|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Phantoms Overpower Penguins
Philadelphia Takes 7-2 Win
Friday, January 26, 2007
By Mike Thornton
PHILADELPHIA - Nolan Baumgartner tied a team record with four assists and Pete Zingoni earned first star honors with two gritty goals as the Philadelphia Phantoms topped the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 7-2 in front of 7,274 on Friday night at the Wachovia Spectrum. Goaltender Mike Leighton stopped 26 of 28 shots to earn his first win with the Phantoms in his first start for the club.
The Phantoms got on the board first with a power play tally from Darren Reid at 12:04 of the first period. David Printz blasted a shot from the right point that hit Mark Cullen and came to Stefan Ruzicka. Ruzicka slid it to Reid, who slammed it past Andrew Penner for the 1-0 lead.
Philadelphia doubled the advantage at 14:21. Pete Zingoni came in on a break with Matt Ellison, and just barely missed tipping home an Ellison cross. But Zingoni redeemed himself by tracking down the loose buck behind the net, carrying it back out in front and backhanding it past Penner.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton cut the lead in half early in the second period. With Leighton displaced after flinging his body about to stop a flurry of activity in front of the Phantoms net, Rob Schremp was able to fire a loose puck into a largely vacant cage just 35 seconds into the frame to make it 2-1.
But the Phantoms regained the two-goal lead on a 5-on-3 power play at 10:50 of the second. Lars Jonsson finished an effective arrangement of passes with a blistering slapshot that beat Penner, moving the scoreboard to 3-1 in favor of the home team.
Almost exactly three minutes later, Philadelphia went up 4-1 on another power play advantage. This time the puck cycled and came to Eric Meloche in the slot, who one-timed it along the ice beyond Penner's reach.
The onslaught continued at 15:13 on a Philadelphia odd-man rush, this time with Reid returning the favor. He chased a puck down the right side boards and fired it into the slot, where Ruzicka, despite wearing a Penguin, was able to deflect it home to make it 5-1.
Wilkes-Barre picked up a goal 3:12 into the third period, coming when Joe Jensen scored from the right wall on a power play. But the Phantoms picked it right back up, taking a 6-2 lead on their fourth power play goal of the night at 9:45 of the frame. Zingoni turned on the jets down the right side, outracing the Wilkes-Barre defense and rounding the corner before lifting one past Penner for his second of the night.
Before anyone could blink, it was 7-2 when Denis Tolpeko got in on the action 57 seconds later, at 10:42. Tolpeko took a drop pass from Frederik Cabana and fired it past Penner low to the stick side.
Leighton's win earned him the third star of the game, while Penner stopped 21 of 28 in taking the loss. The Phantoms were 4-for-5 on the power play, and the seven goals in a game were a season high.
After the game, the Phantoms auctioned off the Philadelphia Quakers replica jerseys they wore during the game, raising a total of $23,700. Riley Cote was tops on the evening with a bid of $2,400. A portion of the proceeds goes to Phantoms Charities, a division of the Comcast-Spectacor Foundation.
Phantoms driver George Lebednikas points the deluxe motor coach north tonight as the team heads to Massachusetts for its final game before the All-Star break, against the Springfield Falcons at 7:05. Philadelphia returns after the break to host Hamilton on Rock 'n Roll Mic Night next Friday, February 2 at 7:05. Individual tickets for all Phantoms games, including $8 tickets for children 14 and under anywhere in the building, are on sale now at phantomshockey.com or by calling 800-298-4200.
NOTE: Phantoms defenseman Nolan Baumgartner, the team's representative at the Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, has been named to the starting lineup for the Canadian squad due to the absence of the original starters because of NHL call-ups. The event takes place Sunday and Monday at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2 at Philadelphia Phantoms 7 - Status: Final
Scoring - 1. Philadelphia, D. Reid (11) (S. Ruzicka, M. Cullen) 12:04 PP
Scoring - 3. W-B/Scranton, R. Schremp (8) (T. Wallace, J. Filewich) 0:35
Scoring - 7. W-B/Scranton, J. Jensen (2) (S. Dixon, C. James) 3:10 PP
WBS Shots: 9 11 8 TOTAL: 28
Power Play Conversion
Start : 7:04 PM
Attendance : 7274
Referee I: David Banfield (85)
LINESMAN I: Jim Doyle (75)