December 1, 2015
Wednesday, December 2 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Utica Comets
Friday, December 4 (7:05 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ WB/Scranton Penguins
Saturday, December 5 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Hershey Bears
Fresh off a split in the team’s Thanksgiving weekend home stand at PPL Center, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (9-11-1-0, 19 pts., 5th Atlantic Division) hit the road this week for a trio of Eastern Conference showdowns.
The action resumes for the Phantoms this Wednesday, December 2 when Lehigh Valley visits the Utica Memorial Auditorium for the second time in as many weeks for a showdown with the Comets. Utica (9-8-1-1, 20 pts., 5th North Division) enters the week in the midst of a four-game winning streak after claiming each of its three outings last week. First, the Comets landed a 7-1 victory at home over the Phantoms last Wednesday before sweeping a weekend series at the Portland Pirates. Utica has outscored its opposition 20-7 during its recent run, which comes on the heels of a four-game losing skid.
Wednesday’s contest marks the second of four total meetings during the 2015-2016 regular season between the Phantoms and Comets with the final two get-togethers set for Saturday, February 13 and Saturday, February 27 at PPL Center.
Lehigh Valley resumes its road swing on Friday, December 4 when the team invades the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a 7:05 p.m. meeting with the Penguins. Friday’s contest will be just the second of 12 total meetings this season between the Pennsylvania rivals after the Penguins claimed a 6-4 contest at home on October 17.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (16-2-0-0, 32 pts., 1st Atlantic Division) enters the week not only atop the Eastern Conference but leading the entire AHL with a .889 winning percentage. The Penguins have won four consecutive contests and 15 of the team’s last 16 games overall. What’s more, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is unbeaten (10-0) at home at Mohegan Sun Arena this season.
The Phantoms conclude their three-game road trip on Saturday, December 5 when they head to Giant Center in Hershey for a showdown with the Bears. Hershey (10-6-0-4, 24 pts., 3rd Atlantic Division) earned three of a possible six standings points in a trio of games last week, grabbing a 2-1 overtime win against the Providence Bruins on Wednesday before suffering a 6-5 shootout loss to the Phantoms on Friday followed by a 3-2 defeat at the Penguins on Saturday.
Saturday’s contest marks the fourth of 12 total meetings between Lehigh Valley and Hershey this season with the Phantoms holding a 2-1 record through the first three games of the rivalry series. Lehigh Valley has won each of its first two decisions with Hershey via shootout and claimed the only prior meeting at Giant Center with a thrilling 5-4 shootout triumph on November 1.
Be sure to catch all the road action this week on FOX 1470-AM, online at fox1470.com or via the iHeartRadio app beginning with “Countdown to Faceoff” 45 minutes before puck drop.
Phantoms By The Numbers
- Winger Petr Straka enters the week second among all AHLers with 14 total goals. He’s notched eight goals over his last nine games and has produced at least one goal in 12 of 21 games this year. What’s more, his 14 goals to date have already matched his season output in 68 games from a year ago.
- First-year forward Danick Martel enters the week second among all Lehigh Valley skaters with seven goals and is tied for fourth among all active Phantoms in scoring with 11 points.
- Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill has surrendered just three power play goals over the last six games. The Phantoms’ penalty kill is an impressive 20-for-23 during that stretch.
- Lehigh Valley has been one of the most disciplined teams in the AHL through the season’s first two months. The Phantoms enter the week averaging the third-fewest penalty minutes on a per-game basis (11.7).
Wednesday, November 25: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Utica Comets 7
Aaron Palushaj landed his fifth goal of the season but that proved to be Lehigh Valley’s lone conversion in a 7-1 setback at Utica Memorial Auditorium. Phantoms alumnus Blair Jones scored twice for the Comets while Carter Bancks added a pair of assists for the home team.
Friday, November 27: Hershey Bears 5 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 6 (SO)
Petr Straka and Tyrell Goulbourne both scored twice in regulation before Tim Brent converted the shootout winner as the Phantoms earned a thrilling 6-5 victory in front of 8,262 fans at PPL Center. Taylor Leier (goal, assist), Chris Conner (2 assists) and Kevin Goumas (2 assists) also contributed multi-point efforts while Connor Knapp, making his first Lehigh Valley start this season, backstopped the win with 24 saves in regulation and overtime before a perfect 5-for-5 performance in the shootout.
The Phantoms won the special teams battle in convincing fashion with a 2-for-5 showing on the power play while keeping Hershey’s man-advantage off the board in just two opportunities.
Saturday, November 28: Providence Bruins 3 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 0
Making his first Phantoms start of the season, Martin Ouellette registered an impressive 30 saves but it wasn’t quite enough as the Providence Bruins handed Lehigh Valley a 3-0 loss in front of 8,423 fans at PPL Center. Malcolm Subban (18 saves) earned the win between the pipes for Providence while Brandon DeFazio, Seth Griffith and Anton Blidh found the back of the net for the Bruins.
The standing room-only crowd marked the third sellout this season for the Phantoms and the eighth time in 11 games at PPL Center that the Phantoms have skated in front of better than 8,000 supporters.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live all of the Phantoms’ 27 remaining regular season home games. If you can’t make it out to the rink, be sure to catch all the exciting action live in HD quality with Steve Degler, Peter Zingoni, Doug Heater and Kristi Fulkerson! Pre-game coverage begins with “Phantoms Front and Center” 30 minutes before puck drop. And don’t miss “Phantoms – Breaking the Ice” every Monday from 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. throughout the season live at Chickie’s & Pete’s at PPL Center!
Be sure to also catch each and every Phantoms game this season live on Fox Sports 1470 AM, online at Fox1470.com or via the iHeartRadio app! Join Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck, for all of the heart-pumping action of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey whether the team is at home or on the road. “Countdown to Faceoff” begins 45 minutes prior to puck drop.
Tickets for all of the Phantoms’ 27 remaining regular season home games are available now online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (7th & Hamilton).
RISE UP! Don’t miss the action and fun of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey at PPL Center in downtown Allentown! Contact the Phantoms Front Office for information on season tickets and groups for the 2015-2016 season of Phantoms hockey by calling 610-224-GOAL .
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 state-of-the-art PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Philadelphia Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum 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 18 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).