Friday, December 26, 2003

it's the 2nd intermision of the Phantoms/Bears game. First of all, the scoreboard is impersonating the Police album "Ghost in the Machine"again -- the time keeps either getting stuck or blinking all sorts of never-before-seen characters. Second of all, Hershey's best player in the first two periods was the referee, Harry Dumas. TWICE he gave us a roughing penalty (deserved) without giving the Bear who was roughing our guy right back anything. Twice during the 5:30 time span in the first period when we were shorthanded two men, Hershey scored. GRRRRR...

Well, we now trail 2-1 and the third period will start soon. Here's hoping for a comeback by the Phantoms!
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The game is now over and HOLY COW! The Phantoms opened up a can of goal scoring on Hershey, to put it mildly. We had a five-goal third period, and wound up winning 6-2! Boy, am I proud of this team. We came back from some bad shorthanded situations in the first period, and when all was said and done, the ONLY two goals we gave up both happened when we were killing 5-on-3 penalties. And even THEN, Neil made several circus saves and was saluted with "You're Unbelievable" into the bargain.

During the third period, something odd happened right after we scored the go-ahead goal. The first thing I noticed was that the linesmen went into the penalty box and talked to the off-ice officials for a few minutes. Meanwhile, the referee actually LEFT the ice surface entirely via the Zamboni entrance. At first I thought it was because the clock was acting up again, because during a delay that continued for at least 10 to 15 minutes, the Phantoms' third goal was not added to the scoreboard. Finally, Dumas came back (to boos from the crowd) went to each team's bench individually, and then the goal was registered on the scoreboard and the game resumed.

After the game, I spoke to one of the off-ice officials, and he explained what happened. Thanks to the clock being fouled up, there was an AHL official that let one of our players (Boyd Kane) out of the penalty box early. Then he scored our second goal. But it was after our THIRD goal that Hershey protested our second goal. Dumas went back to check the rules, to find out just how long of a delay there can be between a goal's being scored and its being protested. The end result was that the Phantoms were not penalized for the AHL official's error (because they have access to the correct time even when the scoreboard is messed up, like it was tonight), the protest came too late, and Boyd Kane's goal counted. Hershey was royally ticked off, which is understandable, but they proceeded to fall apart, which is an issue that their coach is going to have to address with them. S[tuff] happens, and no team will succeed if they're so fragile that it puts them completely off their game.Heck, I've seen calls go against the Phantoms and I would not find it acceptable if our team decided to just roll over and give away the game from that point forward. Didn't I just gripe a few paragraphs ago about bad officiating hurting our team? Did we quit? NO. We kept playing and we eventually took back the game. GOOD for us.

And it'll be a while between now and the next time we face Hershey. GOOD. Because if we were going to see them any time soon after this game, it might turn into a grudge match. Not only do I think they're miffed about the goal they wanted disallowed, but also we are now 6-0 vs. them this season. They're one of our biggest rivals anyway, but I think that the sight of a Phantoms logo is even LESS popular with them now than it usually is.

Go Phantoms -- beat Norfolk tomorrow the way you beat the Bears tonight. :o)

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