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FIT TO BE TY-ED

McGinn posts three points as Phantoms beat Hershey in Philly return

Saturday, 02.1.2014 / 8:20 PM ET / News
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FIT TO BE TY-ED
There was no scoring in the second period of Saturday\u2019s game between the Phantoms and the Hershey Bears at the Wells Fargo Center. In fact, there were few scoring chances, and only 14 combined shots.\r\n\r\nBut, for those very reasons, it was the most important part of the game in the Phantoms\u2019 eventual 4-1 victory.

By KENNY AYRES

Special to PhiladelphiaFlyers.com

There was no scoring in the second period of Saturday’s game between the Phantoms and the Hershey Bears at the Wells Fargo Center. In fact, there were few scoring chances, and only 14 combined shots.

But, for those very reasons, it was the most important part of the game in the Phantoms’ eventual 4-1 victory.

For just about eight of the first nine minutes of the second, the Phantoms played a man down, and for a brief time, two men down. The Bears started off the period with 1:28 of carry-over power play time from Bruno Gervais’ slashing minor near the end of the first. Within a minute after they had killed that penalty, Nick Cousins was sent to the box for holding, and with 15 seconds left in his penalty Kris Newbury was whistled for a double minor for tripping and unsportsmanlike conduct.

But the Phantoms were able to effectively kill all four penalties, preserving their 2-1 lead through the most trying stretch of the game.

“We put ourselves in a very difficult situation in a game like this, to take a double minor,” said Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. “The penalty killing really stepped up. We had some difficulties in the last three or four games with it, but [today] it was very, very good.”

It was so good that the Phantoms allowed just one shot during all four penalties combined, and even generated some short-handed chances.

“For four minutes of five on four that started off five on three, that’s fantastic,” said Phantoms goaltender Cal Heeter. “Everyone was doing a great job clearing pucks out and covering their positions. When we play like that, we are a really tough team to play against.”

“We got through that with strong play,” Murray added. “We had a lot of momentum built off of that. We brought it into the third period and scored some very timely goals.”

The first timely goal came just about five minutes into the third period on the power play. Hershey’s Nicholas Deschamps was sent to the box for tripping, and the Phantoms responded just 17 seconds into the man advantage.

Newbury ripped a shot from the point that hit Ty McGinn, who corralled the puck and spun a quick shot on net. The rebound popped off the pads of Phillip Grubauer (who replaced David Leggio after he allowed two goals on the first six shots) and right to Ben Holmstren, who jammed in the loose change to give the Phantoms a 3-1 lead and some breathing room.

“When our power play is good it’s because we do a good job in front of the net,” said Holmstrom. “It gives more room for the guys to work it around the perimeter. I just got a whack at it, and that’s where you have to score goals.”

They were able to tack on one more late in the game when Jason Akeson walked out from behind the Bears’ net, spun and fired a quick wrist shot to the far side for his 16th goal of the season, giving the Flyers a 4-1 lead. The goal was Akeson’s 49th as an Adirondack Phantom, which surpasses Denis Hamel’s previous record of 48.

The Akeson, McGinn and Newbury line exploded in this game, combining for six points (two goals and four assists). McGinn paced the way with three points himself. Midway through the first period he scored after deflecting a pass from Newbury in front of the net, with Akeson taking the secondary assist. McGinn later had the primary assists on both Holmstron’s and Akeson’s goals. Newbury finished with two helpers as well.

“Newbury is a great player,” McGinn said. “All you have to do is get open and he finds you. He is a very skilled player, [and] he helps you out a lot too because he is always talking on the ice, letting you know where he is. He is a very easy player to play with.”

“There is a chemistry that’s starting to come back the way it was coming out of the training camp,” Murray said. “Early in the season there was a couple call ups—McGinn was up, Newbury was up, and it kind of got lost in the shuffle. It’s starting to come back and they can play very well in the offensive zone, get some attacks and get some scoring chances.”

The other Flyers goal was their first of the game, just two minutes in, when Tyler Brown scored his first of the season to give the Phantoms an early 1-0 lead.

Not to be lost was the play of Heeter, who stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced, including several odd man rushes. The lone goal he allowed was a bit flukey, as it drifted off the stick of Ryan Potulny in the slot and went through the legs of an unsuspecting Marc-Andre Bourdon, before being picked up on the other side and fired past Heeter on the backhand by Matt Watkins. Other than that, he was perfect.

“He did an unbelievable job, he has been really solid for us all year,” Holmstrom said. “There are times when he keeps us in the game when we probably don’t deserve to be, and that’s what you need out of your goalie. He has been huge.”

The win improves the Phantoms to 22-20-0-2, as they remain in third place in the Northeast Division. They have now beaten the Bears three times in four games this season, with two more to play, including the last game of the season on April 19.

The Phantoms will resume play on Tuesday, when they travel to Hartford to take on the Wolf Pack. They will be returning to Philadelphia for one more game at the Wells Fargo Center February 22, when they play host to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 76 21 55 7 76
C. Giroux 75 23 46 2 69
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 76 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 76 13 17 1 30
M. Del Zotto 58 9 20 -5 29
M. Read 74 7 22 -7 29
M. Raffl 61 20 6 7 26
V. Lecavalier 52 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 11 .927 2.24
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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