PREVIEW: Phantoms at Comets, Game #29

Friday, December 30 at 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (14-11-3) at Utica Comets (12-9-5)
Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, NY

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms play their final away game of the 2022 calendar year with a road trip to the Utica Comets, AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils.
Lehigh Valley (14-11-3) is making its lone trip to Utica and the two teams are meeting for the first of two encounters this season. The Phantoms have won two straight and are 12-6-2 in their last 20 games since November 5. Utica (12-9-5) is on a five-game point streak (4-0-1) but had a four-game win streak snapped on Wednesday in a 5-4 overtime loss at Rochester.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Phantoms 6 – Islanders 5 (SO)
Cal O’Reilly capped the highest-scoring game of the year with a shootout winner in the sixth round as the Phantoms emerged victorious in a wild, see-saw game against Bridgeport before a rocking crowd at PPL Center in the first game back from the Holiday Break. Lehigh Valley trailed 2-1 and 3-2 before taking a 5-3 lead in the third period with Cooper Marody striking for a pair of goals. Zayde Wisdom scored his first and Elliot Desnoyers knocked in his team-leading 12th of the season. Adam Brooks scored his third. Former Phantom Andy Andreoff tied the game with 48 seconds left in the third period but was denied by Nolan Maier in the sixth round of the shootout to end the game.

Dec 28 – Delete Olle Lycksell (F) – Recalled to Philadelphia (NHL)
Dec 29 – Add Max Willman (F) – Loaned to Lehigh Valley from Philadelphia

Sam Ersson picked up his first career NHL win in the Flyers come-from-behind 4-3 overtime triumph at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
Ersson has had a tremendous bounce-back campaign after an injury-plagued first season in North America in which he played in only five games. He has gone 9-8-1, 2.72, .910 with Lehigh Valley this year including 9-4-0, 2.52, .915 since November 5.
Other goaltenders to make the jump from Lehigh Valley to debut with Philadelphia include Rob Zepp, Anthony Stolarz, Alex Lyon, Carter Hart, and Felix Sandstrom.

Max Willman has been returned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms where he has scored two goals with two assists in 11 games this season. The Barnstable, MA native has also played in nine games with the Flyers this year but, more recently, has been out with an injury and has not played since December 13. Willman’s last game with the Phantoms was on November 12.

– Artem Anisimov has seven goals in the last eight games including a pair of three-game goal streaks. The 13-year NHL veteran already has 10 goals with the Phantoms in just 13 games.
– Elliot Desnoyers is tied for second among AHL rookies with 12 goals and also leads the Phantoms in lamplighters
– Lehigh Valley’s power play is fifth in the AHL at 25.3%.
– The Phantoms are….
11-4-2 when scoring 3 or more goals
10-2-1 when allowing 2 goals or fewer
11-3-3 in one-goal games
9-1-3 when scoring the first goal
9-0-3 when leading after two periods
3-2 in overtime and 2-1 in shootouts

Utica (12-9-5) has pushed past a shaky 2-4-1 start to rise to fourth in the North Division on the strength of a five-game point streak and a 10-5-4 record since November 5.
Utica rallied from a 4-0 deficit at Rochester on Wednesday but fell in overtime 5-4.
Graeme Clarke (10-13-23) leads the Comets and is the reigning AHL Player of the Week while riding a 10-game point streak. Second in scoring is Nolan Stevens (8-10-18) who is the son of former Philadelphia Phantoms captain and head coach (and also former Flyers head coach) John Stevens. Goaltender Akira Schmid is back from New Jersey. The Comets were tops in the Eastern Conference in 2021-22 with a record of 42-20-9 but bowed out to Laval in the playoffs.
The Phantoms also played their final away game of 2021 in Utica posting an incredible New Year’s Eve comeback in which the Phantoms rallied from 4-0 and 5-1 deficits to post an incredible 6-5 overtime win. Hayden Hodgson scored twice in the third period and then assisted on Cal O’Reilly’s overtime winner.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Tyson Foerster 8-11-19
x Olle Lycksell 5-13-18
Elliot Desnoyers 12-6-18
Artem Anisimov 10-4-14
Garrett Wilson 5-8-13
Ronnie Attard 4-8-12

Utica Scoring Leaders
Graeme Clarke 10-13-23
Nolan Stevens 8-10-18
Brian Pinho 8-10-18
Reilly Walsh 3-13-16
Nolan Foote 10-4-14

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Lehigh Valley Power Play – 25.3%, 5th
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 72.6%, 30th
Utica Power Play – 22.0%, 12th
Utica Penalty Kill – 74.7%, 27th

The Phantoms return to PPL Center on Saturday night for an exciting New Year’s Eve game presented by Penn Community Bank when Lehigh Valley hosts the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Stay after the game for the New Year’s party and WORLD’S LARGEST PUCK DROP on Hamilton Street to ring in 2023!


Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Friday, December 30 (7:05) at Utica Comets
Saturday, December 31 (7:05) vs. WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS

Friday, January 6 (7:05) at Rochester Americans
Saturday, January 7 (4:00) at Toronto Marlies


Saturday, December 31 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – New Year’s Eve Celebration presented by Penn Community Bank. Including festivities and great fun on Hamilton Street right after the game right with the World’s Largest Puck-Drop to ring in 2023!

Friday, January 13 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders – Berks Dollar Dog Night

Saturday, January 14 (7:05) vs. Syracuse Crunch – Valley Youth House Night Presented by Air Products – Toilet Paper Drive with great prizes





Broadcast coverage of all Phantoms games with Bob Rotruck is available on the Phantoms 365 app and on Real Oldies 1470-AM in Allentown. Also available on the Listen Live button at
Fans can also watch the games on or can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.”