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Rats rally in third, drop shootout to Philly

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01-01-2005, 08:02 PM
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Rats rally in third, drop shootout to Philly

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 1, 2005). The Albany River Rats showed some third-period spark, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to take the game to overtime. The Philadelphia Phantoms won in a shootout session, with 3 tallies to 2 for the Rats. The final score was 5-4 (S.O.) for Philadelphia.

The Phantoms activated their defensemen on offense, as they frequently do, creating opportunities. That explained a few of the Philadelphia goals, such as John Slaney on a power play in the third period (pinching on the right side) and Josh Gratton finishing off a Dennis Seidenberg play midway through the third. Albany was not exactly ready on those plays even though they were classic Phantom strategies.

Albany goaltender Scott Clemmensen was better late in the game, after digging himself a hole early. Boyd Kane's shot from the goal line in the corner should have been stopped and would have been avoided if Clemmensen had hugged the post. As it was, the Kane goal, midway through the first period, evened the score, wiping out the lead that Adrian Foster's second on the season (a rebound of an Eric Johnsson shot from the right wing) had given the Rats in the opening minute and change of the game.

The only second period salvo was a pretty give-and-go between R.J. Umberger of the Phantoms and Jon Sim, with Umberger catching the Albany goaltender sliding across for the presumed shot from Sim.

An early power play goal in the third period, resulting from an ill-timed "too many men" bench minor penalty against Albany, gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead, after John Slaney pinched in and jammed home a snap shot from the right side.

Within a span of two minutes, thanks to accurate shots from defenseman Ray Schultz, Albany got back into the game. First, Schultz' blue line blast sailed over Neil Little's shoulder. Then, on the same shift, another similar shot by Schultz was tipped by Pascal Rheaume (8 points and 7 goals in 8 games) for the Rats. Suddenly, the teams were tied at 3 and chants of "Let's go Rats" were heard in the Pepsi Arena.

The Phantoms retook the lead on Josh Gratton's point blank shot from the edge of the crease, but Albany's blue line crew evened things up as Teemu Kesa's 50-foot screened shot eluded Neil Little midway through the third.

Eric Meloche almost won it in regulation for the Phantoms, but Scott Clemmensen thwarted that bid from the edge of the crease with a minute to go.

The teams traded shots, but not really chances, in overtime, after which the shootout was held. Mark Murphy opened the scoring for the visitors with a clunk off the cross-bar over Clemmensen's shoulder. Zach Parise of Albany out-waited Neil Little and put a backhander past the Phantoms' netminder. Patrick Sharp of Philadelphia gave the Phantoms the edge when he beat the Albany goalie glove side. Aleksander Suglobov fired a blank outside the left post after he ran out of real estate. Jon Sim sent one into the pads of Clemmensen that stayed in the pads. Dean McAmmond collided with Neil Little 10 feet outside the net as the Phily goaltender challenged him and smothered the puck in the collision. Ben Stafford duplicated Sharp's glove-side low tally for the Phantoms. Eric Johansson scored 5-hole on Little to keep Albany's hopes alive. John Slaney struck out for Phily. Ivan Khomotuv's five-hole effort went nowhere and the Phantoms were declared the winner.

The three stars: third, to Zach Parise of Albany, with two assists; second, to Boyd Kane of Philadelphia, with a goal and an assist; and, first, to John Slaney of the Phantoms, with one goal.

This observer would have favored Albany defensemen, Ray Schultz, in the post-game honors. Until his goal and assist a minute later in the third period, the Rats were down 3-1, whereas Schultz' accurate shots resulted in two goals and gave the team an emotional lift when they needed it most.

Once again, the Albany power play was missing in action. The Rats wasted a four minute power play in the first and wound up 0-4 overall.

In other action tonight, Brett Clouthier held his own against Philadelphia's Josh Gratton in a first period fight. Jeff Smith and Albany's Steven Spencer traded punches in the second.

The Phantoms' Ryan Ready was given a game misconduct for forcefully shooting the puck at a linesman when Ready, at least 15 feet over the blue line ahead of the puck, took a pass and was whistled for off-sides.

MIKE4DEVILS is offline  
01-02-2005, 12:57 AM
Satan's Hockey
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Originally Posted by MIKE4DEVILS
The Phantoms' Ryan Ready was given a game misconduct for forcefully shooting the puck at a linesman when Ready, at least 15 feet over the blue line ahead of the puck, took a pass and was whistled for off-sides.
15 feet? no that is wrong, I was at the game and the play was offsides but it was a close call

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