Friday, April 25, 2008

And you thought your day was long????


ALBANY – Ryan Potulny scored at 2:58 of the fifth overtime to give the Philadelphia Phantoms a 3-2 win over the Albany River Rats in Game 5 of the East Division Semifinals at the Times Union Center. The game was the longest in the history of the American Hockey League at 142 minutes, 58 seconds, and gives the Phantoms a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Philadelphia now has a chance to wrap things up in Game 6 at the Wachovia Center at 1:05 Saturday afternoon.

Potulny’s game-winner came at 12:39 AM on Philadelphia’s 101st shot of the game. Defenseman Michael Ratchuk carried a puck across the Albany blue line and cut into the right-wing circle before dropping a pass into the slot. Potulny snapped the puck past the stick side of Albany goaltender Michael Leighton to set off a wild celebration near the Phantoms bench.

Regulation concluded at a 2-2 deadlock. The Rats scored first for the fourth consecutive game, recording a goal 2:57 into the second period after a scoreless first stanza. It was two former Phantoms hooking up to burn their former club, as Marc Cavosie put a shot on net that Scott Munroe stopped, but the rebound came to Kiel McLeod for the putback and the 1-0 lead.

Ross recorded the first shorthanded marker of the series at the 7:41 mark. He carried a puck down the right side and tried to center to Boyd Kane, but it hit a defenseman and went in on Leighton. Persistence paid off for Ross, as he poked at the loose puck following and pushed it over the line for the 1-1 tie.

Albany struck again on the power play with 2:46 remaining in the middle period. McLeod struck again, deflecting a Brett Carson shot past Munroe while stationed in the high slot. It gave the River Rats a 2-1 lead heading into the final period.

But the Phantoms equalized with Ross’s second goal of the night with 4:47 left to play in the third period. Boyd Kane was on the right boards and sent a puck in front for Ross, who had one hand on the stick when he reached out and touched it past Leighton to tie things at twos.

The teams then proceeded to battle for 80 scoreless minutes, playing through four overtimes without a goal. Philadelphia outshot Albany 101-67 on the game, generating 63 shots in the overtime periods alone after putting 38 shots on Leighton in regulation. Leighton, who is the reigning AHL Goaltender of the Year, made an incredible 98 saves. Munroe, meanwhile, stopped 65 of 67 shots – including all 35 he saw in the overtime sessions.

The new AHL record of 142:58 eclipses the previous record of 134:56 (74:56 of overtime) set on May 30, 2003 when Hamilton beat Houston 2-1. This game featured 82:58 of extra play. On the time of day clock, the game took five hours and 38 minutes. The 101 Philadelphia shots also are an unofficial league record, but are an official Phantoms franchise record, obliterating the old mark of 64 shots.

The series returns to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Saturday afternoon at 1:05. Game 7, if necessary, will be Tuesday, April 29 at 7:05 PM. Tickets for Game 6 and 7 are available at the Wachovia Complex box office, online at or, or by phone at 1-800-298-4200.

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