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PHANTOMS PHLATTEN GRIFFINS, 6-1

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Three goals in a stretch of 2:10 spanning the second and third periods propelled the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 6-1 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday at Van Andel Arena.

Patrick Sharp accounted for two of the goals and added a first period assist, as the Phantoms earned their fifth consecutive road win and improved their scoring margin over their last six games overall to 16-4.

The Griffins (25-25-1-1), who fell to the 0.500 mark for the second time this season, will return to action this weekend when they host the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday and the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday.

Rookie sensation R. J. Umberger gave the Phantoms the lead just 7:12 into the contest. Ben Eager pulled up in the right circle and flung a pass toward the goal that Umberger tipped past Drew MacIntyre. The visitors extended their advantage to 2-0 at the 15:20 mark, as Dennis Seidenberg rifled a shot from the blueline that found its way through a crowded slot.

Blake Sloan, playing in his 500th pro game, ended a Philly shutout streak of 148:59 early in the second frame. Derek Meech wristed a shot from the high slot that Sloan tipped past Neil Little from the top of the crease at 2:26. However, the Phantoms quickly reasserted their two-goal cushion during a power play, with John Slaney ripping a blast from the top of the left circle at 4:09, giving Philadelphia three goals on only six shots.

Philly (31-16-2-4) blew the game open with a pair of goals 41 seconds apart late in the period. Sharp undressed a defenseman in the right circle and slipped a shot past MacIntyre at 18:08, before Ryan Ready stole the puck behind the Griffins net and sent a pass out front to a wide-open Tony Voce for the Phantoms’ fifth goal on just their 15th shot.

Joey MacDonald began the third period in relief and was promptly welcomed by Sharp’s second of the game just 18 seconds in, coming off another Griffins turnover. MacDonald went on to make 10 saves, while MacIntyre finished with 11.

Power play troubles continued to cripple the Griffins. After going 0-for-4 on the night, Grand Rapids has gone scoreless in 26 chances over the last six games, while the opposition has converted at least once in seven straight contests (8-for-44) following Philly’s 1-for-4 effort.

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