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Erik Gustafsson ready for call up; Phantoms beat Bears at ballpark, 4-3

The Phantoms give out an orange chain to the player of the game. Here, Shane Harper, overtime hero.
The Phantoms give out an orange chain to the player of the game. Here, Shane Harper, overtime hero.

PHILADELPHIA -- Erik Gustafsson played -- see, this is the part where I'd put down how many minutes he played tonight, but they don't keep ice time in the AHL. Let's try that again.

Erik Gustafsson played hockey tonight for the Adirondack Phantoms. They beat the Hershey Bears in a magnificent hockey game, 4-3. Shane Harper scored the OT winner on a breakaway 58 seconds in, but not before Ben Holmstrom tied the game with just 20 seconds left in the third period.

After a rough first period, the Phantoms really settled in and controlled play, but it seemed that the Bears and their unbelievably good 32 percent power play were going to steal away two points. But Harper was the hero, and as a result, the post-game fireworks were totally not awkward at all.

It was a pretty awesome way to close out a pretty great week of outdoor hockey at Citizens Bank Park.

But in terms of impact on the Philadelphia Flyers, all eyes were on Gustafsson. After Matt Walker was placed on waivers earlier today, and with Kimmo Timonen out of the lineup for Saturday's game against Ottawa, the speculation ran rampant that Gustafsson could be called up in time for the 1 p.m. start.

Immediately after the win in the Phillies/Phantoms clubhouse, Gus hadn't heard anything from Paul Holmgren & Co.

"No, I haven't heard anything," Gus told us. "Obviously I hope to come back. That's where I wanna play for sure, but to be honest with you I try not to think about it as much. If it happens, it happens. I'm ready to go and the wrist holds up really good. I'm just happy to be back playing. It was a long two months off."

How's he feeling, anyway?

"I think I'm starting to feel like myself again, even if the conditioning is a bit off when you don't play. But my wrist holds up really good and I'm ready to go. I absolutely can't feel anything in the wrist when it's a game like this."

Walker can still play even though he's been placed on waivers, so it's not as if the team has to make a call up right now. We'll see if the Flyers make the decision to call up Gustafsson sometime in the next 14 hours or so. Considering he's better at hockey than Walker, let's hope they do.

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