“I want something else
To get me through this
Semi-charmed kind of life”
-Third Eye Blind
Phantoms had a really good chance to drive the proverbial nail into the Chocolate coffin on Wednesday night, but couldn’t complete the task. Really, it was an enjoyable game with each team competing as hard as they could. The Bears were desperate, of course, and the Phantoms didn’t wilt under that intensity. In fact, for large portions of the game, the Hamilton Street Heroes surpassed the Bears in intensity as well as quality and quantity of chances.
Alas, a late goal for Hershey tied it and they got the overtime marker. That’s hockey, 3-2 (OT) loss. Another good effort versus Hersey as Sunday was, after two pretty poor showings last weekend losing to Bridgeport and in Scranton Friday and Saturday by a 6-1 combined score.
And now we’re here. Looking for a similar effort at home on a Friday versus the number one team in the division–or maybe league. It’s a chance to turn this “semi-charmed” season into more of a success by clinching the playoff bid.
The “magic number” is officially 5, but with a regulation or overtime win tonight coupled with a Hershey regulation loss in Rochester and we’re clinched.
No matter, we just need points and good play. It’s only a “semi-charmed” season until we get to the playoffs and win a game or two.
D Sam Morin and F Colin McDonald returned to the roster from Philadelphia after the “Hockey Night” went to press on Wednesday. Both played well in the game despite it being 5 games in 6 days for them.
F Jordan Weal is expected to return at some point as well, but he is just recovering from an illness.
G Anthony Stolarz returned from Philly today and is expected to start tonight. He may return to Philly to back up Mason for their final games or even perhaps start one. Look for Lyon tomorrow vs Springfield. It’s not known if Ouellette is on the bus to Norfolk, but he does not appear in the transactions so I’d imagine he backs up Lyon tomorrow with Stolie in Philly.
Injured: Will O’Neill, Boyd Gordon
Healthy: Radel Fazleev, Chris McCarthy, Mark Friedman
I don’t expect O’Neill or Gordon to return any time soon, if at all.
The Royals are finishing up in Norfolk this weekend, having clinched Kelly Cup playoffs despite front office and coaching disruption. A win Wednesday has them in third place, and they can catch Brampton this weekend with a couple wins, which would get them home ice in the first round against said Beast.
The Pens come in with no Aston-Reese, Simon or DiPauli and have recalled F Nick Sorkin for PTO. Expect Sorkin to score a goal or two tonight. We’ll always get the Pens’ best effort, so tie those skates a bit tighter and connect your fight strap. Here we go.
Parking: If you park in the Community Deck you can walk down the alley behind Tower 6 and up between Bell Hall and the Liberty Bell Church to get back to Hamilton and avoid the construction at the corner of Hamilton/6th which impedes pedestrians pretty well at this juncture.
Security: I’d like to see them open up more than one line to get in. I doesn’t make sense to have unused metal detectors sitting around.
Tickets: Good seats still available on the primary and secondary markets.
Media Kit: wbs 4717
Referees: David Banfield #77, Stephen Thomson #15
Linesmen: Tim Lyons #33, Bill Lyons #27
Broadcast: 1470 tonight, 790 tomorrow
What To Watch
- How does Stolie look after coming down? Any rust? Ready for playoffs?
- McDonald and Morin still with the jump? Or, feeling the after-effects of so much hockey this week. Our friends on the Pens LOVE them some Morin….
- Banfield AND Lyons tonight. Oh my.
- See if the Phantoms can be just a bit more deliberate or maybe just a bit more quick with the puck. The Pens get their sticks in shooting and passing lanes better than any other team. We’ll need to work around that one way or the other.
- Watch to see if the Hamilton Street Heroes can solve the goalie. Scoring versus the Pens has been particularly difficult of late. I recommend shooting for far post as they’ve been over-protecting near side by my observation.
- Watch the scoreboard for the Rochester score. We need them to beat Hershey in regulation.
- IronPigs home tonight as well. Not a ton of us with both sets of tickets, but a few. Plus some corporate overlap. Watch to see how the attendance looks versus what’s announced.
Back at it tomorrow versus Springfield at the PPL. Another head-to-head versus IronPigs locally, and another opportunity to clinch if we don’t get the win/win scenario that we need tonight.
They’re off on Sunday and play on Casey Plaza on Wednesday before closing out their home schedule a week from tonight versus Providence.
Tonight is the third home game I’m missing this season. We’ve won the other two by a combined 13-6.
See you at the ballpark tonight, enjoy hockey friends!