6-3 Revenge Win at Binghamton Led by Balanced Effort
November 11, 2015 –
Binghamton, NY – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms rallied early and did not let up in a season-high six-strike surge to double-up the Binghamton Senators. A balanced attack drove the 6-3 Veterans Day victory in Binghamton and featured the team’s highest offensive total of the season with six different Phantoms lighting the lamp and a total of 12 skaters finding the scoresheet.
The Phantoms received goals from Tim Brent (4), Shayne Gostisbehere (2), Tyrell Goulbourne (4), Nick Cousins (4), Kevin Goumas (2), Petr Straka (7). Six other Phantoms also registered assists in the game including Evan Rankin who was credited with a team-high three helpers and Chris Conner who tallied twice. Single assists were compiled by Mark Alt, Taylor Leier, Kevin Sundher and Andrew MacDonald.
“I think anytime when you balance your attack it makes it hard for the opposition to play against you,” head coach Scott Gordon said. “It was good to see that everybody factored into the scoring.”
The win in the concluding contest of the home-and-home series between the two local cross-divisional rivals avenged a setback to the same foes back at PPL Center on Sunday.
Things certainly didn’t look so rosey at the outset for the visiting Lehigh Valley contingent who fell behind 2-0 just 4:30 into the game. Cole Schneider (6th) and Colin Greening (3rd) on a wrap-around banked off the back of the leg of goalie Anthony Stolarz established the hosts’ early advantage with their goals coming just 38 seconds apart.
But the Phantoms weren’t long for a response with Tim Brent converting in the slot just 15 seconds after Greening’s goal. And just 48 seconds after that it would be Shayne Gostisbehere teeing up his big slapshot from center-point for his second goal of the season thus erasing Binghamton’s early lead as quickly as it had been established to put a capper on the highly entertaining opening scoring frenzy.
Binghamton and Lehigh Valley had successfully fired away for four combined goals in a rapid-fire stretch of just 101 seconds beginning at 3:49 into the game with Schneider’s goal and ending at 5:30 in with Gostisbehere’s 2-2 equalizer.
“We were down 2-nothing (right away) and it’s not a good feeling,” Gordon said. “And we came right back and get the two and then to get the third…that was huge. I think it’s good for the guys to be able to get rewarded with some goals and a win.”
Late in the first period, Kevin Sundher carrying quickly into the Binghamton zone found exciting rookie winger Goulbourne flying up the left wing and hit his line-mate perfectly in stride to set up the youngster’s fourth goal of the season powered through from the left circle.
A scary moment earlier in the period happened when Binghamton’s Max McCormick went careening into the cage while Stolarz was sliding to his left to make one his top stops of the evening. McCormick’s sliding, crashing body took Stolarz’s legs out from under him and sent the 21-year-old goalie airborne and then crashing down. After staying down for a little bit, Stolarz was able to eventually get to his feet and was fine to stay in the game.
Leading 3-2 into the second period, Nick Cousins would be next to strike. The leading scorer on the Phantoms a season ago had been one of the several Phantoms to miss significant action this year and was returning to the lineup for the first time since his injury October 30 against St. John’s. Chris Conner found a turned over puck behind the net and quickly connected on a seemingly blind-but-perfect pass to Cousins on the doorstep who drove in his fourth of the season from the right of the crease for a 4-2 lead. Petr Straka did not register an assist on the play but was pivotal on the goal with his pressure in the corner forcing the puck to be turned over by the Binghamton defense.
Similar to the first period, the counter-strike would coming on the very next shift. Binghamton cut the margin back down to a single goal just 31 seconds later with Max McCormick’s sneaky twisted wrister coming suddenly from the top of the right circle and beating Stolarz to the upper-ninety high glove.
The 4-3 lead for the Phantoms would hold up throughout almost the entire remainder of the season period. Danny Hobbs had a quick shorthanded rush up the right wing on a 2-on-1. Taking the shot himself he rocketed his attempt squarely off the far iron and Travis Ewanyk crashing the net on the play and contacting with Stolarz was unable to corral the rebound.
Mark Alt’s stretch pass up the left wing with time winding down in the second period sent a hustling Goulbourne rushing up ice in pursuit. While dueling sticks with a Binghamton defenseman, his chase led to some back-end scramble issues for the Senators. Evan Rankin pounced the puck that was desperately swatted into the corner and with full awareness that time was running out in the middle frame he made no delay in gunning a cross-ice feed to Kevin Goumas on the backdoor whose goal with 1.5 seconds left in the period provided the Phantoms a pivotal momentum boost in th eform of a 5-3 lead at the second intermission.
Goumas had been snake-bit of late with a number of post shots and breakaway denials. But this time the second-year pro out of the University of New Hampshire was on the money with his Senators-deflating strike.
“(Goulbourne’s) effort is the reason why that happened,” Gordon said. “He got down there for that puck and tied up their man and the second support guy (Rankin) came in and made the pass to the man in front (Goumas). You know, it doesn’t happen if it wasn’t for the effort of Tyrell.”
The scoring was concluded with under two minutes left when Petr Straka weaved his way through a couple of Binghamton skaters and buried an empty-netter from just across the red-line for his team-leading seventh of the season.
The six goals are the most scored for the Phantoms this season and equals the most ever for the team since arriving in Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms made it to a half-dozen two different times last year, both on the road, with a 6-2 win at St. John’s on January 11 and a 6-2 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 31.
Interestingly, all three times the Lehigh Valley Phantoms have reached the six-goal landmark have been in road games. Also somewhat strangely, all three times have featured six different goal scorers with not a single Phantoms skater tallying twice. Nick Cousins has been one of the goal scorers in each of the three occasions in which the Phantoms have reached a half-dozen.
The last time the Phantoms franchise has eclipsed the six-goal mark was on April 1, 2011 in a wild 9-5 win for the Adirondack Phantoms over the Albany Devils in Glens Falls, New York.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms went 1-for-3 on the power play while holding Binghamton to 0-for-2. The Senators held the slim edge in shots 33-31. The series is even at 1-1 with six more games to go on the season’s docket. The Phantoms return to the Southern Tier of New York on December 19 and December 29. The B-Sens will next appear at PPL Center on the other side of the New Year with appearances on January 10 and January 27.
The Phantoms host a pair of foes this weekend at PPL Center beginning with the Rochester Americans arriving Friday evening on T-Shirt Night. Former Phantom standout Jason Akeson will be playing against his old team for the first time now as a member of the Buffalo Sabres affiliate. On Saturday evening the Phantoms will welcome the Albany Devils to town for their lone PPL Center visitation of the 2015-16 campaign.
Limited seats are remaining for both upcoming weekend home engagements and are available at PPLCenter.com or by calling 610-347-TIXX (8499).
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 6 at Binghamton Senators 3 – Status: Final
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 – Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena
Lehigh Valley 3 2 1 – 6
Binghamton 2 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Binghamton, Schneider 6 (Claesson, McCormick), 3:49. 2, Binghamton, Greening 3 4:27. 3, Lehigh Valley, Brent 4 (Leier, MacDonald), 4:42. 4, Lehigh Valley, Gostisbehere 2 (Brent, Conner), 5:30 (PP). 5, Lehigh Valley, Goulbourne 4 (Sundher, Rankin), 16:22. Penalties-Fraser Bng (cross-checking), 5:08.
2nd Period-6, Lehigh Valley, Cousins 4 (Conner), 3:27. 7, Binghamton, McCormick 2 (Paul), 4:08. 8, Lehigh Valley, Goumas 2 (Rankin, Alt), 19:58. Penalties-Lepine Bng (elbowing), 4:28; Cousins Lv (tripping), 14:25; Carlisle Bng (holding), 17:02.
3rd Period-9, Lehigh Valley, Straka 7 (Cousins, Rankin), 18:29 (EN). Penalties-Rankin Lv (tripping), 4:47.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 11-14-6-31. Binghamton 16-6-11-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 1 / 3; Binghamton 0 / 2.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Stolarz 4-3-0 (33 shots-30 saves). Binghamton, Driedger 4-3-0 (30 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Peter MacDougall (57).
Linesmen-Francois Dussureault (60), John Everett (82).
Friday, November 13 (7:05) – Rochester Americans at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (T-Shirt Night!)
Saturday, November 14 (7:05) – Albany Devils at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Boy Scout Night!)
RISE UP! Reserve your season tickets and groups now for the 2015-2016 season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey. 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 (4625)!
In the midst of their 20th season of operation, the Phantoms are coming off their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms playing at the brand-new 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).