Five Different Phantoms Score on Military Appreciation Night
December 6, 2017
Lehigh Valley, PA – Dustin Tokarski turned in a stellar 39-save performance and five different Lehigh Valley Phantoms found the back of the net Wednesday evening as the Phantoms used a total team effort in earning a 5-0 win over the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in front of a standing room-only sellout crowd of 8,592 fans inside PPL Center.
With the win, Lehigh Valley improved to 14-7-1-2 overall this season as the Phantoms increased their Atlantic Division-leading standings points total to 31. Lehigh Valley is now 3-1-1 on their current home stand with the finale of the six-game stretch in downtown Allentown set for this Friday, December 8 against the Hershey Bears. With Wednesday’s victory, the Phantoms improved to 7-3-1-1 at PPL Center this season.
Tokarski’s effort produced Lehigh Valley’s first shutout of the season as the 28-year-old netminder denied all 39 of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s shots, including 14 in the third period, en route to his sixth win of the season. The 39 denials marked a season-high for Tokarski who improved to 6-1-2 with Wednesday’s win.
Corban Knight (5th), Oskar Lindblom (5th), Tyrell Goulbourne (4th), Matt Read (3rd) and Mikhail Vorobyev (3rd) all found the back of the net in support of Tokarski. Knight and Read’s goals were part of multi-point efforts as they each tallied a goal and an assist while Goulbourne’s conversion was the club’s fourth shorthanded goal this season.
Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill also continued its exceptional play of late as the Phantoms thwarted all five of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s power play opportunities. With Wednesday’s result, Lehigh Valley hasn’t allowed a power play goal in each of its last five straight outings and has now successfully killed 20 consecutive man-advantage opportunities.
Wednesday’s game was skated in front of a raucous crowd of 8,592 patriotic fans as the Phantoms enjoyed their second straight standing room-only sellout following a packed house last Saturday for the club’s annual Teddy Bear Toss. Wednesday’s tilt not only marked the fourth capacity crowd this season but it’s the team’s 66th regular season standing room-only sellout since PPL Center opened its doors in the Fall of 2014.
The Phantoms are now 2-2-1 against the Penguins this season and have garnered five of a possible six standings points (2-0-1) in three head-to-head meetings at PPL Center.
The Phantoms opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period when a relentless forecheck resulted in a centering pass from behind the net by Read that connected in stride with Vorobyev who made no mistake in driving home his third goal of the season. Read and Mark Friedman assisted on the even-strength strike netted 12:17 into the opening period, which marked the third straight game and 11th time overall this season Lehigh Valley has opened the scoring.
The Phantoms doubled their lead less than a minute later when a Penguins giveaway in their defensive zone produced a loose puck on the left wing that was promptly pounced on by Knight who quickly snapped home his fifth goal of the year. The unassisted, five-on-five tally came 13:10 into the first frame as Knight converted for the third straight game and fourth time over his last seven outings.
Lehigh Valley capped its impressive three-goal opening frame with just under three minutes left in the period when a two-on-one between Knight and Lindblom resulted in Lindblom’s fifth goal of the season. Knight garnered the only assist on the even-strength strike netted 17:01 into the opening period as the 27-year-old center collected his ninth point (4 goals, 5 assists) over his last seven games.
The Phantoms then extended their lead to a 4-0 advantage with the only goal of the second period when, while shorthanded, Goulbourne sprung free on a left wing breakaway before snapping his fourth goal of the year into the upper right-hand corner of the goal. Adam Comrie grabbed the only assist on the shorthanded marker buried 3:28 into the middle stanza.
Lehigh Valley then landed the final conversion of the night 13:36 into the third period when a heads-up pass by Maxim Lamarche found Read in the slot who deftly finished off his third goal of the season and second in as many games. Phil Varone earned the secondary assist as the Phantoms sealed their 14th win of the season.
The Phantoms conclude their season-high six-game home stand this Friday, December 8 when they welcome the rival Hershey Bears back to PPL Center. Friday’s game features a Youth Winter Hat Giveaway to the first 2,000 kids 14 and under in attendance presented by PPL Corporation. A limited number of tickets remain for Friday’s game and can be purchased online HERE.