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Albany 3, Phantoms 2: ?We just made it hard on ourselves?

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  • Albany 3, Phantoms 2: ?We just made it hard on ourselves?

    At some point midway in the first period, I looked up at the scoreboard and saw a blank screen under shots for the Phantoms. Not a zero, just nothing. I assumed the scoreboard was malfunctioning. In*the course of me updating the blog and Tweeting, I figured I had to have missed a shot somewhere. I knew the Phantoms hadn’t had a ton of chances, but they had at least one, right?

    Nope. The Phantoms were outshot 12-1 in the first period. They didn’t get their first recorded shot until late in the period on a shorthanded breakaway by Andreas Nodl. They had other chances late in that period — a breakaway by David Laliberte, a loose puck in front of an open net for Jon Kalinski — but no shots.

    A reporter from another paper asked Phantoms coach Greg Gilbert what the discussion was like during the first intermission.

    “What are you going to say?” Gilbert replied.*”We pass up seven or eight shooting opportunities to toe-drag and try and find a prettier play. It gets turned over. We donít get a shot on netÖ Our guys donít understand how simple the game is. We keep making it difficult.”

    The same thing happened on Zach Boychuk’s game-winner — his second against the Phantoms. The Phantoms turned the puck over at the red line — by not making the simple play, Gilbert said — that led to a 3-on-2.

    “Our problem all year is we canít continue to make simple plays shift after shift. Weíve got to try to do something high risk and it ended up in our net again tonight. One day it will sink in that the game is very simple. We just make it hard on ourselves…” Gilbert said. “*Our guys have to understand that the game is very simple and people arenít hear to watch them to-drag and do fancy things. Theyíre here to watch them compete, win battles, win hockey games by playing good, smart professional hockey. Itís going to keep biting us on the backside for the remainder of the year if we donít smarten up.”

    The Phantoms played well at times, but you don’t win many hockey games when you get one shot in a period. This was easily the most entertaining game of the rivarly so far. For once there seemed to be genuine animosity between the teams. You wonder what the 5,308 crowd — the most since opening night — takes away from the game: the excitement or the loss?

    QUOTES:

    On the atmosphere, intensity, rivalry:

    Albany coach Jeff Daniels: “I thought the intensity was picked up a little. And thatís because weíre at the midway point of the season, both clubs are battling for good position in the standings and to make the playoffs.”

    Albany forward Zach Boychuk: “This is a great building to play in. The atmosphere is unbelievable. You look at all the Albany signs that are here and all the signs all over the place and itís great to be just playing.”

    Phantoms coach Greg Gilbert, take 1:*”It was a great atmosphere out there. It was a battle by both teams and they found a way to win and we didnít.”

    Phantoms coach Greg Gilbert, take 2, on whether this game was more intense than others in the series:*”You guys (media) can build up the rivalry all you want, itís just another hockey game you have to try and win and I think both teams feel that way.”

    INJURY/LINEUP UPDATE

    – Josh Beaulieu is day-to-day with an unspecified injury he suffered in Saturday’s game.

    – Krys Kolanos’ injury, which forced him to miss his second straight game, may be more serious. Gilbert said it’s still being evaluated and he’ll know more next week.

    – Because of their absences, the Phantoms again played with seven defenseman and 11 forwards.

    – Lines: Ward/Matsumoto/Laliberte; Nodl/Ross/Legein; Dingle/Kalinski/Bellamy; Klotz/rotating/Clackson.

    DID YOU NOTICE?

    – Logan Stephenson challenge Nic Blanchard to a fight on his first shift? Everyone knew that was coming and it’s not surprising Stephenson was the guy. He’s earned his keep as a guy who stands up for his teammates. Thought he probably lost this fight though.

    – Zach FitzGerald get a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down when he fought Matt Clackson? Those two have fought before and were jawing through that whole shift. Odd timing for FitzGeraldthough as the Rats were in the middle of a good offensive posession when he dropped the gloves.

    – After that fight, Garrett Klotz show poor judgement to rough someone at the other end of the ice to give the Rats a power play?

    – Klotz deliver the hit of the night, burying Bryan Rodney in the corner in the first period?

    – Albany’s Casey Borer play for the first time in nearly a year after being seriously injured in Albany’s bus crash last year? I could see the scars on his neck as we talked after the game. Admitted his heart was beating out of his chest on his first shift back. Seemed like a good guy and nice to see him back.

    – John Grahame rob Blanchard of his second goal on a breakaway?

    – Justin Peters quick glove on a Ryan Dingle backhander? Might have been going above the net anyway, but a pretty flash of the leather by Peters regardless.

    Curious as always to see what you all thought. Fun night at the rink? What did you all see out there?

    – Tim



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