Jason Akeson Just Four Away From Joining Phantoms 200-Point Club

February 7, 2015

Binghamton, NY – With their opponents on the ropes late in the third attempting to protect a precarious one-goal lead, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms were simply unable to obtain a dramatic equalizer. Host Binghamton converted on a pair of late empty-netters on their way to a deceptive 4-1 final margin.

The Senators scrambles, dove and blocked their way through much of the third period in ultimately successful efforts to protect their lead as well as winning goalie Peter Mannino.

Goaltender Rob Zepp played well for the first two periods for Lehigh Valley but left the game with an apparent injury early in the third on a hard collision with Binghamton’s Matt Puempel who was shoved from behind by Phantoms defenseman Steven Delisle. Anthony Stolarz did not allow a goal the rest of the way on the five shots he faced.

For the second game in a row, Jason Akeson staked Lehigh Valley to an early 1-0 lead. He converted for his 11th of the season at 5:08 into the game on a chip in the crease to an empty-net. Mannino coming to his right was unable to cover a Taylor Leier shot from the left-wing and Andrew Gordon was right there for the rebound and centering pass to Akeson who extended his goal-scoring streak to three games equaling his longest of the season.

Akeson is now all alone for eighth all-time in Phantoms’ history in goals scored with his 69th passing Craig Darby and Jared Ross who had 68 lamplighters in their careers with the team. With his 196th career point in a Phantoms’ sweater, Akeson is now four away from joining just four other players in the Phantoms 200-Point Club (Peter White, Mark Greig, John Slaney, Kirby Law).

The Phantoms lead would be short-lived however. Just 42 seconds later, Shane Prince would strike after an Alex Grant slapper from the point would create an opportunity. The team-leading 16th of the year for Prince at 5:50 evened the score at 1-1.

The bad blood with the Phantoms and Senators got started fairly early. The first of three total fights in the contest featured Derek Mathers and Guillaume Lepine squaring off for the second time this year. Mathers would later drop the gloves with Darren Kramer in the second period. And Austin Fyten had a good bout with Max McCormick.

Late in the second period, Nick Cousins narrowly missed breaking the 1-1 deadlock but his right-wing drive off Mannino back out to him provided a fairly narrow angle behind the out-of-position Senators’ goalie and Cousins missed wide. Binghamton jumped on the opportunity and turned that into a 2-on-1 back the other way with Shane Prince muscling a backhander from the right circle to Cole Schneider in the slot who converted on his 14th of the season past Zepp.

After Stolarz replaced the injured Zepp in the third period, the Phantoms were able to put together several good entries into the B-Sens zone. But one block after another hampered Lehigh Valley’s comeback efforts.

Having pulled Stolarz with two minutes remaining, Carter Camper lifted a backhander from the red-line right between both benches that somehow landed perfectly into the empty-net with 1:48 left. The somewhat fortunate tally to make it 3-1 denied the Phantoms over 100 seconds of potential continued pressure in the Binghamton zone just when they seemed to have the Senators at their breaking point. Buddy Robinson would tack on another empty-net lamplighter 30 seconds later to provide the 4-1 final.

Lehigh Valley is 3-3 against the Senators this year. This game was the fourth of five visits to the Southern Tier for the Phantoms who make one final trek to Binghamton on April 2. Binghamton outshot the Phantoms 32-30. Lehigh Valley was 0-for-5 on the power play while Binghamton went 0-for-3.

The Phantoms conclude the weekend with a Sunday evening matchup in ChocolateTown with the first-place Hershey Bears who are on a nine-game point streak (8-0-1). Game-Time at Giant Center is 5:00 PM. Be sure to catch all the action on Fox 1470 AM, online at fox1470.com or via the iHeartRadio app beginning with the Nazareth Pallet Countdown to Faceoff on Saturday night at 4:20 PM.

Lehigh Valley returns to downtown Allentown on Friday, February 13th when the Senators invade PPL Center on Phantoms Cap Night featuring a FREE Phantoms hat for all fans in attendance. A limited number of tickets for the divisional showdown are available now at the Mealey’s Furntiure Box Office at PPL Center or by calling 610-347-TIXX (8499) or online at PPLCenter.com.

Check it out! Reserve your season tickets now for the 2015-2016 season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town call the Phantoms front office today at 610-224-GOAL (4625)!

Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 at Binghamton Senators 4 – Status: Final
Saturday, February 7, 2015 – Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena

Lehigh Valley 1 0 0 – 1
Binghamton 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Akeson 11 (Gordon, Leier), 5:08. 2, Binghamton, Prince 16 (Puempel, A. Grant), 5:50. Penalties-Mathers Lv (fighting), 9:59; Lepine Bng (fighting), 9:59; Greening Bng (goaltender interference), 12:02; Fyten Lv (interference), 15:11; Cousins Lv (slashing), 17:36.

2nd Period-3, Binghamton, Schneider 14 (Prince), 18:12. Penalties-McCormick Bng (interference), 3:25; Zepp Lv (delay of game – restricted area), 5:03; Johnson Bng (cross-checking), 5:58; Fyten Lv (fighting), 8:13; McCormick Bng (fighting), 8:13; Mathers Lv (fighting, game misconduct – third major/second fight), 17:15; Kramer Bng (fighting), 17:15.

3rd Period-4, Binghamton, Camper 6 (A. Grant), 18:12 (EN). 5, Binghamton, Robinson 8 (Claesson), 18:42 (SH EN). Penalties-Robinson Bng (goaltender interference), 8:02; D. Grant Bng (holding), 18:23; Cousins Lv (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:42.

Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 9-14-7-30. Binghamton 13-12-7-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 5; Binghamton 0 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Zepp 12-8-1 (25 shots-23 saves); Stolarz 6-10-0 (5 shots-5 saves). Binghamton, Mannino 2-4-0 (30 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (45), Tom Chmielewski (43).
Linesmen-John Grandt (98), Ryan Gibbons (75).

Upcoming Home Games:

Friday, February 13, 2015 Binghamton Senators vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(Phantoms Hat Giveaway! FREE Phantoms hat for all fans in attendance.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Binghamton Senators vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
($2 Beer Night! $2 beers from the time doors open until the start of the 2nd period. Available behind Section 108. Please drink responsibly.)

Friday, February 20, 2015 Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM

Saturday, February 21, 2015 Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(Legends Night! Frank “The Animal” Bialowas, one of the most feared players in Phantoms history, will be at the game. FREE Collector’s Edition Poster for all fans.)

In their 19th season of operation, the Phantoms are currently in the midst of their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms playing at the brand-new PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum before re-locating to Glens Falls, New York in 2009 where the team spent the next five seasons as the Adirondack Phantoms. A new era of Phantoms hockey began in the fall of 2014 when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms began play at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Through 18 incredibly successful campaigns, the Phantoms have captured two Calder Cup Championships (1998, 2005), two Conference Championships (1998, 2005), two Regular Season Titles (1996-97, 1997-98) and four Division Championships (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2003-04).