|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Slaney Sets AHL Record
Phantoms Tripped Up by Sound Tigers
Friday, December 30, 2005
By Brian Smith
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA - On Friday night at the Wachovia Spectrum 8,612 witnessed history, as with an assist, John Slaney became the American Hockey League's (AHL) all-time leading scoring defenseman. Slaney eclipsed a 41-year old record, logging his 454th career AHL point. The point, however, came in a 4-1 Phantoms loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The Sound Tigers broke the scoreless deadlock at the 16:29 mark of the second period. A puck was chipped high into the air and Sean Bergenheim swung at it with his stick at chest-height. He made contact with the shaft of his stick and was able to send it past Martin Houle to make it a 1-0 game.
Rob Collins made it a 2-0 Bridgeport lead just under three minutes into the third period. Jeremy Colliton was able to spring Collins on a breakaway and he beat Houle low.
Slaney made history at 6:21 of the third as his 454th career point came with an assist on Tony Voce's power play goal. The goal cut the Tiger's 2-0 lead in half, as the 33-year old Phantoms Captain fired a drive from the center point. Josh Gratton deflected the now prized puck to Voce, who in turn shot it past Wade Dubielewicz. The crowd immediately recognized the achievement and praised Slaney during a brief stoppage.
"I'm a pretty emotional guy," noted Slaney. "I was just hoping they would drop the puck as quick as they could. Hopefully they (the fans) understand that when I tapped my stick on the ice three times it was really for the fans, because it's so much fun to come in here and play."
The assist broke a 41-year old record set by Steve Kraftcheck, who played 13 seasons in the AHL between 1949 and 1964. Kraftcheck scored 453 points during his AHL career, which included stops in Cleveland, Rochester and Providence.
The Tigers spoiled the party with two more goals, including the final into an empty net. Bruno Gervais and Bergenheim finished off the 4-1 final.
The loss put the Phantoms into a fourth place tie in the East Division with the Tigers, as both clubs now have 31 points.