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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Double Up Bridgeport
Kelly, Eager Lead Way With Three Points Apiece

Friday, March 31, 2006

By Mike Thornton
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA - Brent Kelly scored two goals, added an assist and was +4 on Friday night, leading the Phantoms to a 4-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Ben Eager started out the scoring at the 6:46 mark at the end of an excellent batch of puck movement by the Phantoms. The puck came down from Kelly on the point to Pat Kavanagh in the left corner, who found Eager in front. Wade Dubielewicz stopped the initial shot, but Eager was able to sweep the rebound home on the backhand for the 1-0 lead.

Bridgeport equalized on the power play at 15:55 of the frame. Steve Reiger threw a puck from the left point into a crowd of players at the left post that included New York Islanders prospect Ryan O'Marra, who made his professional debut in the game. O'Marra poked at the wandering disc until it snuck by Phantoms goaltender Martin Houle, picking up his first professional goal and tying the game at 1-1.

But the Phantoms split the game open with two goals in 31 seconds during the middle period. First, it was Kavanagh converting on a shorthanded breakaway, flying down the right side wall before cutting in front, deking and then sliding the puck through Dubielewicz's legs at 12:35.

Then at 13:06, Eager picked up a pass coming out of the penalty box and brought it down the left wing. He fed Tony Voce on the right side for a one-timer that Dubielewicz denied, but Kelly came in as the trailer and cleaned up the garbage for the 3-1 advantage. The point for Voce was his only of the night, but it extended his point-scoring streak to a team high eight games.

Kelly picked up his second of the night and made it a 4-1 game in the final minute of the period. He was ready in the left circle when Eager delivered a blast from the high slot, and swept home the rebound for Philadelphia's third goal of the frame.

Bridgeport closed the gap to 4-2 when O'Marra scored his second of the night on the power play. The Sound Tigers worked a puck loose near their blue line while on the power play and found themselves in a four-on-two rush, which O'Marra finished at 3:06.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Phantoms, all anchored by Houle, who made 24 stops on 26 shots. Dubielewicz took the loss with 25 saves on 29 shots through the first two periods, while Frederic Clouthier stopped all nine shots he faced in the third.

The Phantoms finished an eight game set with the Tigers just 2-6, but showed no evidence of it on Friday night. "They kind of trick you sometimes because they defend so well," remarked Philly Head Coach John Stevens. "We made an effort to get pucks to the net and I think that showed in the second period."

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