March 6, 2018
Friday, March 9 (7:05 p.m.) – Bridgeport Sound Tigers @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, March 10 (7:30 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Sunday, March 11 (5:05 p.m.) – Binghamton Devils @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Pail & Shovel Giveaway to First 2,000 Kids 14 and Under Presented by PALCS.)
Winners of four straight games and 11 of their last 13 games overall (11-1-1), the red-hot Lehigh Valley Phantoms (38-15-3-4, 83 pts., 0.692 pts. pct., 1st Atlantic Division) return to action for three games this weekend, including two highly-anticipated showdowns at PPL Center. The Phantoms enter the week with the most wins (38) in the Atlantic Division and currently pace all 30 AHL clubs with 83 standings points. What’s more, Lehigh Valley enters the week riding a 12-game home point streak having posted an impressive 10-0-2 mark over the team’s last dozen games at PPL Center.
Thanks to the team’s recent surge, Lehigh Valley’s magic number to secure a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs is down to just 18 standings points.
The Phantoms return to action this Friday, March 9 when they welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers back to PPL Center kicking off a home-and-home weekend series between the Atlantic Division rivals. Bridgeport (28-22-5-3, 64 pts., 0.552 pts. pct., 5th Atlantic Division) won all three of its games last week and enters this week in the midst of a four-game winning streak. After a 2-1 overtime triumph at the Rochester Americans last Wednesday, the Sound Tigers continued their successful road trip with a 4-2 win at the Laval Rocket on Friday before capturing a 4-2 victory at the Belleville Senators on Saturday. Bridgeport has outscored its opposition 11-5 during its recent four-game surge.
Friday’s contest will mark the sixth of eight total meetings during the 2017-18 regular season between the Phantoms and Sound Tigers with Lehigh Valley having claimed each of the first five head-to-head collisions. Most recently, the Phantoms earned a 5-0 shutout of the Sound Tigers in Bridgeport back on February 13. All told, Lehigh Valley has outscored the Sound Tigers 22-10 in the season series while Phantoms’ defenseman T.J. Brennan enters the weekend leading all scorers in the season set with seven points (7 assists).
A limited number of tickets remain for Friday’s game in downtown Allentown and are available HERE.
Lehigh Valley then completes the back end of its home-and-home series with the Sound Tigers with a 7:30 p.m. showdown at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Saturday.
The Phantoms then return to PPL Center on Sunday, March 11 when they cap this week’s action with a 5:05 p.m. clash against the Binghamton Devils. Binghamton (19-30-6-3, 47 pts., 0.405 pts. pct., 6th North Division) won two of four games during a busy week last week and enters this week having claimed six of its last nine outings overall. The Devils opened last week with a 4-1 win at the Belleville Senators on Tuesday and closed the week with a convincing 7-2 triumph over the Utica Comets. In between, Binghamton was handed a 3-2 setback at the Syracuse Crunch on Friday before falling in a 4-0 decision at Lehigh Valley on Saturday.
Sunday’s game will be the sixth and final meeting this season between the Phantoms and Devils with Lehigh Valley having claimed four of the first five head-to-head showdowns. The Phantoms are 1-1 against Binghamton in games at PPL Center and claimed the most recent collision with a 4-0 victory over the Devils last Saturday evening. Lehigh Valley’s Phil Varone currently leads all scorers in the season series with seven points (goal, six assists).
Sunday’s game is Sunday FunDay and features a Phantoms Pail & Shovel Giveaway presented by PALCS free to the first 2,000 kids 14 and under in attendance. A limited number of tickets remain for Sunday’s game and are available HERE.
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Forward Phil Varone enters the week leading all Phantoms and remains first among all AHL skaters in scoring with 57 total points (18 goals, 39 assists). With 18 goals, he’s now matched his career-high for goals in a single season and is now just three points shy of matching his personal-best for points in a single campaign.
- Forward Greg Carey enters the week leading all Phantoms and tied for sixth among all AHLers with 23 goals scored this season. Second among all Lehigh Valley skaters in total scoring with 43 points, Carey also leads all Phantoms with 148 shots on goal and is tied for the team lead with six power play conversions.
- Forward Mike Vecchione (right) enters the week tied for 11th among all AHL rookies in total scoring with 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists). The Union college product is currently fifth among all Phantoms with 21 assists and sixth in total scoring.
- Defenseman T.J. Brennan enters the week tied for second among all AHL blueliners with 12 goals scored and fourth among AHL defenders in total scoring with 39 points.
- Lehigh Valley is 35-1-2-1 when scoring three or more goals this season and is 32-4-1-3 when allowing three goals against or fewer.
- The Phantoms enter the week as the highest-scoring team in the AHL averaging an impressive 3.53 goals per game. Over the team’s last 13 games (11-1-1), Lehigh Valley has outscored its opposition 56-25.
- The Phantoms are 20-5-3-2 at PPL Center this season and have outscored their opposition 114-87 in 30 games in downtown Allentown. What’s more, the Phantoms have now garnered standings points in 12 straight home games (10-0-2).
Friday, March 2: Hershey Bears 6 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 7
Nic Aube-Kubel tallied two goals and an assist while Danick Martel added a goal and two assists as the Phantoms erased a 5-1 deficit in earning a thrilling, come-from-behind 7-6 triumph over the rival Hershey Bears in front of 7,835 fans inside PPL Center. Chris Conner (14th), Mike Vecchione (14th), Cole Bardreau (5th) and Phil Myers (4th) rounded out the scoring for Lehigh Valley as the Phantoms ran their home point streak to 11 consecutive games (9-0-2).
Goaltenders John Muse and Dustin Tokarski combined for 24 saves between the pipes as Lehigh Valley earned its fifth straight win against the Bears. With Friday’s victory, the Phantoms claimed all six rivalry showdowns against Hershey at PPL Center while outscoring the Bears 33-16 in downtown Allentown.
Saturday, March 3: Binghamton Devils 0 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4
The Phantoms pumped in a pair of power play goals and went a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill as Dustin Tokarski (29 saves) backstopped Lehigh Valley to a 4-0 shutout over the Binghamton Devils in front of 8,757 fans inside PPL Center. Phil Varone (18th), Chris Conner (15th), Corban Knight (12th) and Mikhail Vorobyev (6th) provided the offense for Lehigh Valley as the team extended its home point streak to 12 straight games at PPL Center (10-0-2).
The shutout was Tokarski’s third of the season as the Phantoms skated in front of their 12th standing room-only sellout this year.
Sunday, March 4: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Hershey Bears 2 (SO)
Corban Knight (13th) and Mikahil Vorobyev (7th) both scored in regulation before they both converted again in the shootout in leading the Phantoms to a 3-2 triumph over the Hershey Bears inside Giant Center. Cole Bardreau added a pair of assists in the victory in front of goaltender John Muse who improved to 8-1 overall this season after turning aside 22 of Hershey’s 24 shots in regulation and overtime and another four of the Bears’ five shootout attempts.
Sunday’s game capped the regular season series between Lehigh Valley and Hershey as the Phantoms closed the year with an impressive 10-2 mark head-to-head against their in-state rivals.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live each of the Phantoms’ eight home games throughout the 2017-2018 regular season. 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, Todd Fedoruk, Doug Heater and Kristi Fulkerson! Pre-game coverage begins with “Phantoms Front and Center” 30 minutes before puck drop.
Be sure to also catch each and every Phantoms game this season live on 1470-AM WSAN, 790-AM WAEB or via the iHeartRadio app and Phantoms365 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 each and every Phantoms home game throughout the 2017-18 season are available online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the QNB Box Office [7th & Hamilton].