April 11, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Adirondack Phantoms
HERSHEY - Kyle Wilson scored twice and Michal Neuvirth played an outstanding game to power the Hershey Bears to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phantoms in the Purple\'s regular season finale at GIANT Center on Saturday night. The Bears clinched the East Division title with the win and Norfolk\'s victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, meaning the Phantoms and the Bears will meet in the East Division Semifinals beginning next week.
The Bears got on the board first, scoring on their third power play at 13:25 of the first period. Kyle Wilson closed into the slot and snapped a wrister into a puck-sized hole over J.S. Aubin\'s right shoulder, banking it off the top of the left post and in. It gave Hershey a 1-0 advantage at the first intermission.
Wilson made it a 2-0 lead just 1:43 into the second period when his shot from close range on the right side got past Aubin. But the Phantoms got on the board just over a minute later during a 5-on-3 power play when Luca Sbisa scored his first professional goal, firing a slapshot from the right side of the slot that beat Michal Neuvirth. The game went to the second intermission with the Bears leading 2-1.
Kronwall scored what would end up being the game-winner with just over five minutes left in the third period. He took a faceoff win in the right side circle of the Phantoms zone, walked it into the slot and snapped it over Aubin\'s blocker, making it 3-1 with 5:11 left to play in the third period.
Philadelphia rallied to get a goal back with 1:26 to play. With Alexandre Giroux in the box and Aubin pulled to create a 6-on-4 situation, Patrick Maroon banked a puck off a skate in front and through the pads of Neuvirth to make it a 3-2 contest. Giroux\'s penalty was a double minor so the 6-on-4 situation continued, but the Phantoms could not find the equalizer.
The Phantoms are headed to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the 10th time in their 13-year history and will take on the Bears in a playoff series for the fourth time in franchise history. The clubs haven\'t met in the playoffs since 2000, when the Bears took a best-of-five Mid-Atlantic Division Semifinal series (first round) 3 games to 2. Dates will be announced in the coming days.
Tickets for Philadelphia\'s first two playoff home games are on sale now via ComcastTIX at Phantomshockey.com or at 1-800-298-4200. They are also available at the Wachovia Complex box office. Adult tickets are $10 and kids 14 and under $5 for the first round.