For a while, it seemed time was on the Phantoms' side. Then, it ran out.
The Phantoms scored twice in a span of 2 minutes, 4 seconds in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit - then watched as Wilkes-Barre's Kurtis McLean netted the deciding goal with 1:09 left, lifting the Penguins to a 3-2 win in an American Hockey League game at the Wachovia Spectrum last night.
The Phantoms, who defeated host Norfolk, 1-0, on Saturday, are now 19-8-1-0 and in first place in the seven-team East Division. Wilkes-Barre, which is in fifth, improved to 14-12-0-1.
The Pens built their 2-0 advantage with two power-play goals. The first came 55.2 seconds into the game when Chris Minard scored on the rebound of a shot by Tim Brent. The second came 6:33 into the third period, 4 seconds after the Phantoms' Ryan Parent was whistled for holding in the left corner of the zone. Mark Ardelan scored off the ensuing faceoff from the left circle.
The Phantoms broke through with 5:59 remaining in the third period. Parent took a pass at the left point and fired a wrist shot that goaltender David Brown did not see. It flew past him into the upper left corner.
Then, 2:04 later, Steve Downie tied the game.
The Phantoms' Nate Guenin ripped a shot from the right point that Brown stopped. But he left a rebound and Downie was there to finish it off.
Phantoms goalie Brian Boucher made 33 saves. Brown had 27.
On Saturday, Scott Munroe had 25 saves and Darroll Powe scored an unassisted, shorthanded breakaway near the halfway point of the second period to lead the Phantoms to their sixth shutout this season.
The Phantoms host the Hersey Bears on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
It's the second night of the Phantoms Toys for Tots collection with the Marine Corps, where Phantoms fans are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game to donate to the cause. Also, Santa Claus will be on hand on the concourse.
Sandre Naumoski had two goals and two assists, leading the Kixx to a 20-4 victory over the winless Orlando Sharks in a Major Indoor Soccer League game at the Wachovia Spectrum Saturday night.
The Kixx (4-7) also got five points each from Don D'Ambra and John Barry Nusum, who had two goals apiece.
The Kixx are 4-7 and in eighth place in the nine-team league. The Sharks, at 0-11, are in last place.
The Kixx have 2 weeks off before playing the Sharks again on New Year's Eve in Orlando. *