slaney earned first star honors by registering the tying goal in regulation and the clinching shootout attempt, and is now just two points away from becoming the American Hockey League's all-time leading scoring defenseman.
Philadelphia (13-14-0-2, 28 pts) erased two one-goal deficits in the second and third periods. The Wolf Pack started out the scoring with a power play goal from Colby Genoway at the 8:25 mark of the second stanza. Genoway blasted a slapshot from the top of the left circle past Phantoms netminder Jamie Storr for the 1-0 lead.
The Phantoms evened things up at 12:26 of the middle frame. Brent Kelly was able to work a puck free in the neutral zone and found himself in a two-on-one situation with Triston Grant. Kelly fed Grant with a nifty pass that was just out of the reach of a sliding Wolf Pack defenseman, and Grant was able to bury it past goaltender Ty Conklin to make it a 1-1 game.
Hartford went back up in the third period on a solo performance by Jeff Taffe at the 5:55 mark. Taffe jumped on a loose puck at center ice and sidestepped a Phantoms defenseman at the blue line before skating in and snapping a shot high to Storr's glove side. The unassisted tally gave the Wolf Pack the 2-1 lead.
But Slaney took care of that deficit at the 12:26 mark. His blast from the right point was stopped in front, but bounced into the right circle. The Phantoms captain swooped towards his own rebound and backhanded a shot through traffic and past Conklin to tie things up at 2-2.
Philadelphia had the upper hand in the overtime period, thanks in part to a tripping penalty whistled against Jake Taylor just under a minute into the session. But Conklin stopped all seven shots he faced in the extra time to force the shootout.
Things weren't looking good for the Phantoms after Hartford took a 2-0 lead through the first two rounds of the shootout. But Storr shut the door the rest of the way, while Dan Cavanaugh, Tony Voce and Slaney came up with the three shootout tallies that their team needed.
Storr took the win with a total of 24 saves on 26 Wolf Pack chances. Although the game was Storr's first action since last Sunday, Dec. 4, it marked the seventh game in eight days for which he had dressed. In addition to manning the pipes for the Phantoms last Sunday and backing up Martin Houle on Wednesday and Friday, Storr served as the backup for the Flyers in their games on Dec. 3, Dec. 6 and Dec. 8.
The win was the second in a row for Philadelphia. It was the Phantoms second shootout win of the year, giving them a 2-2 record in that column. With a shot advantage of 37-26, it also marked the ninth consecutive game in which Philadelphia has outshot its opponent.
John Slaney will take a shot at AHL history when the Phantoms return to the Wachovia Spectrum Friday, Dec. 16 to host the Hamilton Bulldogs.