The Phantoms downed the B-Sens 5-1 last night at the PPL Center in Allentown before a sellout crowd of 8,906 fans and 1 Bob Clarke.
As the Phantoms’ season began back in October, Scott Laughton was the chief source of offense for the young franchise (not young team–I understand). Once Scotty Laughts was called up to the Flyers, former Phantom Jason Akeson was returned, and he took over as the chief source of goals. Now, Laughts has been injured, and Akky has returned to the Flyers. What’s a Phantom’s team to do for goals?
Next man up. Enter Nick Cousins. “The Cuz” has been on a scoring streak of late, and it turned right into a Hat Trick last night. Cousins scored the first goal of the game just 14 seconds in (Hey! Get to your seat on time when the Sens are in town!!) and his second just 33 seconds into the second period. I hope you weren’t still in line for the rest rooms! By the third period, all of the radio/TV and Twitter announcers were calling for it. Sure enough, he added the third one late and gestured to his friends and family in the stands. A great night for Cuz and a great night for the Phantoms.
The game was a rough and tumble affair with a team that our Phantoms openly dislike. 80 minutes of penalties, a line brawl, guys who wanted to fight but weren’t allowed because they didn’t have hats on–this game had it all. It even had a Broad Street Bully: Bobby Clarke was in town to drop the first puck and sign posters before the game. All reports from the arena suggest a good time was had and things went smoothly at the arena.
I was able to watch the whole game on my phone, from an outpost in upstate New York. It was a good broadcast with good camera work. It seemed like the crowd could have been a bit louder, but perhaps it’s just the iPhone speakers. Nevertheless, by missing the first hat trick, at least I didn’t lose any of my precious caps. 😉
The win, coupled with a Pens loss and a Hershey overtime-win, propels Hershey into first place in the division by one point. The Phantoms are still in third, but only one point behind the Pens. And now? Now a home and home with Hershey today and Wednesday. Look, there’s a lot of hockey left, and it’s not like we need to be in first place to fill the arena. However, if the team can get on a roll, and some of the guys can get healthy–a secure position in the playoff standings is at stake. A division win would mean a top-three seed and more home playoff games.
Quick Player/Injury update: Kevin Goumas returned to the team after a couple days in Reading. He played with excellent energy last night. Blair Jones remains injured and will not play today. The status of Darroll Powe is unknown. Shayne Gostisbehere is skating but probably still 4-6 weeks away. Mark Alt remains out with a broken hand.
But you know what I want. Home playoff games. The more, the better.
See you at the arena! (Monday=Phan Club; Wednesday=Hockey!)