Phantoms Sweep Three-Game Weekend
April 4, 2022
Lehigh Valley, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms won three consecutive tightly played contests over the weekend including a pair of home victories rallying from behind on Friday and Saturday. The busy schedule continues with another huge rivalry showdown at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday followed by the team’s lone home game of this week against the Hershey Bears on Friday.
Lehigh Valley (25-27-11) has 13 games remaining in the regular season. The Phantoms trail the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by seven points for the Atlantic Division’s last playoff spot BUT the Phantoms have two games-in-hand on the Penguins and also have two head-to-head matchups remaining against their rivals.
Friday, April 1, 2022
Phantoms 4 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
Tanner Laczynski tied the game with a second-period breakaway conversion and Wade Allison rifled home the game-winner early in the third as the Phantoms pushed past the Penguins to open Hockey Fiesta weekend. Ryan MacKinnon’s first career AHL goal got “Los Fantasmas” on the board. Felix Sandstrom’s 29 saves were pivotal. Cal O’Reilly was honored in a pregame ceremony with his family joining him on the ice as the team recognized his 1,000th pro game milestone which he achieved on the team’s recent road-trip.
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Phantoms 3 – Utica Comets 2
Garrett Wilson scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the third, as the Phantoms rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the top team in the conference at PPL Center. Ryan MacKinnon scored for a second night in a row to tie the game and just 57 seconds later it was Wilson striking again for the winner with just barely over 11 minutes left. The Phantoms were outshot 17-4 in the first period but largely outplayed the Comets for the rest of the night. Felix Sandstrom had a magnificent 37-save performance including a gem with the left pad to rob Alex Holtz on the backdoor with just 1:10 remaining.
Sunday, April 3, 2022
Phantoms 4 – Bridgeport Islanders 3
Isaac Ratcliffe enjoyed his first-ever professional two-goal game in leading the Phantoms past the Islanders on Sunday afternoon in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ratcliffe deflected a Cal O’Reilly drive on the power play to score the winner with just 4:00 left. Ratcliffe’s goal in the second period was a power-play deflection as well and the Phantoms had three power-play goals for the first time this season. Adam Johnson and Logan Day also scored for the Phantoms. Pat Nagle turned aside 16 straight Islanders attempts to stymie their hot start and keep the game 0-0 while the Phantoms were still finding their legs. Lehigh Valley put together a 21-shot attack in the second period to set a new season-best for most shots in a period.
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 (7:00)
Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
The Phantoms have another key game in their push for a playoff spot when they head up the Northeast Extension to tangle with the Penguins. Lehigh Valley is seven points back of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (30-27-8) who occupies the last postseason position. The Phantoms have two games-in-hand on the Penguins. Lehigh Valley is 5-4-1 against the Pens who rebounded from their Friday loss at PPL Center to post a ridiculous 9-2 rout over Bridgeport on Saturday.
Friday, April 8, 2022 (7:05)
Phantoms vs. Hershey Bears (PPL Center)
The Hershey Bears (30-26-9) are still seeking their elusive 3,000th win in their AHL history after being swept at the Charlotte Checkers last Friday and Saturday. The slumping Bears have dropped four straight and seven of their last eight. But the Phantoms have recently had some struggles at Hershey’s arena at Giant Center including three straight losses in Chocolatetown in the month of March being outscored 10-1 combined. The Phantoms still lead the season series with a 5-4-1 record against Hershey and are 3-0-0 against the Bears at PPL Center. Lehigh Valley and Hershey will meet four times in April including three visits to PPL Center for the Chocolate and White. Cal O’Reilly has scored 4-9-13 against Hershey including three shorthanded goals. Beck Malenstyn has a pair of two-goal games against the Phantoms. Both teams’ power plays are very much struggling in the series: Hershey is 2/39 (5.1%) vs. the Phantoms while Lehigh Valley is just 3/34 (8.8%)
Sunday, April 10 (3:00)
Phantoms at Bridgeport Islanders
The Phantoms travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut for a second consecutive Sunday matinee. Bridgeport (27-27-10) has dropped two straight since seven-game point streak (6-0-1) briefly pulled them into the Atlantic’s last playoff spot. AHL veteran Chris Terry leads the B-Isles with 24-26-50. Phantoms’ alum Andy Andreoff is third on the team with 16-23-39 and popular former Phantom Cole Bardreau has scored 13-11-24 including three shorthanded goals. The Phantoms are 2-2-0 against Bridgeport after this past Sunday’s gutsy 4-3 win. Head coach Brent Thompson is the father of Buffalo Sabres’ first-rounder Tage Thompson and New Jersey Devils’ prospect Tyce Thompson.
Monday, April 11 (7:05)
Phantoms at Providence Bruins
Lehigh Valley’s road-trip continues with a stop in Rhode Island to tangle with the P-Bruins on a rare Monday night game that was caused from a January postponement. Providence (30-19-10) has dropped to third in the Atlantic with only two wins in its last 11 games. Troy Grosenick is the top goalie in the AHL with a 1.98 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. The P-Bruins’ defense is tops in the conference allowing 2.68 goals per game and their penalty kill is also best at 84.7%. Zach Senyshyn scored five goals against the Phantoms including a hat trick in November but he was traded by the Bruins to the Ottawa Senators’ organization. The Phantoms are 1-2-0 against Providence.
– Alex Kile (F) – Recalled from loan to Maine Mariners (ECHL)
– Brennan Saulnier (F) – Loaned to Reading (ECHL)
– Add Adam Karashik (D) – AHL Contract & PTO from Notre Dame
– Add Felix Sandstrom (G) – Returned from Philadelphia
– Max Willman (F) – Returned from Philadelphia
– Ryan MacKinnon scored his first career AHL goal on Friday and then converted on another big goal to tie the game in the third period on Saturday. The career defenseman had never played forward until he was pressed into emrgency duty at the new position in January due to roster depletion.
– Garrett Wilson has scored four goals, including three on the power play, in the last five games.
– Isaac Ratcliffe notched his first career multi-goal game on Sunday. After blocking a shot off his hand that required an ice-pack on the bench, Ratcliffe returned to the game and screen the goalie on Adam Johnson’s tip goal and then proceeded to score two of his own.
– The Phantoms power play struck for three man-advantage markers on Sunday and has gone 8/27 (29.6%) in the last seven games.
– The Phantoms had 21 shots in the second period on Sunday at Bridgeport to best their previous season-high of 20 shots in a period which they had done twice. Lately, they’ve been saving their best for last outscoring the opponents by a combined 6-2 in the third period in the team’s three-game win streak.
– The Phantoms have played 63 games and have 13 remaining in the 2021-22 regular season.
Team Scoring Leaders
Cal O’Reilly 18-26-44
Adam Clendening 5-30-35
Garrett Wilson 15-16-31
x – Hayden Hodgson 18-11-29
Egor Zamula 4-23-27
Isaac Ratcliffe 8-12-20
x – Morgan Frost 6-13-19
Linus Sandin 6-11-17
Wyatte Wylie 4-13-17
Pat Nagle 8-3-4, 2.63, .904
Kirill Ustimenko 1-3-2, 2.91, .900
Felix Sandstrom 14-16-3, 3.04, .899
Wednesday, April 6 (7:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Friday, April 8, (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears (PPL Center) – Postgame Skate! US Senior Open Night
Sunday, April 10 (3:00) at Bridgeport Islanders
Monday, April 11 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Wednesday, April 13 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears (PPL Center)
Friday, April 15 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders (PPL Center)
Saturday, April 16 (7:05) vs. Providence Bruins (PPL Center) – PRIDE NIGHT!
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 AHLTV.com 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.