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Phantoms 3, Rochester 1: ?Three really solid games outside of 20 minutes?

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  • Phantoms 3, Rochester 1: ?Three really solid games outside of 20 minutes?

    In their last two home games, the Phantoms have*beaten the*first place team in the Atlantic Division and the second place team in the North Division of the Western Conference. That would probably leave everyone with a pretty good taste in the mouth, if not for what happened in between — a five-goal meltdown in the third period at Syracuse.

    The above quote is by Greg Gilbert. Here’s the full version:

    “I thought we played two real good periods against Syracuse, too, then the third period kind of blew up on us. But I think we played three really solid games outside of 20 minutes.”

    If you’re inclined to feel positive, here are a few more positive things to take away:

    – The suffering power play (0 for 15 over their *last four games) connected twice and they were high-quality, precision strikes.* The circle-to-circle pass from Jared Ross that Jason Ward one-timed in may be the best we’ve seen. For much more on the power play, check out my game story.

    – After being carried most of the season by Stefan Legein and Jon Matsumoto, others are getting involved in the offense. Over the last eight games, Legein and Matusmoto have scored just once, but seven other players have scored.* Jon Kalinski has three goals in his last seven games.* David Laliberte has four in his last eight. Jason Ward has three in*his last nine and Pat Maroon has three in his last eight.

    None of those streaks may blow you away, but on a team grasping for any offense it can find, that’s much more spreading around the wealth than we saw earlier. I think a lot of that comes from the addition Mika Pyorala six games ago. He had his third point Wednesday and makes them a deeper team scoring team through the top three lines.

    LINEUP

    – Andreas Nodl sat with the stomach flu that has gone through about 10 guys on the team.

    – Denis Bodrov and David Sloane were healthy scratches. Josh Beaulieu was away tending to a personal matter.

    – Krys Kolanos remains out. Don’t expect to see him anytime soon, if it at all.

    Lines:*Maroon/Matsumoto/Laliberte; Pyorala/Ross/Legein; Ward/Kalinski/Bellamy; Klotz/Dingle/Clackson. Defensive pairs: Lehtivuori/Mormina; Bourdon Curry; Stephenson/Marshall.

    DID YOU NOTICE?

    – The two missed chances the Phantoms had in the first period? Alexander Salak slid across the crease to make a stick save on David Laliberte on a 2-on-1. A few minutes later, Pat Maroon tipped a backdoor pass high and wide over the open net.

    – Mika Pyorala leave the ice for several minutes in the second? He had a skate problem and didn’t return*until 7:54 left. Ryan Dingle filled in his spot on the Jared Ross line.

    – That there was no love lost between Logan Stephenson and Graham Mink? Stephenson took a hard high stick from to draw a penalty in the first and they had to be separated again later.

    – Kevin Marshall throw a late check at Keaton Ellerby on an offsides to start a second period scrum? Flyers fans will love this guy someday because he plays with an ornery edge.

    QUOTES

    Jason Ward

    On Jared Ross and his pass to set up the power-play goal:

    “He’s one of the best passers in the league. He’s struggling this year, but he’s giving guys a lot of opportunities. He’s had opportunities, but it’s just been a frustrating year for him. I think he’s probably one of the top 5 passers in the league who’s just having a lot of bad luck.”

    On where the power play is at:

    “We’ve got to put away what we’ve done in the first half on the PP. A lot of things haven’t worked on that. But we’ve been working on it more and more in practice and we’re getting a lot more opportunities. That’s the been the biggest thing in the last 10 games or so, we’re getting more opportunities and with come goals. It’s a special teams type of game and our PK has been there all year, but our power play has to be winning games for us.

    *”If you’re not creating opportunities on the PP, you’re not going to score goals. Sometimes you’re going to get opportunities and you’re not going to score, but at least you’re going in the right direction and I think that’s what we’ve been doing.”

    Greg Gilbert

    On the play of Sean Curry, who scored a goal. Curry sat four games last week in favor of Denis Bodrov:

    “Sean played well tonight. He played pretty well for us in Syracuse, too. He’s played well and we have to find a way to keep him in there. Guys that are slipping down maybe a bit might be sitting in the stands watching. And I think some our young guys may need breaks down the road here down the stretch. The job’s on us to keep him in there.”

    On the offense beginning to get contributions from several players:

    “We need contributions from everybody. A lot of guys have been getting opportunities to score and haven’t been finishing them. But that’ll come. We just have to keep pressing and pushing and work on those scoring habits in practice and our concentration and focus. If we do that, things will start going in for us.”

    On the power play:

    “It was just better finish. We’ve been having the same opportunities from the same areas in previous games and we just haven’t scored. We finished those chances tonight and before we weren’t finishing them. We’ve been creating the same opportunities in a lot of these games where we haven’t scored a power play goal. It’s just a matter of burying it.”

    On the quality of the goal scored by Ward and set up by Ross:

    “It was a heck of a pass. I think it was wobbling a little bit but Jason Ward did a great job corralling it and letting it go one a one-timer pretty much and beating him short side. It was a good play by a lot of people.”

    – Tim



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