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Syracuse 3, Phantoms 2: ?The hockey gods aren?t smiling on us?

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  • Syracuse 3, Phantoms 2: ?The hockey gods aren?t smiling on us?

    The Phantoms outplayed Syracuse Friday night in every way except for the only place it mattered. They outshot them 46-19, held them to one shot in the first, had a 5-on-3 power play late and still found a way to lose. You can only shake your head.

    Syracuse got the game-winner when the crew from the two-man advantage overstayed their shift and got sloppy in the other end. The other Crunch goal came off a bad turnover.

    But really, this one should have been put away early, like in the first, when the Phantoms outshot the Crunch 18-1. But right now, even when the Phantoms play well it seems like they end up losing.

    Did you notice?

    – Rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson had two assists and big power play minutes?

    – That Gustafsson is wearing the No. 36 of Krys Kolanos, who at least in theory is still on the team?

    – Jon Matsumoto scored in his fifth straight game?

    – That Stefan Legein hit Michael Ratchuk hard in a collision of guys traded for one another?

    – Legein miss two scoring chances? He just missed the corner on a shot from the wing and in the third missed what looked like an open net.

    – Maroon’s big goal celebration? That was his first in 13 games. It was hist first since March 5.

    – That Jason Ward has been a healthy scratch for four straight games?


    Greg Gilbert

    On the rough times:

    “We’re being tested right now. The hockey gods aren’t smiling on us right now and they’re making us pay for our mistakes. This is actually going to help us build mental toughness for next year. Going through stuff like this and losing games late and playing pretty well it leaves a sour taste in your mouth and we’ve got to remember what this feels like because it will make us a better team down the road. We all hate losing, but sometimes lessons are tough to learn.”

    On the Phantoms long shift before Syracuse’s game-winner:

    “We should have had a change earlier. And those guys know. Those are things these guys have to understand. It’s all part of being a team. You overextend shifts and bad things happen.”

    On the Phantoms’ 23 one-goal losses:

    “We’ve had deficiencies in our lineup and it’s not because of injuries. We expected other players to do better. One goal here or there or a better finish at times and we’re not sitting in the position we’re in. I don’t want to say it’s been our Achilles heel, but if we finish once or twice more through the course of the year in a game, we win more than we lose and that just hasn’t happened.”

    On Erik Gustafsson:

    “Erik’s a real smart player, a real heady player. He’s got great vision. He skates real well. He made a heck of a play on that second power play goal. He didn’t just bury his head and pound it. He shot for a stick and the rebound was there and we tied it up. He’s a very good player. He’s pretty smart, he’s pretty responsible. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he’s strong and he cuts people off and puts them in the bad ice and he’s got some positive assets.”

    Kevin Lalande, Syracuse goalie

    On the Phantoms’ frustrations in the first period:

    “Whenever you outshoot a team it’s going to kind of get to you, but credit to them, they stuck with it all night. They didn’t really back down. But then again, we played a lot better in the second and third period. We gave ourselves a chance to win.”

    On the Phantoms’ 5-on-3 chances:

    “They missed a couple good chances, but sometimes you work for your breaks and the guys worked tremendously hard all night. They missed a couple opportunities, but I think it all evens out in the end.”

    On the game-winning goal scored after the two-man advantage expired:

    “I think they were really frustrated and they might have had a mental lapse there for 30 seconds and it cost them the game. But I’ll take it anyway we can.”


    Scratches: Healthy: David Sloane, Jason Ward, Brian Stewart, Rob Bellamy, Chris Clackson, Mario Valey-Trabucco.*Injured: Marc-Andre Bourdon, Denis Bodrov, Josh Beaulieu, Danny Syvret, Krys Kolanos. (Woah, did I get everyone?)

    Lines: Maroon/Matsumoto/Laliberte; Pyorala/Ross/Holmstrom; Nodl/Kalinski/Legein; Klotz/Dingle/Harper.

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

    – Tim