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5 OTs and a game winner scored by Mr. P – and I’m don’t mean Primeau

Friday, April 25, 2008

For the uninitiated, the Philadelphia Phantoms are the Flyers’ AHL affiliate.  They actually play their regular season games in the famed Spectrum, right across the parking lot from the Flyers’ current building (the Wachovia Center). 

The Phantoms have been facing off against the Albany River Rats in the first round of the AHL playoffs and currently lead the series 3-2 heading into game 6.  Last night, the two teams competed in Game 5 – which turned out to be the longest game in AHL history.  Center Ryan Potulny scored the game winning goal in the fifth overtime.  Philadelphia hockey teams now hold the record for the longest game in both the AHL and NHL.

I wasn’t at the game, but I do remember vividly the 5 overtime performance by the Flyers in a series against the Pittsburgh Penguins years ago.  Keith Primeau, who still hadn’t play well enough during the regular season to justify the exchange for Brind’amour in the eyes of most Philly fans, became a legend when he put one past Ron Tugnutt in the fifth overtime.  The game was in Pittsburgh, and I remember seeing fans sitting in the stands with their exhausted children sleeping beside them in the Mellon Arena seats.  Supposedly they ordered pizza to feed the players in the lockerroom.  They needed sustenance so badly they were apparently cramming down the crusts as fast they could.

ESPN’s call

The iconic call from Philadelphia’s Jim Jackson, Gary Dornhoefer, & Steve Coates

My parents were coming home from a vacation in Cancun that night.  My dad saw the game start from the airport in Mexico.  He walked in the door moments before Keith Primeau scored the OT winner.  And keep in mind that they live about an hour’s drive from the Philadelphia airport.

Note: Keith Jones, now a commentator for Versus and Comcast SportsNet, actually played in that game and was the only player who didn’t register a single shot on goal. 

Great job to both teams for sticking it out so long.

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