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Rochester 5, Phantoms 2: Big crowd, small result

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  • Rochester 5, Phantoms 2: Big crowd, small result

    When the Phantoms look back at this season, this is one they’re really going to wish they had back. With a land-mine waiting in Hershey Sunday — the Bears have won an AHL record 21 games at home — I felt the Phantoms had to win both home games this weekend.

    For 2 1/2 periods that looked possible, as the Phantoms were at least the equal team. *Then things went horrible wrong in the last five minutes. *Captain Jared Ross said it seemed like the team let down or quit a bit after Michal Repik’s goal. That goal was in itself a let down as they left him alone out front. Coach Greg Gilbert was upset with the backcheck as he felt the forwards weren’t doing a good job getting back and taking away the backdoor play. You can read more from them in the quotes section.

    Bad news before the game as Jason Ward, who has been one of the better Phantoms lately, is out 7-10 days with a lower-body injury.

    To really add to the sting, both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Providence lost Friday. Had the Phantoms won, they’d be three points out of the playoffs with momentum and a winnable game against Binghamton in front of them. As it is, those losses kept them alive in the race,*mathematically, at least.

    Did you notice?

    – Rochester had more goals in the third period than the Phantoms had shots? And yet, somehow, the Phantoms still outshot the Amerks?

    – Ross bang his stick on the ice in frustration and yell all the way to the bench after the *empty-net goal? Phantoms had some chances on that 6-on-4 with the goalie pulled, but couldn’t pull the trigger.

    – Josh Beaulieu’s frustrating couple of minutes in the second? First, he broke a stick on a wide-open shot from the slot. Then Sean Curry hit him on a long pass at the blue line that would have sprung him for a breakaway. But the hard pass hit his blade and kicked away.

    – Denis Bodrov’s pass to no one in the first? Sean Curry left for a change and Bodrov, circling back in the neutral zone, fired it toward Curry’s departing skates. Fortunately, no Amerk was there to jump on the loose puck.

    Quotes

    Jared Ross

    On whether he felt the intensity of the first two periods carried to the third:

    “I think we did up to about 10 minutes in then we scored a goal and they came back and got one right after us. It seems like when they got that goal, we just kind of relaxed and we gave up a little bit.”

    On the missed chances in the first and second:

    “I think we had a lot of chances in the second period, the first period as well and didn’t put them away. That’s been the story for us all year is not burying our chances. We don’t have a scoring team and it’s killing us.”

    Greg Gilbert

    On what changed in the third period:

    “There was a couple things throughout the course of the game. Two of the goals, if not three, were just on lack of effort on the backcheck. We let their guy get inside ice, they threw it across, and the scored back door. We had guys there. We just didn’t want to take another two strides to prevent it.The other one was just a breakdown behind the net, leave the guy standing in front of the net by himself. Backs is left pretty much at his mercy.”

    On whether he thought the intensity was there:

    “At times it was OK, other times it wasn’t very good. When we’re sharp and we’re intense, we’re stopping and starting. Everything is sharp, everything is precise, our execution is good. There’s other times where we’re circling and curling away and drifting by loose puck battles and curling away. And you lose hockey games when you do that. Those are basic details that if you don’t do them, you’re going to be in trouble.”

    On whether this team is capable of putting a winning streak together:

    “We’re capable of doing it, but we have to play the same way every night. That’s been our problem all year is inconsistency. We play two, three games where we’re very good, very solid, we end up winning or winning two of the three, anyway. We haven’t done it all year, so now’s our opportunity. We have to do it now. We’re in dire straits, dire times right now and we have to rise to the challenge.”

    Lineup

    Scratches: Injured: Jason Ward, Krys Kolanos; Healthy: Marc-Andre Bourdon, David Sloane, Rob Bellamy.

    Lines: Maroon/Matsumoto/Legein; Pyorala/Ross/Laliberte; Nodl/Kalinski/Dingle; Klotz/Beaulieu/Clackson.

    Defensive pairs: Mormina/Lehtivuori; Marshall/Stephenson; Curry/Bodrov.

    A lot of you — 4,906 — were there. What did you see?

    – Tim





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