Phantoms Play 3-in-3 North of the Border this Weekend
November 27, 2018
A Look Back
Friday, November 23, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms 6, Hershey Bears 2
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms hosted the rival Hershey Bears inside of PPL Center for the first time during the 2018-19 season this past Friday night. While Hershey got on the board first, just about four minutes into the contest, Lehigh Valley would answer back thanks to a power-play goal from the stick of Mike Vecchione. Heading into the locker room, the Phantoms and Bears were locked at one.
A pair of Greg Carey goals would push the Phantoms out to a 3-1 lead early in the second period and additional goals from Philippe Myers, Phil Varone and Mikhail Vorobyev later in the game saw the Orange and Black take a 6-2 win over the Chocolate and White.
The Phantoms continued their power-play success on Friday, tallying another two goals on the man advantage for their seventh multi-power-play-goal game of the season. Friday’s game also marked the sixth consecutive game in which Lehigh Valley had netted at least one power play goal.
Saturday, November 24, 2018 — Providence Bruins 6, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3
On Saturday night, the Providence Bruins were in town to take on the Phantoms for the two teams second of six meetings this season. Lehigh Valley wasted little time getting on the board, netting two goals just 1:07 into the contest. Greg Carey — who was skating in his 300th professional game — got the scoring started with his 100th AHL goal and Nic Aube-Kubel followed it up with his fourth goal of the season just 29 seconds later.
From there, the Bruins went to work as they received a pair of goals from both Austin Fyten and Cameron Hughes en route to a 6-3 final over the Phantoms. Cole Bardreau managed the other Lehigh Valley goal as he used his body to deflect in a centering feed from linemate Colin McDonald.
The season series between the Phantoms and Bruins now sits tied at 1-1.
The Road Ahead
Friday, November 30, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Laval Rocket, 7:30 p.m.
The Phantoms will face their first opponents north of the border this weekend beginning on Friday night against the Laval Rocket.
As of Tuesday, the Rocket are on a five-game losing streak dating back to November 17. Since that time, the Rocket have dropped contests to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Syracuse Crunch, Utica Comets and Charlotte Checkers and are 4-5-0-1 in their past 10 games. Laval is currently led in points by forward Alex Belzile, with 15 (2G-13A), and rookie Jake Evans, with 14 (6G-8A), but with three of their highest point producers on recall to the NHL, are currently ranked eighth in the North Division.
Friday night’s game will be the first time that former Phantom Maxime Lamarche will face off against his former team. The 26-year-old defenseman — who spent five years in the Philadelphia Flyers organization — has played in 19 games for the Rocket this season scoring a goal and tallying seven assists for eight total points.
A season ago, Mike Vecchione led Lehigh Valley in two meetings against Laval with four points (2G-2A).
Saturday, December 1, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Belleville Senators, 7:00 p.m.
On Saturday, the Orange and Black will take on the Belleville Senators for the first time this season.
After taking points in four of their last six games, the Senators sit just a single point out of fourth place in the North as of Tuesday. After earning three points against the red-hot Charlotte Checkers, Belleville dropped a contest to the Utica Comets on Saturday by a score of 4-2. Before facing off against the Phantoms on Saturday, they will take on the Laval Rocket on Wednesday night, and then rematch against the Comets on Friday.
With a split record of 1-1 against the Sens in 2017-18, the Phantoms were again led by forward Mike Vecchione who netted three goals and four points in the teams two meetings.
Sunday, December 2, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Toronto Marlies, 4:00 p.m.
Lehigh Valley will return to Toronto for the first time since the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs last May on Sunday for a matinee game against the Marlies.
An up-and-down season for the defending Calder Cup Champions, as of Tuesday Toronto sits in seventh place in the North Division. With a 4-3-2-1 record in their past 10 games, the Marlies are looking to improve upon their 20th ranked power play and 24th ranked penalty kill. Names to look out for this weekend include that of forwards Chris Mueller, with 16 points (8G-8A), and Carl Grundstrom, with 15 points (7G-8A), as well as defenseman Calle Rosen who currently has 16 points (2G-14A).
The Phantoms, who failed to post a single win against the Marlies in 2017-18, will look to exact revenge against the team that knocked them out of the chase for the cup last spring. With some new netminders between the pipes for the Marlies — after the graduation of Garrett Sparks and loss of two tenders in waivers — Lehigh Valley’s high-octane offense could post some large numbers against a Toronto team that is allowing close to four goals a game over their 18 contests this season. Watch for the reunited line of Greg Carey, Phil Varone and Nic Aube-Kubel to make an impact in Sunday afternoon’s game.
Lucky Number Seven
As of Tuesday, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms have the seventh-best ranked power play in the league, converting at a rate of 22.9 percent with seven multi-power-play-goal games. The team’s penalty kill also ranks seventh best in the AHL after only allowing 12 goals in 78 chances (84.6%).
A Weekend of Milestones
Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Greg Carey netted three goals in two games this weekend. His first of the night on Friday marked his 69th goal as a Phantom, moving him in to sole possession of seventh place in Phantoms franchise history for goals scored. On the same play, he also surpassed Danick Martel for the most goals in Lehigh Valley Phantoms history.
On Saturday night, Carey — who was playing in his 300th professional contest — netted his 100th AHL goal.
Two in the Top Five
As of Tuesday, forward Phil Varone was ranked second in the entire AHL for points scored this season with 23 (7G-16A). Also in the top five is Varone’s linemate Greg Carey, who is ranked fourth in the league in that same category with 22 points (12G-10A) on the season.
Phantoms by the Numbers
- 3: The Lehigh Valley Phantoms currently have three players that are producing at a point-per-game or better rate: Phil Varone (1.28), Greg Carey (1.22) and T.J. Brennan (1.11)
- 7: As of Tuesday, the Phantoms have only seven remaining players that have played in every game this season: Phil Varone, Greg Carey, T.J. Brennan, Mike Vecchione, Philippe Myers, Mark Friedman and Zach Palmquist
- 11: Lehigh Valley has not allowed a power-play goal in 11 of the team’s 18 contests this season, during those games the team was 44 for 44
- 12: Phantoms forward Greg Carey is currently ranked third in the league for goals scored this season with 12
- 600: Defenseman T.J. Brennan played in his 600th AHL game on Saturday against the Providence Bruins
November 22, 2018: The Philadelphia Flyers recalled forward Tyrell Goulbourne from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and loaned forward Nic Aube-Kubel to the Phantoms
November 23, 2018: The Philadelphia Flyers recalled goaltender Anthony Stolarz from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms
November 23, 2018: The Lehigh Valley Phantoms signed goaltender Austin Lotz from the Reading Royals of the ECHL to a PTO
November 26, 2018: The Philadelphia Flyers returned on loan goaltender Alex Lyon to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms
November 26, 2018: The Lehigh Valley Phantoms recalled forward Alex Krushelnyski from the Reading Royals of the ECHL and released goaltender Austin Lotz from his PTO
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will again be broadcasting all of the Phantoms’ regular season home games live during the 2018-19 season. If you can’t make it out to the rink, be sure to catch all the exciting action in high definition with Steve Degler, Todd Fedoruk, Doug Heater, Dan Fremuth and Kristi Fulkerson!
And be sure to catch each and every Phantoms game this season live on 1470-AM WSAN, 790-AM WAEB or via the Phantoms365 app! Join the 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.
Tickets for each and every Phantoms home game throughout the 2018-19 season are available online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the QNB Box Office [7th & Hamilton].