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Devils Edge Phantoms
Last-Minute Goal Lifts Lowell to 5-3 Win
Friday, January 12, 2007
By Mike Thornton
LOWELL, MA - The Phantoms fought to the final buzzer on Friday night but ended up falling victim to an unlucky bounce in a 5-3 loss to the Lowell Devils at Tsongas Arena. David Clarkson finished the night with four goals for the home team, while three different players provided the scoring for Philadelphia.
Lowell jumped out to a 2-0 lead on one goal each in the first and second periods. Clarkson started his night off with a power play tally at 12:20 of the first period when he pushed home a puck that Phantoms netminder Martin Houle had nearly covered up. Then in the second frame, Clarkson scored again at the 12:06 mark.
But the Phantoms came roaring back with two quick goals in the third period. Matt Ellison picked up the first just 63 seconds in when he redirected a centering pass from Darren Reid at the top of the crease. Stefan Ruzicka, playing his first game for the Phantoms since returning from a lengthy NHL recall, bagged the second on a snap shot at 5:08 off a feed from Jussi Timonen.
The teams traded goals later on in the period, with Clarkson finishing off the hat trick at 8:32 for a 3-2 lead, only to see John Slaney tie it up on the power play at 10:14. Slaney, who picked up his second goal of the season, scored his 497th career American Hockey League point to inch closer to becoming the first defenseman in league history to reach the 500-point plateau.
That set up the heartbreaker with 58.8 seconds left in regulation. Ryan Murphy picked up a loose puck off a rebound at the bottom of the right circle and threw it in front. The puck pinballed off Houle and went in for the game-winner. Clarkson iced it with an empty-netter with one second remaining, becoming just the second player - and the second this season - to ever post four goals in a game against Philadelphia.
Houle took the loss with 27 saves on 31 of Lowell's 32 shots, while Frank Doyle earned the win by stopping 22 of 25 Phantoms opportunities. Reid extended his personal scoring streak to five games, which ties a Phantoms season high.
Philadelphia Phantoms 3 at Lowell Devils 5 - Status: Unofficial Final
Paul E. Tsongas Arena
Scoring - 1. Lowell, D. Clarkson (7) (N. Bergfors, T. Harant) 12:20 PP
Scoring - 2. Lowell, D. Clarkson (8) (R. Murphy, P. Davis) 12:06
Scoring - 3. Philadelphia, M. Ellison (5) (D. Tolpeko, D. Reid) 1:03
PHI Shots: 7 6 12 TOTAL: 25
Power Play Conversion
Start : 7:05 PM
Attendance : 3017
Referee I: Conrad Hache (11)
LINESMAN I: Hans Baker (67)