Phantoms Power Play Presented by Provident Bank

Phantoms Close February on Road

February 22, 2022

Lehigh Valley, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms prepare for a three-game road swing to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Cleveland. The Phantoms are in the thick of the Atlantic Division playoff race with 31 games remaining in the regular season.

Weekly Recap
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Utica Comets 3 – Phantoms 2 (SO)
Kirill Ustimenko was terrific in a relief effort for the injured Felix Sandstrom turning aside 20 of 21 shots as the Phantoms earned a standings point against the conference-leading Utica Comets. Hayden Hodgson tied the game at 2-2 with less than 14:00 remaining in the third but the Comets eventually prevailed in the fourth round of the shootout.

Sunday, February 20, 2022
Springfield Thunderbirds 3 – Phantoms 1
Tanner Laczynski scored in just his second game of the season but the Phantoms were otherwise unable to breakthrough against Charlie Lindgren in a home setback to the first-place Springfield Thunderbirds. NHL veteran and three-time All Star James Neal broke a 1-1 tie in the third period and the T-Birds tacked on an empty-netter at the end.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 (7:05) – Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Lehigh Valley (17-19-9) heads up the Northeast Extension for a midweek showdown with the Penguins. The Phantoms trail Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by two points for the last playoff spot with one game-in-hand. The Phantoms are 3-4-1 against WBS entering Game 9 out of 12 in the season series. Lehigh Valley has gone 2-2-0 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre. Former Phantom Mark Friedman has joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a conditioning loan to potentially play his ex-team for a first time. The Penguins have clawed their way out of the Atlantic Division cellar but have only two wins in their last seven games. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has the lowest scoring offense in the AHL at just 2.54 goals per game.

Friday, February 25, 2022 (7:00) – Phantoms at Cleveland Monsters
Saturday, February 26, 2022 (1:00) – Phantoms at Cleveland Monsters

The Phantoms heads to the Buckeye State for a pair of games against the Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate. The Monsters are 2-1-0 since ending a nine-game losing skid on February 12. Cleveland (15-21-8) is stilll in last place in the North Division and is surrendering 3.5 goals per game which is second-worst in the conference only to Rochester. Leading scorer Brendan Gaunce (16-12-28) has gone up to Columbus. 21-year-old seventh-rounder Tyler Angle from the Windsor Spitfires has scored 7-18-25 including a winner at Utica to end their winless streak. Phantoms alum J-F Berube was pressed into duty in Columbus and picked up his first NHL win since 2018 in a 7-3 victory vs. Buffalo.
The Phantoms defeated Cleveland 4-2 at PPL Center on December 11 in the only matchup of the season so far. Adam Clendening broke a 2-2 tie in the third period against his former team.

Roster Additions:
Center Tanner Laczynski was actived from injured reserve by the Flyers and subsequently loaned to the Phantoms. He made his season debut on Saturday and scored a goal on Sunday. Laczynski had been recovering from hip surgery from last September.
Center Adam Johnson was acquired in a trade with the Ontario (Cal.) Reign in exchange for future considerations. The Minn-Duluth product played 185 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2017-20 and made his Phantoms’ debut on Sunday.
Goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos has signed a PTO (professional try out) contract and joins the Phantoms from the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL.

News and Notes:
– Lehigh Valley went 2-3-1 on its recent six-game homestand
– Lehigh Valley has gone 14-8-4 in its last 26 games after a beginning that saw just three wins in the first 19 games at 3-11-5.
– KILLING IT! The Phantoms’ penalty kill rates fifth in the AHL and second in the conference at 84.0%. The Phantoms have killed off 10 straight opposing power plays and are at an even stronger 88.4 % (61/69) in their last 23 games since December 18
– The Phantoms have played 45 games and have 31 remaining with barely more than two months to go in the 2021-2 regular season.
– Last week, Maksim Sushko became the 12th Phantoms player this season to play for the Flyers
– Alex Sakellaropoulos is the seventh goalie to appear on the Phantoms’ roster this year joining Felix Sandstrom, Sam Ersson, Kirill Ustimenko, Pat Nagle, Jon Gillies and Garrett Metcalf

Recent Transactions
Feb 17 – Add Adam Johnson (F), Trade with Ontario (AHL)
Feb 18 – Delete Brad Morrison (F), Loaned to Reading
Feb 18 – Delete Mason Millman (D), Reassigned to Reading
Feb 18 – Add Tanner Laczynski (F), Activated and Loaned by PHI
Feb 21 – Delete Kirill Ustimenko (G), Recalled by Philadelphia
Feb 22 – Add Alex Sakellarpoulos (G), Signed to PTO
Feb 22 – Delete Connor Bunnaman (F), Recalled by Philadelphia

Team Scoring Leaders
Cal O’Reilly 12-21-33
Adam Clendening 5-23-28
Hayden Hodgson 14-10-24
Garrett Wilson 11-12-23
x – Morgan Frost 5-13-18
Egor Zamula 3-15-18
x – Gerry Mayhew 9-7-16
Linus Sandin 6-8-14

Goaltending Leaders
Pat Nagle 7-0-3, 2.37, .911
Kirill Ustimenko 0-3-1, 2.66, .914
Felix Sandstrom 8-11-3, 3.05, .895
Garrett Metcalf 2-1-1, 3.48, .882

Upcoming Schedule:
Wednesday, February 23 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7:05)
Friday, February 25 at Cleveland Monsters (7:00)
Saturday, February 26 at Cleveland Monsters (1:00)
Wednesday, March 2 (7:05) vs. Providence Bruins (7:05)
Friday, March 4 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers (7:05) -25th Anniversary Weekend
Saturday, March 5 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers (7:05) – 25th Anniversary Weekend, Saturday Night Hockey Live

Tickets for upcoming Phantoms games available HERE

Broadcast coverage of all Phantoms games, home and away, is available on the Phantoms 365 app and on 1470-WSAN. Fans can watch on and can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.” Join Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck, for all the action!

Service Electric Network again provides exclusive television coverage of all Phantoms home games with veteran announcer Steve Degler and Phantoms’ alum Steven Swavely on the call from the booth. Kristi Fulkerson reports from ice level and also from the Chickie’s and Pete’s studio with Dan Fremuth for pregame, intermission and postgame show analysis.