The first game was against the Hershey Bears, who were beaten by the Phantoms the previous Sunday in a 10 round shoot-out thriller. In Friday’s match, with 8265 people in attendance, the Phantoms struck first when a puck ricocheted off a Bear’s player, bounced off Aaron Palushaj’s stick and up over the right shoulder of the goalie and into the net! It was one of the best goals all year. Shayne Gostisbehere and Tim Brent were credited with the assists. This goal came at the 7:58 mark of the first period. Still in the first, several minutes later at 11:17, Hershey scored next. Stan Galiev hit a slap-shot past Phantoms Goalie Jason LaBarbera, while receiving assists from Carter Camper and Sean Collins. This ended the scoring for the first period.
The second period was exciting but showed very little scoring as the game stayed all tied up for over 18 minutes. Nathan Walker received a pass from Connor Carrick as he was flying across the blue line into Bears territory. Walker then took a successful shot to take the lead for the visitors. This ended the scoring in the second frame.
It didn’t take the Bears long to increase the lead in the third period. Hershey’s Camper intercepted the puck being cleared from the back of the goal and shot right back the net. The Phantom’s goalie, Jason LaBarbera, couldn’t get back in position in time. The goal came at the 63 second mark and assists were awarded to Ryan Stanton and Sean Collins.
Phantoms, however, were not done. Just a few minutes later, while down 3-1, Mark Alt took the puck from the blue line and passed to Kevin Sundher. Sundher drove in but was unable to score. Alt then retrieved the puck again and left it in a perfect position for Tyrell Goulbourne to put it in the net. Now with about 15 left in the game, the home was down just one score.
The Phantoms fought hard for the remainder of the third period, but couldn’t tie it up. With just over a minute left, they pulled their goalie to put an extra attacker on the ice. This proved fatal, however, as the Bears’ Chris Bourque hit an empty netter to put them up 4-2 and end the scoring.
The game started with a bang, as just 5 seconds after the first drop of the puck Golbourne and Stortini dropped the gloves. Fortunately, or unfortunately as you’ll see later, the Phantom with fast hands and strong punch knock down the bigger Stortini with just a couple punches. Stort had to be helped up to his wobbly legs and escorted off the ice by his teammates. Some in the crowd were questioning whether or not he would return. However, return he did!!
Now on to some hockey…. As the game resumed, it only took two minutes for the B-Sens to get the lead. On a power-play, Eric O’Dell scored to make it 1-0 which would last for the remainder of the first period. O’Dell was assisted by Tobias Lindberg and Colin Greening.
The Phantoms then had a fast start at the beginning of the second frame. At the 1:09 mark, Tim Brent took a pass from Chris Conner and took a decisive shot at the net and got the puck across the line to tie it up. The assists on the goal were awarded to Conner and Andrew MacDonald.
It would be fifteen minutes later until someone scored to break the tie. That someone was Stortini, back on the ice and doing damage to the home team. Greening took a shot that bounced off the crossbar and straight down, but the #45 was right there to push it across the line and make it 2-1 in favor of the visitors. Besides Greening, David Dziurzynski also was credited with an assist, at 16:37. The second period then came to end with no additional change in score.
Game over – the Phantoms lost 4-2.
A rematch will take place on Wednesday up in Binghamton, but the Phantoms will be back at home this Friday, November 13th to play the Rochester Americans. On Saturday, the host the Albany Devils.
Until next time….. Have a good day!