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10-08-2004, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Southern New Jersey
Caught the Phantoms game tonight and all I can say is...Boy do these guys look bad!! During the offseason, when everyone was talking up having Carter, Richards and Ruzicka on the squad, I figured the Phantoms would be a sound team offensively. With those three back in Juniors and having watched them for the second time, I'm wondering if anybody can score on this squad. They were horrible. There is no fire power what-so-ever. The only goal they got tonight came seconds after a PP expired. (Joey Hope on a cross-ice wrister)
Here are the lines/pairings:
Niittymaki, Little AND Houle all played...I'll explain later.
Norfolk scored 2 PP goals and had two go in on deflections en route to a 4-1 win. Moen, Brown, Ellison and Vandy (who didn't fight but played like Vandy) scored for Norfolk.
What I've see so far-
Umberger- if he has any skill it won't show playing with the guys he was with tonight. He moved the puck well on the ONE sustained PP the Phantoms could muster but the rest is still a mystery.
Brunelle- this kid has had a dozen scoring chances on breakaways and I'm still waiting for him to put one home. It didn't help that he was targetted by Jimmy Vandermeer all night but by the looks of the offense they're going to need this guy to put the puck in the net and he ain't doin it!
Eager- played on the 4th line. Didn't do much offensively. Fought Nick Kuiper and after a slow start delivered 5 straight right hands to put Kuiper down.
J Smith- what a waste of a roster spot. Fought Jon Mirasty (all 5' 10" of him) and barely held his own. Then he took on big Mike Brown and (luckily) got him in a "please God don't let him get out of this" headlock.
Printz- He's gonna take someone's job. He laid out two different Admirals on big time hits and drew attention all night long. His fighting major and GM were an apparition. I didn't see him do anthing.
The highlite of the evening (for the Phantoms at least) was a brawl in the 3rd. Travis Moen and Wade Skolney dropped the gloves in the Phantoms defensive zone. Skolney went down and while he was pinned down by the linesmen, Moen kept throwing...Sooooo...Neil Little (who replaced Niitymaki at the start of the period) came over and did his best Paul Bunyon impersonation on Moen. Mirasty cross-checked Little and all hell broke loose. The best scrap was Voce and Cote but it happened in the corner and I could only see bits and pieces. Abel fought Mirasty to a draw. Then, after things calmed down, Anton Babchuk had words with Little. Little gave him a shot, then, threw his blocker at Babchuk. Both Neil and Mirasty were given Match Penalties so the game was delayed while 3rd stringer Chris Houle got his equipement on. I think Houle may be staying in Philly for the first few game of the season. Can you say SUSPENSION.
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