Stefan Ruzicka and Boyd Kane had two goals each and Jared Ross posted three assists last night as the Phantoms grabbed a 5-2 triumph over the Hershey Bears at the Wachovia Spectrum.

The win puts the Phantoms at 20-8-1, making them just the fourth squad in team history to reach the 20-win plateau before Christmas.

The Phantoms decided the game with a three-goal attack in the second period.

Jonathan Matsumoto snapped a 1-1 tie at 4 minutes, 10 seconds of the period.

Ruzicka's first goal of the night, nearly five minutes later, made it 3-1 as the Phantoms increased their lead by five points over Albany in the East Division.

Brian Boucher saved 27 of 29 shots for the Phantoms, while Hershey's Frederic Cassivi stopped 29 of 34 shots.

The Phantoms' record of 20-8-1 for 41 points puts them with the 1996-97, 1997-98 and 2004-05 squads as the only ones to win 20 games before Christmas.

The Phantoms will resume action Thursday in Norfolk, Va., and then come home next Friday against the Binghamton Senators.