Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Win One, Lose One | Within the space of a few minutes last night, Philadelphians were treated to a pair of exciting finished, one pleasant and one disappointing.

On the plus side, the Flyers advanced to the conference finals with an overtime, Game 6 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Ken Hitchcock's bunch had blown a two-goal, third-period lead, a situation that would have sent prior squads to swift, sure defeat, but these guys possess a mental toughness that is admirable. The Flyers, who closed regulation looking ragged, winded, and terribly flat, came out strong to start overtime, and after 7 minutes and 39 seconds of wildly improbable up-and-down play, Jeremy Roenick top-shelved a drive past Ed Belfour, ending the series.

Roenick is a Philadelphian through and through, charismatic, tough and talented. A few months after a puck blasted his jaw to pieces, he scored twice to send the Flyers to the next round. His Toyota commercials with Mike Lieberthal are practically unwatchable, but Jeremy Roenick can play hockey.

Southeast of Toronto, the Phillies wasted back-to-back-to-back dingers in a 6-5 loss to the Cardinals. The Phils continue to scuffle along, and are now an unimpressive 11-13, but at least they're going down fighting these days. Last night's game ended with a bases-loaded whiff by Pat Burrell, who very nearly beat the throw to first after the pitch got by St. Louis catcher Mike Matheny. I know, I know, moral victories are for losers, but I'd rather see some ninth-inning life than last month's seemingly passive acceptance of defeat.


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