Two Goals and One Assist in 3-1 Triumph
March 5, 2023
Lehigh Valley, PA – Adam Brooks (6th and 7th) factored in all three Phantoms goals in a third-period comeback against Brandon Bussi and the Providence Bruins in a 3-1 victory on Sunday evening at PPL Center. Bobby Brink (7th) also struck for Lehigh Valley (28-22-6) and Nolan Maier turned aside 25 Providence shots in improving to 3-1-2. Max Willman had two assists in the game and also played a role in the team’s first goal as well.
The Phantoms took down two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this weekend when then knocked off North Division first-place Toronto on Saturday and then Atlantic Division second-place Providence on Sunday. In so doing, the Phantoms moved back into a fourth-place tie with the Springfield Thunderbirds in a battle for a home-ice spot in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The excited and rambunctious crowd at PPL Center also delighted in the physicality and compete levels of both times in a game filled with playoff-level intensity. After the game, the fans lined up on the concourse to present their poster giveaways and congratulate their favorite players during the team’s postgame autograph session.
Lehigh Valley was largely the better team throughout but the Phantoms ran into a motivated goalie in rookie Brandon Bussi who thwarted shot after shot in preserving a scoreless deadlock through the first 40 minutes. On the other side, Nolan Maier was also exceptional in coming up with the big saves against Providence (32-13-10) when the Bruins were pushing.
Providence finally broke through early in the third period with a power-play goal by Justin Brazeau (15th) at 3:28 on the rebound of a Fabian Lysell shot.
But the determined Phantoms were ready to keep driving. Max Willman prevented the Bruins from clearing the zone and Adam Brooks found an open lane from behind the cage to connect with Bobby Brink at the net front whose point-blank shot was partly deflected by Bussi but still made it into the top of the goal at 5:17.
More hard work would get the Phantoms another goal at 11:48 into the third to take the lead for the time on the night. This time it was Willman winning the puck in the corner and finding Cooper Marody behind the cage who set up Adam Brooks in the left slot. Brooks blasted his first goal of the game through Bussi for a 2-1 lead.
Willman fired the puck all the way down ice from behind the Lehigh Valley blue line for an empty-net attempt that rang off the post but Brooks hustled in for the putback with a Bruins player trying to catch him behind. Brooks got just enough on the second try to nudge it home for an empty-net goal with 1:17 remaining and a 3-1 lead.
Ahead of the ensuing center faceoff, Garrett Wilson riled up the crowd once again when he dropped the gloves with Marc McLaughlin of Providence. The quick bout left a bloodied McLaughlin leaving the game while Wilson raised his hands to the electrified crowd beckoning for even more cheering.
Hayden Hodgson had connected on J.D. Greenway several times in an earlier fight in the second period. And the fans appreciated the various dust-ups throughout the evening which mostly resulted from various skirmishes in the crease and both teams wanting to protest their respective goaltenders.
Lehigh Valley’s victory represented the first time in the season for the home team to emerge victorious. The Phantoms went 4-1-1 against Providence this season and also have wins in three of their last four as well as points in four of their most recent five.
The Phantoms have 17 games remaining in the regular season with 11 of those games coming at PPL Center.
The Phantoms travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a Friday night rivalry matchup in PPL Center and then will return to PPL Center to open a five-game homestand on Saturday night against the Belleville Senators to begin Hockey Fiesta Weekend. The Phantoms will also host the Utica Comets on Sunday at 4:05 on meLVin Youth Jersey Day for the first 2,000 fans age 14 and younger.
3rd 3:28 – PRO, J. Brazeau (15) (F. Lysell, G. Merkulov) (PP) 0-1
3rd 5:17 – LV, B. Brink (7) (A. Brooks) 1-1
3rd 11:48 – LV, A. Brooks (7) (C. Marody, M. Willman) 2-1
3rd 18:43 – LV, A. Brooks (8) (M. Willman, L. Belpedio) (EN) 3-1
LV 38 – PRO 26
LV 0/4, PRO 1/2
LV – N. Maier (W) (3-1-2) (25/26)
PRO – B. Bussi (L) (16-4-4) (35/37)
Lehigh Valley (28-22-6)
Phantoms Tickets are available HERE
Friday, March 10 (7:00) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Saturday, March 11 (7:05) vs. BELLEVILLE SENATORS
Sunday, March 12 (4:05) vs. UTICA COMETS
Wednesday, March 15 (7:05) vs. HERSHEY BEARS
Saturday, March 11 (7:05) vs. Belleville Senators – Hockey Fiesta Weekend and Saturday Night Hockey Live
Sunday, March 12 (4:05) vs. Utica Comets – meLVin Youth Jersey Day (first 2,000 kids age 14 and younger) and Hockey Fiesta Weekend
Wednesday, March 15 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – Truist Night. Chamber of Commerce Night. $2 Pregame Happy Hour Beers
Friday, March 17 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – St. Patrick’s Day! Whiteout Night. $1 Hot Dogs
Sunday, March 19 (4:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Prospect Pack Trading Card Sets for First 5,000 Fans