Andy Miele Nets Shootout Winner Over Rival Hershey
December 16, 2016
Lehigh Valley, PA – Greg Carey (13th) and T.J. Brennan (10th) both scored in regulation before Andy Miele netted the shootout winner Friday evening as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms earned a thrilling 3-2 victory over the rival Hershey Bears in front of 7,081 fans at PPL Center. With the win, the Phantoms extended their winning streak to four straight games as Lehigh Valley improved to 19-7-1 overall this season. Thanks to Friday’s victory, the Phantoms have now claimed 17 of their last 21 games overall.
The Phantoms have won each of their first four outings in their season-high six-game home stand, which continues Saturday when the Providence Bruins visit downtown Allentown before concluding on Monday, December 26 with a return visit from the Bears.
The Phantoms are now 9-3-1 in games played at PPL Center this year.
For Carey, he poured in his team-leading 13th conversion of the year as he moved into a tie for second among all AHL skaters in goals scored this season. Meanwhile, Brennan’s 10th marker of the year put him alone atop all AHL defenders in goals scored as the eighth-year blueliner tallied his third goal over the last four games.
Making his 15th start over Lehigh Valley’s last 16 games, first-year goaltender Alex Lyon earned the victory between the pipes with 21 saves in regulation and overtime before a perfect 3-for-3 performance in the shootout. Friday’s contest was Lyon’s first professional shootout and the Phantoms’ first shootout of the 2016-17 campaign. With Friday’s victory, he improved to 12-5-1 overall this season.
Friday’s contest marked the sixth straight game in which Lehigh Valley has out shot its opposition as the Phantoms earned a 34-23 edge in shots on goal for the game after controlling long stretches of Friday’s action. With Friday’s win, Lehigh Valley is now 12-4 this season when outshooting its opponents.
The Phantoms have now won back-to-back rivalry showdowns against the Bears as they moved to 3-2 against their in-state rivals this season.
Travis Boyd (8th) and Stan Galiev (3rd) converted for visiting Hershey on Friday while Vitek Vanecek suffered the shootout defeat despite an impressive 31-save performance.
The Phantoms hit the frozen surface Friday evening wearing specialty holiday jerseys, which they’ll sport again in Saturday’s showdown with the Providence Bruins before they’re auctioned off to fans following Saturday’s contest.
Hershey opened the scoring late in the first period when, while on the power play, Liam O’Brien sent a pass across the goal crease that connected with Boyd crashing down the right side who made no mistake in tapping in his eighth goal of the season and fourth in five showdowns against Lehigh Valley. Paul Carey, the older brother of Lehigh Valley’s Greg Carey, collected the second assist on the man-advantage marked netted 16:43 into the first frame.
The Phantoms responded quickly though and leveled the contest just over a minute later when Carey snapped in a perfect shot from the right wing faceoff circle for his team-leading 13th goal of the year. Chris Conner grabbed the only assist on the even-strength strike scored 18:11 into the opening period as he extended his scoring streak to four straight games. The 11th-year pro has now managed seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) during his recent four-game surge.
The Bears bounced right back though and reclaimed their advantage in the final minute of the period when an entry pass by O’Brien found Galiev alone atop the goal crease who promptly chipped in his third goal of the season. Boyd garnered the secondary assist on the five-on-five tally scored 19:13 into the opening frame.
Lehigh Valley remained resilient though and found a way to tie the game with just under three minutes remaining in the middle frame when Brennan marched down the left wing and got all the way to the bottom of the faceoff circle before sending in a perfect snap shot for his 10th goal of the year. Colin McDonald and Jordan Weal assisted on the equalizing marker notched 17:21 into the second period.
After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game moved to a shootout where Miele was the only skater among six attempts who was able to find the back of the net. In executing a brilliant back hand conversion, Miele secured the victory for Lehigh Valley which set the raucous fans in attendance into another victorious frenzy.
The Phantoms are back in action at PPL Center on Saturday, December 17 as they play their final game before the AHL’s holiday break when they welcome the Providence Bruins to downtown Allentown for the first time this season. The Phantoms will hit the ice once again in their specialty holiday jerseys, which will then be auctioned off immediately following the conclusion of Saturday’s game.
A limited number of tickets remain for Saturday’s game and can be purchased by clicking HERE.
RISE UP! Another thrilling season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey at PPL Center is underway! 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 !