Phantoms Take Control Of Playoff Race With 3-2 Overtime Win In Norfolk
NORFOLK, VA - Jared Ross scored on a breakaway 1:37 into overtime to give the Philadelphia Phantoms a 3-2 win over the Norfolk Admirals on Friday night at Norfolk Scope. The win pulls the Phantoms within a point of the Binghamton Senators in the race for the final playoff spot in the East Division with one game in hand, thus giving Philadelphia control over its playoff destiny at the moment.
The Phantoms struck first when Michael Ratchuk scored his fourth of the year with 4:23 remaining in the first period. He took a slapshot from the right point that beat a screened Riku Helenius over his right shoulder, giving Philadelphia a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
The Admirals tied it up almost right away in the second period, scoring just 1:02 into the frame. Geoff Kinrade took a shot from the point that was blocked down in front, and Zenon Konopka pushed home the loose puck to knot the game at 1-1.
It stayed that way until the third period, when Kevin Quick gave the Admirals a 2-1 lead just 2:58 into the frame. His turnaround shot from the left circle beat Scott Munroe high over the glove and put the Admirals ahead.
But it turned out to be a brief advantage. A minute and eight seconds later, Rob Sirianni tied the game up when he found a loose puck in the left circle and fired a shot that glanced off the left post and past Helenius. That tied the game at 2-2, and the score stood throughout regulation.
In the extra session, Oskars Bartulis picked up a puck at center ice and flipped a pass ahead to Ross, sending him into the Norfolk zone a step ahead of the defense. He roofed a shot over Helenius for the winner.
Munroe made 31 saves to take the win, while Helenius turned aside 34 of 37 in absorbing the loss.
The Phantoms received a huge boost from the Rochester Americans, who used three power play goals to beat the Binghamton Senators 4-2. That allowed the Phantoms to pull within a point of the Senators in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division. Philadelphia has five games remaining and would make the playoffs by winning all of them, regardless of what Binghamton does over its final four games. The Phantoms hold one game in hand on the Senators, which they'll make up on Sunday when the Admirals come to the Wachovia Spectrum.
Sunday's game will be a big night at the Spectrum, as the Phantoms induct Peter White into the Phantoms Hall of Fame prior to the game. The first 5,000 fans will receive authentic ice from the Spectrum ice surface courtesy of Wachovia, and the Phantoms will auction off their special Spectrum jerseys after they wear them for the final time during the game.
Sunday's game is also the next-to-last regular season game remaining at the Spectrum, and tickets are going fast for the final game on Friday, April 10 against the Hershey Bears. Adult tickets are just $10 and kids tickets just $5 for both contests. Tickets are available through ComcastTIX at 1-800-298-4200, at the Wachovia Complex box office or online at Phantomshockey.com.
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American Hockey League Stories from April 3, 2009
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- Devils Lose Battle Versus Pirates, 3-1 - Albany Devils
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