March 27, 2018
Friday, March 30 (7:05 p.m.) – Providence Bruins @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Spring Break Night.)
Saturday, March 31 (7:05 p.m.) – Belleville Senators @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Fan Appreciation Night. T-Shirt Giveaway to First 6,500 Fans in Attendance.)
With points in six of their last seven games (4-1-2) and wins in 15 of their last 21 outings overall (15-3-3), the red-hot Lehigh Valley Phantoms (42-17-4-5, 93 pts., 0.684 pts. pct., 1st Atlantic Division) return to action with a pair of highly-anticipated showdowns at PPL Center this weekend. The Phantoms became the Atlantic Division’s first team to secure a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs last Friday with a 5-4 overtime decision at the Providence Bruins. This will be Lehigh Valley’s second straight postseason appearance and the Phantoms’ 12th in franchise history.
The Phantoms return to action this Friday, March 30 when the team welcomes the Bruins back to PPL Center for the final time this season. Providence (40-21-3-2, 85 pts., 0.644 pts. pct., 2nd Atlantic Division) won both games last weekend and enters the week having claimed three straight outings and four of the club’s last five tilts overall. The Bruins took both ends of their weekend series with Lehigh Valley earning a 5-4 overtime triumph on Friday before securing a 6-1 regulation victory on Saturday.
This Friday’s game will be the fifth of six total meetings during the 2017-18 regular season between the Phantoms and Bruins with Lehigh Valley having posted a 2-1-1 mark in four prior head-to-head collisions. Home-ice advantage has played a big part in the season series to date with the Phantoms having claimed both tilts at PPL Center (3-2 on January 24, 3-0 on March 17) while Providence earned a pair of victories at the Dunkin Donuts Center last weekend. Bruins forward Kenny Agostino currently leads all scorers in the season series with six points (goal, 5 assists) through the first four meetings.
Fans are encouraged to break out their flip flops and sunglasses as we celebrate Spring Break Night on Friday. Only a limited number of tickets remain for Friday’s highly-anticipated game and are available HERE.
Then, on Saturday, March 31, Lehigh Valley hosts the Belleville Senators, AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, in downtown Allentown for the first and only time this season. Belleville (26-37-2-3, 57 pts., 0.419 pts. pct., T-5th North Division) won two of three games last weekend and enters this week having notched wins in four of its last six outings. After a 4-2 setback to the Toronto Marlies last Friday, the Senators responded with a 4-2 triumph in Toronto the following evening before wrapping up the week with a convincing 8-2 victory over the Laval Rocket.
Saturday’s meeting will mark the second and final get-together this season between the Phantoms and Senators after Belleville earned a 6-2 win over Lehigh Valley back on November 15 at Yardmen Arena in the only prior meeting.
Saturday’s game at PPL Center is Fan Appreciation Night as we celebrate the best fans in all of hockey. This year’s Fan Appreciation Night features a T-Shirt Giveaway to the first 6,500 fans in attendance followed by a Post-Game Jersey Auction featuring the game-worn Color Rush jerseys. Only a limited number of tickets remain for Saturday’s game and are available HERE.
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Forward Phil Varone continues to lead all Phantoms and all AHL skaters in total scoring with 64 total points (21 goals, 44 assists). He’s now established new career highs in goals (21), assists (44) and points (65) and has registered at least one point in 44 of 67 games this year.
- Forward Greg Carey (right) enters the week leading all Phantoms and is third among all AHLers with 28 goals scored this season. He’s now matched the 28 markers he netted a year ago. Carey enters the week having compiled 56 goals across 139 games since coming to Lehigh Valley last season.
- Forward Danick Martel set a new career high when he netted his 23rd goal of the season in last Friday’s 5-4 overtime decision at the Providence Bruins. Martel has now compiled three straight 20-goal campaigns and has produced an impressive 66 conversions across 192 career games with Lehigh Valley.
- Defenseman T.J. Brennan enters the week as one of just five AHL blueliners to have tallied 40 or more points this season. The five-time All-Star enters the week tied for fourth among all defenders having notched 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) across 56 games this year.
- Lehigh Valley is 39-1-2-1 when scoring three or more goals this season and is 36-5-1-3 when allowing three goals against or fewer.
- The Phantoms enter the week as the highest-scoring team in the AHL averaging an impressive 3.49 goals per game. Over the team’s last 18 games (15-3-3), Lehigh Valley has outscored its opposition 81-47. The Phantoms lead all AHL clubs having tallied an impressive 237 total goals this year.
- The Phantoms are 23-6-3-2 at PPL Center this season and have outscored their opposition 127-93 in 34 games in downtown Allentown. What’s more, Lehigh Valley has collected standings points in 15 of its last 16 home games having produced an impressive 13-1-2 mark at PPL Center since January 13.
Friday, March 23: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4 – Providence Bruins 5 (OT)
The Phantoms became the first team in the Atlantic Division to clinch a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs when they secured a critical standings point in a 5-4 overtime decision at the Providence Bruins. Phil Varone (21st) scored with less than three minutes remaining in regulation to force the extra period as Lehigh Valley extended its point streak to six consecutive games (4-0-2). Greg Carey (28th), Danick Martel (23rd) and Corban Knight (14th) rounded out the scoring for the Phantoms in front of goaltender Dustin Tokarski who turned in a strong 29-save performance as he moved to 6-2-2 over his last 10 appearances.
This will mark Lehigh Valley’s second straight postseason appearance and the 12th playoff appearance in Phantoms franchise history.
Saturday, March 24: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Providence Bruins 6
Anthony Stolarz made his highly-anticipated return between the pipes and denied 29 of 35 shots as the Phantoms were handed a 6-1 setback in the back end of their weekend series at the Providence Bruins. The start for Stolarz was his first with the Phantoms since April 12, 2017. Phil Myers (5th) netted Lehigh Valley’s lone conversion as he continued his impressive rookie campaign by securing his 21st point overall (5 goals, 16 assists).
With Saturday’s outcome, the Phantoms moved to 2-1-1 in four meetings with the Bruins this season.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live each of the Phantoms’ four 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].