December 8, 2015
Wednesday, December 9 (7:05 p.m.) – Hershey Bears @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Light the Night.)
Friday, December 11 (7:05 p.m.) – WB/Scranton Penguins @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Game Presented by The Morning Call. T-Shirt Giveaway. Free Ugly Holiday Sweater Phantoms Shirt to First 8,500 Fans in Attendance.)
Saturday, December 12 (7:05 p.m.) – Springfield Falcons @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Teddy Bear Toss Presented by Dan’s Camera City. Post-Game Skate with Phantoms Players Presented by Big Woody’s Sports Bar & Restaurant.)
Fresh off a pair of wins during a three-game road swing last week, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (11-12-1-0, 23 pts., 4th Atlantic Division) return to PPL Center this week as the team opens up a five-game home stand.
The home stretch kicks off this Wednesday, December 9 when the Phantoms welcome the rival Hershey Bears to downtown Allentown. Hershey (12-6-0-5, 29 pts., 2nd Atlantic Division) earned a pair of wins in three games last week capturing a 2-1 victory over the Phantoms on Saturday before earning a 4-1 triumph over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday. The Bears opened their three-game weekend with a 4-3 shootout defeat at the Hartford Wolf Pack. Hershey enters the week having won six of its last nine games overall and has claimed 13 of a possible 18 standings points during its recent surge.
Wednesday’s contest marks the fifth of 12 total meetings during the 2015-16 regular season between the Phantoms and Bears with the in-state foes having split the first four head-to-head collisions. That includes a split in games played in downtown Allentown with Hershey having earned a 4-2 win on November 6 before Lehigh Valley exacted a little revenge with a dramatic 6-5 shootout triumph on home ice on November 27.
The home stand then continues on Friday, December 11 when the Phantoms host the Penguins for the first time this season. After just two losses through its first 18 games, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (16-5-0-0, 32 pts., 1st Atlantic Division) endured its toughest weekend of the season as the Penguins dropped all three games last week. First, the Phantoms handed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton its first loss on home ice this season with a 3-1 win at Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday before Hartford claimed a 3-1 road win the following night, which was followed up by Hershey’s 4-1 home victory on Sunday. Still, the Penguins enter the week with the AHL’s second-most wins (16) and second-highest points percentage (.762).
Friday’s showdown marks the third of 12 total meetings this year between Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the first to take place at PPL Center. The Phantoms are 1-1 against their Atlantic Division foes after a 6-4 setback on October 17 followed by a 3-1 win last Friday.
Friday’s game is presented by The Morning Call and features a t-shirt giveaway where the first 8,500 fans in attendance will receive a FREE Ugly Holiday Sweater Phantoms shirt.
The week’s action then concludes on Saturday, December 12 when the Springfield Falcons make their first trip to PPL Center this year. Springfield (10-11-1-0, 21 pts., 5th Atlantic Division) earned just one win in three tries last week capturing a 4-0 triumph at home over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday before dropping a pair of games at the Providence Bruins on Saturday and Sunday. The Falcons enter the week having dropped four of their last five games overall and have been outscored 19-11 over that stretch.
Saturday’s game is the annual Teddy Bear Toss presented by Dan’s Camera City. Fans are encouraged to bring new teddy bears or stuffed animals to the game and throw them onto the ice when the Phantoms score their first goal. All teddy bears and stuffed animals will then be donated to Valley Youth House, which will distribute them to children across the Lehigh Valley. Saturday’s game also features a Post-Game Skate with Phantoms players presented by Big Woody’s Sports Bar & Restaurant. Fans are encouraged to bring their skates to the game and take the ice with their favorite Phantoms players following the conclusion of Saturday’s contest.
Tickets for all three games this week are currently available at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center [701 Hamilton Street].
Phantoms By The Numbers
- Center Nick Cousins enters the week leading all Phantoms in total scoring with 19 points (6 goals, 13 assists). The third-year native of Belleville, Ontario has produced at least one point in 12 of 16 games this year and has already registered five multi-point outings.
- Defenseman Mark Alt enters the week leading all active Lehigh Valley defensemen in scoring with 9 points (goal, 8 assists). What’s more, the third-year blueliner from St. Paul, Minnesota is first among all Phantoms and fourth among all AHL defenders with a plus-13 rating.
- Goaltender Anthony Stolarz enters the week boasting the AHL’s third-best goals-against average (1.84) coupled with the league’s third-highest save percentage (.938). What’s more, with nine victories in 16 appearances this season, the second-year netminder has already matched his win total from 31 games played a season ago.
- Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill has been razor sharp in recent weeks. The Phantoms enter the week having successfully killed 16 consecutive man-down situations and have surrendered just three power play goals over the team’s last nine games.
Wednesday, December 2: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Utica Comets 1
Evan Rankin, Jesper Pettersson and Danick Martel all found the back of the net for Lehigh Valley while Anthony Stolarz denied 27 of Utica’s 28 shots in backstopping a 3-1 triumph inside Utica Memorial Auditorium. Andrew MacDonald added a pair of assists while the Phantoms thwarted each of the Comets’ four power play opportunities in the game.
The victory earned Lehigh Valley a split in its two games played in Utica this season.
Friday, December 4: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1
The Phantoms scored three unanswered goals and Anthony Stolarz registered 35 saves as Lehigh Valley handed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins their first loss on home ice this season with a 3-1 win at Mohegan Sun Arena. Aaron Palushaj and Taylor Leier each tallied their sixth goals of the year while Mark Alt notched his first conversion of the season in the triumph.
Lehigh Valley controlled the special teams battle with a 1-for-3 performance on the power play coupled with a perfect 6-for-6 effort on the penalty kill.
Saturday, December 5: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Hershey Bears 2
Anthony Stolarz registered a season-high 42 saves but it wasn’t enough as the Hershey Bears were able to outlast the Phantoms in a 2-1 decision at Giant Center. In his return to the lineup following a four-game stint with the Philadelphia Flyers, Nick Cousins converted Lehigh Valley’s lone goal with his sixth tally of the year. The contest also marked the return of Phantoms’ captain Colin McDonald after a five-game stretch with the Flyers.
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).