Konecny, Raffl Score in Lehigh Valley’s Second-Ever NHL Game
September 28, 2016
Lehigh Valley, PA – Hockey returned to PPL Center in thrilling fashion Wednesday evening as the Philadelphia Flyers, parent club of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, blanked the New Jersey Devils 2-0 in just the second-ever NHL game played in the Lehigh Valley. 2015 first-round draft pick Travis Konecny tallied a goal and an assist while Michael Raffl also connected in front of the stellar goaltending duo of Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon who combined for an 18-save shutout in front of 7,291 raucous fans in downtown Allentown.
The preseason clash marked just the second-ever NHL game to be contested in the Lehigh Valley after the Flyers and New York Islanders squared off on September 21, 2015.
The 24th overall selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Konecny spent last season in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) where he split time with the Ottawa 67’s and Sarnia Sting in compiling 30 goals and 101 points across just 60 games.
While Konecny helped kick start the offense, it was the tandem of Stolarz (11 saves) and Lyon (7 saves) who held things down defensively. An AHL All-Star a season ago, Stolarz is entering his third professional season after posting 30 victories over the last two years. Meanwhile, Lyon is on the cusp of his first pro campaign following an incredible three-year career at Yale University.
The Flyers opened the scoring less than five minutes into the second period when Konecny expertly redirected Andrew MacDonald’s blast from the high slot past the outstretched glove of Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid. Brayden Schenn garnered the second assist on the even-strength strike netted 4:30 into the middle frame.
MacDonald paced all Phantoms defenders in scoring last season with 36 total points despite appearing in just 43 games before being recalled by the Flyers for Philadelphia’s postseason run. Meanwhile, Schenn, who posted a career-high 26 goals and 59 points with the Flyers last season, spent parts of two campaigns with the Adirondack Phantoms from 2011-2013 where he compiled 19 goals and 45 points across just 40 games.
Philadelphia doubled its lead less than five minutes later when a beautiful dish by Konecny found a wide-open Raffl atop the goal crease who made no mistake in sending home his first goal of the preseason. Robert Hagg collected the secondary assist on the five-on-five conversion tallied 9:04 into the second periods.
A native of Villach, Austria, Raffl actually began his North American playing career with the Adirondack Phantoms where he produced three points in a pair of games in early October 2013 before called up by the Flyers where he’s amassed 43 goals and 81 points across 217 games over the last three seasons.
Meanwhile, a second-round selection by Philadelphia in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Hagg is on the cusp of his third pro season after recording nine goals and 35 points in 144 games with the Phantoms since starting his professional career.
Philadelphia’s defensive effort solidified the victory in the third period as the Flyers limited the Devils to just five shots on goal in the final frame en route to the club’s second straight shutout following a 4-0 win over the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.
The Phantoms begin their preseason tune up to the 2016-17 campaign next weekend with a pair of games at PPL Center against the Charlotte Checkers as the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes make their first-ever trip to the Lehigh Valley. The action begins on Friday, October 7 at 7:05 p.m. with a rematch slated for Saturday, October 8 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for both preseason showdowns are available now at pplcenter.com.
RISE UP! Another thrilling season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey at PPL Center is right around the corner with the home opener to the 2016-2017 regular season set for Saturday, October 15. Reserve your season tickets and group outings for the 2016-2017 season of Phantoms hockey today. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town, call the Phantoms front office today at 610-224-GOAL !
And for the latest Phantoms news, visit www.phantomshockey.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lehighvalleyphantoms), Twitter (@lvphantoms), Instagram (@lehighvalleyphantoms) and Snapchat (lvphantoms).
The Phantoms are thrilled to host the 2017 Capital BlueCross AHL All-Star Classic at PPL Center January 28-30. The Capital BlueCross AHL All-Star Classic weekend includes a Phan Fest during the day on Saturday, January 28 and a Tailgate Party that evening, followed by the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 29 and the 2017 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 30. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event. Packages starting at just $67 for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic weekend are on sale now and include admission to Saturday’s Phan Fest & Tailgate Party, Sunday’s AHL All-Star Skills Competition and Monday’s All-Star Game. To purchase tickets, please visit www.phantomshockey.com or www.pplcenter.com.
The Phantoms are coming off their 20th Anniversary Season and second campaign in the Lehigh Valley playing at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum in Philadelphia before re-locating to Glens Falls, New York in 2009 where the team spent the next five seasons as the Adirondack Phantoms. A new era of Phantoms hockey began in the fall of 2014 when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms began play at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Through 19 incredibly successful campaigns, the Phantoms have captured two Calder Cup Championships (1998, 2005), two Conference Championships (1998, 2005), two Regular Season Titles (1996-97, 1997-98) and four Division Championships (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2003-04).