4W, no. 9; newsletter by h.s.)
In our bid for a third-straight finals berth last night, we wanted to come out and get on the board first; Russ gave us that boost by scoring at 14:33 of the 1st period which became the quickest score in Pirate history. We held that 1-0 lead deep into the 1st period when the Phantoms capitalized on a loose rebound to even things up at 1-1. With little time remaining in the period, though, Roger took a feed from Allen and blasted a low shot through traffic from the blueline to give us the 2-1 lead which we carried into the break.
We built that up to a two-goal lead when Scott worked the offensive boards and squeezed one through. The Phantoms pressed after that and intercepted a clearing pass for a score, which made it 3-2. But Allen retrieved Scott's shot off the boards and banked one off the Phantoms' goalie to give us back our 2-goal lead. Awesome chances by Rob and BB nearly gave us a 3-goal margin, but we took the 4-2 lead into the break.
The 3rd period was probably one of our best periods of the season everyone hustled and the Phantoms never got a chance to get their game going. Big Jim, Roger and Dave (with help from Russ), kept their offense from setting-up in our zone and our points (kudos to BB, Rob and WIldman) blocked and covered shots from their Big Guns. With five minutes left, John Arena drew a holding penalty from Dave Matthews and the Phantoms had a critical powerplay opportunity. We killed it off beautifully (Glen Chambers was awesome standing up at the center ice) and kept the pressure turned-up so high the Phantoms never had the chance to pull their goalie. Chris who was an ironman all night (can you believe this guy was sick?) had a late breakaway chance, but his shot was just wide (although I can still hear our bench chanting "Chris, Chris!"); Scott and BB also raced down the ice in the closing moments, but somehow their one-timer was stopped. All-in-all it was one of our best nights of hockey and we're headed back to The Finals.
1) ALLEN SNYDER
For a 2-point night when we really needed it.
2) SCOTT MILLER
After his week off, our regular-season scoring leader tallied the GWG.
3) GLEN CHAMBERS
For being everywhere last night and making plays standing up and from his knees! (And a happy 1-year birthday to Glen's daughter!)