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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Ruzicka Pots Power Play Pair in Win
Phantoms Beat Albany 5-2

Friday, March 24, 2006

By Mike Thornton
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Phantoms employed a surging power play to beat the Albany River Rats 5-2 last night at the Wachovia Spectrum. Rookie Stefan Ruzicka bagged both man advantage goals as the Phantoms scored on the PP for the fifth straight game.

Tony Voce, the Phantoms leading power play goal getter coming into the contest, staked the Phantoms to a 1-0 lead. Just 1:35 in, the Philly native wristed the first professional shot on Albany goalie Josh Disher. The backstop extended his left arm and redirected the puck into his own net for Voce's 19th.

Ruzicka extended the lead at 10:46, as he tiptoed into the low slot and slid a backhander by Disher. Pat Kavanagh ended an eight game pointless streak with an assist, while John Slaney grabbed his team-high 37th helper.

Brent Kelly's 10th of the season made it 3-0 at 2:37 of the second. The River Rats made it interesting with two straight from Nicklas Bergfors. He sniped an unassisted 40-footer before the second period came to a close and then put his team within one 5:54 into the third.

Ruzicka, however, had the answer at 13:11. With the Phantoms operating on their fourth power play of the night, the rookie snuck a wrister from the left wing boards through Disher. For Ruzicka, it was his 10th power play goal of the season, tying him with Voce for the team lead.

Slaney completed the scoring set a little over a minute later, shoveling a 20-foot bid by the ill-fated rookie netminder.

The Phantoms finished the game with 44 shots on goal, while Martin Houle picked up the win after facing 32 shots on the other side of the rink.

I was happy with the effort, said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "Even though they got back, I never felt like the game was in jeopardy."

Photos by Gregg Williams

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