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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Potulny Pots Pair, Philadelphia Tops Albany 4-2

Friday, November 24, 2006

By Mike Thornton
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA - Ryan Potulny scored two goals, including the game-winner, and Don Morrison had the best night of his young career with three assists to power the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 4-2 win over the Albany River Rats before 5,723 at the Wachovia Spectrum on Friday night.

Philadelphia opened the scoring with 9:47 remaining in the first period on a Potulny goal just nine seconds into the club's first power play of the night. The Phantoms won a draw to start the man-advantage and moved the puck to Morrison on the left point. Nolan Baumgartner one-touched a pass from Morrison to the top of the right circle, where Potulny one-timed it past Justin Peters for the 1-0 lead.

That advantage stood until the 12:26 mark of the second period. Albany won a draw in the same faceoff circle to the right side point, where Kyle Cumiskey fired a shot from the point that David Gove deflected past Martin Houle to tie affairs at 1-1.

But the Phantoms regained their advantage less than 30 seconds later. Tony Voce carried a puck through center and tossed it into the left corner before going to the net. Niko Dimitrakos picked it up and tossed it out in front for Voce, who tipped it home for the 2-1 advantage at 12:52.

With 4:49 remaining in the second stanza, the Rats tied the game once again. While operating on a 5-on-3 man-advantage, Albany won a draw in the Phantoms zone and moved the puck to Keith Aucoin at the top of the left circle. Aucoin wound up and blasted a shot perfectly into the upper left corner of the net, just out of the range of Houle's blocker, to even things at 2-2.

The resilient Phantoms stepped back in front with 2:03 remaining in the frame. The club was working at the extreme tail end of a 5-on-3 power play when Morrison fired a slapshot from the center point that Potulny, who was occupying the slot, deflected past Peters. The goal came just as the first Albany penalty expired, giving Philadelphia a 5-on-4 power play goal and a 3-2 lead at the second intermission.

Philadelphia collected an insurance goal with 5:04 remaining in the third period. A puck came loose behind the Albany net and Voce pushed it in front to Dimitrakos, who roofed it past Peters to make it a 4-2 game.

Houle earned the win with 25 saves on 27 Albany shots, while Peters took the loss with 20 saves on 20 Philadelphia opportunities.

Combined with a crowd of 19,301 at the Wachovia Center for the Flyers' 3-2 win over Columbus, a total of 25,024 fans came out to watch hockey in South Philly on Friday. All told, 41,819 fans came to the Wachovia Complex to watch the Flyers, Phantoms and Sixers (A - 16,795) on Black Friday.

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