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USS Houle Torpedos Admirals
Rookie Makes Career-High 39 Saves in Phantoms 5-0 Win

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

By Mike Thornton
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA - Goaltender Martin Houle recorded the second shutout of his young career with a season- and career-high 39 saves as the Phantoms cruised to a 5-0 win over the Norfolk Admirals at the Wachovia Spectrum on Wednesday night. Houle weathered a 23 shot attack in the second period alone.

The Phantoms opened the scoring with 9:23 left in the first period. Pat Kavanagh sailed down the left side and let loose a wrister that Corey Crawford stopped. The rebound fell directly in front of the right post, where Alexandre Picard stood. He poked it back on net, and it ended up being swept home by Kavanagh at the opposite pipe for the 1-0 lead. It was Kavanagh's first goal in 10 games and Jones' first point with the Phantoms since October 30.

Norfolk's Brad Rodgers went to the box later in the period, guilty of boarding, and it took just 11 seconds for the Phantoms to capitalize. Kavanagh took a pass at the left post from Stefan Ruzicka and fed it directly across the top of the crease to Ryan Ready, who deposited the disc into an open net at the 15:42 mark. Philadelphia's white hot power play, meanwhile, extended its streak to a season high seven games.

The second period was scoreless for both teams despite Norfolk's 23 shots on net, a season high for a Phantoms opponent in a single frame. But by the time the third period was a minute old, the Phantoms had doubled their advantage. First up was Tony Voce's goal off a feed from Marc Cavosie 36 seconds in. Then, 20 ticks later, Ben Eager converted a two-on-none coupled with Pat Kavanagh, as Eager let loose a rocket of a snap shot that beat Admirals goalie high to the stick side.

Voce made it a 5-0 game with his second goal of the night just after the midway point of the third period. He came into the zone on a 4-on-3 power play and wristed a shot high to the glove side of Crawford. For Voce, it put an exclamation point on a seven game point scoring streak, the longest for any Phantom this season. The Philly native has five goals and five assists (5/5/10) during the seven game run. He also has points in 11 of his last 12, totaling 15 points: 12(6/9/15).

"When you don't have a lot of shots in the first period you wonder if you're in the game, said Houle after seeing just four shots in the first followed by 23 in the second. "In the second period it was a lot of shots, but a lot of shots were from the outside...we still controlled the play even though we gave (up) a lot of shots."

Philadelphia was out-gunned 39-26, but still upped their home record to 19-10-1-5 and overall mark to 30-33-1-7.

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