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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Wolves Bounce Past Phantoms, Chicago Takes 5-3 Win

Friday, December 8, 2006

By Mike Thornton
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA - A bounce off the boards and another off a pair of goalie pads was the difference Friday night at the Wachovia Spectrum as the Chicago Wolves took a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phantoms. Matt Ellison celebrated his birthday with a goal and two assists in the setback.

Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals 59 seconds apart in the first period. Kevin Doell picked up the first tally 5:33 into the frame, starting the play by pushing the puck ahead out of the Phantoms zone and then taking a give-and-go pass from Colin Stuart before lifting one out of the reach of Scott Munroe's glove.

The second goal came at 6:32 from Darren Haydar on another two-on-one opportunity. Jason Krog dropped a pass to Haydar, who skated just inside the right circle before snapping one past Munroe's stick side. The helper was Krog's 50th point of the young season.

The Phantoms cut their deficit in half with just over 55 seconds left in the frame. Darren Reid carried a puck down the right wing and fed it in front to a crashing Matt Ellison, who tipped it past Fred Braithwaite to make it a 2-1 game at the first intermission.

Philadelphia found the equalizer 6:26 into the second period while on the power play. Niko Dimitrakos was looking from the left corner when he threaded a pass through traffic to Tony Voce on the right side of the slot. Voce roofed it to tie things at 2-2.

But the Wolves regained the advantage 58 seconds later off a fortunate bounce. Mark Popovic put his weight into a wrister from the right point that whistled wide, but the puck bounced off the back boards right onto the stick of Alex Bourret. Bourret fired it into an open net to give Chicago the 3-2 lead.

More luck befell the Wolves in the third period. They took a 4-2 lead when Kyle Wanvig, while residing on the end boards, banked a shot off Munroe and in 4:49 into the frame.

Philadelphia pulled back within a goal less than two minutes later, at the 6:26 mark. Dimitrakos came down the left wing and centered for Ellison, who put a shot on net that Brathwaite initially stopped. But the puck slid towards the line, and a charging Lars Jonsson pushed it the rest of the way to light the Litnet and make it 4-3. But the Wolves iced things with an empty-net goal from Brett Sterling with 51 seconds remaining.

"We're having some good games, we're getting lots of shots and getting our chances," Ellison said. "Obviously it would have been a great birthday if we'd won and I had the three points. It was all right, but the win would have made it that much better."

Munroe took the loss with 35 saves on 39 of the 40 Chicago shots. Braithwaite made 33 saves on 36 shots to take the win.

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