Phantoms upend Penguins
WILKES-BARRE, PA - Niko Dimitrakos figured in all three Philadelphia Phantoms goals Tuesday night, scoring two himself and assisting on a third to power his club to a 3-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza. Phantoms captain John Slaney, a former Penguin, notched three assists in Philadelphia's third victory in its last four games.
Thanks in large part to starting goaltenders Scott Munroe and Jeff Deslauriers, the fourth meeting of the season between the intrastate rivals stayed scoreless in the first. The Phantoms had some quality efforts, including a 1-1 with Philadelphia's Triston Grant alone at the top of the crease, only to be denied by the glove hand of Deslauriers.
While the day after Christmas is a day known for exchanging sweaters that are a size too big and trading out ties that never should have been under the tree, this Boxing Day affair saw punches traded before any gifts or goals were exchanged. The second period featured some fireworks with Phantom Frederik Cabana squaring off in a long bout with thorn Daniel Carcillo. The heavyweight event, only three seconds after the doors closed behind the earlier combatants, saw Philly's Martin Grenier mix it up with AHL's all-time penalty minute leader Dennis Bonvie.
When the dust cleared and the penalties had expired, Grenier notched his first point of the season. Slaney entered the Pens zone before dumping the puck ad changing with Grenier. The 6-5, 245 pound defenseman went across the ice and snuck down the right wing, where he was waiting when Dimitrakos threaded the puck to him from the opposite sidewall. Grenier's one-timer caught a piece of iron and then the back of the net for the 1-0 lead with just 1:56 remaining in the period.
In the third period, Kyle Brodzniak tied the game with a goal at 9:26. Brodzniak tossed a rebound towards the net, which initially hit the post before taking an atypical bounce and crawling across the goal line.
But Dimitrakos answered with his first of the game less than three minutes later. Slaney fed a puck to the neutral zone for Cabana on the left wing. Cabana took it to the top of the left-wing circle before feeding it to Dimitrakos in the slot. Dimitrakos put the puck home on the backhand at 12:10, giving his club the 2-1 advantage. He later closed out the scoring with an empty-netter with 11 seconds remaining.
Munroe made 27 saves on 28 shots to earn the win. Deslauriers faced 23 of Philadelphia's 24 shots, stopping 21 of them.
The Phantoms continue their midweek road swing tomorrow night at Hershey when they visit the Bears in a 7:05 start. They'll return to the Wachovia Spectrum on Friday, December 29 to host the Providence Bruins. Individual tickets for all Phantoms games, including $8 tickets for children 14 and under anywhere in the building, are on sale now at phantomshockey.com or by calling 800-298-4200.
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