Sam Ersson Spectacular in First Pro Win in North America
November 5, 2022
Laval, PQ – Cal O’Reilly fed Cam York in the right circle for a big one-timer to put the Phantoms in the winners circle in a 3-2 overtime thriller at the Laval Rocket on Saturday afternoon. York’s power-play goal with 2:16 remaining in the overtime put a capper to a thrilling game that was full of great scoring chances and fantastic saves.
Sam Ersson turned in a 35-save performance for his first career pro win in North America. And he earned it. Ersson made several spectacular stops including on some point-blank chances for the Rocket attack.
Kevin Poulin in the Rocket net was no slouch either. He kept the Rocket in the game, especially in the first period, with some highlight reel-caliber saves. Max Willman and Garrett Wilson, and then Wilson again, were all denied on breakaway chances.
O’Reilly opened the scoring with his power-play goal with 8:06 remaining in the first period on a nice set up across by Tyson Foerster. York also assisted on the play.
The Rocket finally broke through with 3:48 remaining in the second period with Peter Abbandonato’s goal from the left circle after he received the back from Anthony Richard stationed beneath the goal line.
The tie game barely lasted more than one-and-a-half minutes as Jackson Cates sent Zayde Wisdom zipping up the right wing. Wisdom saw Olle Lycksell on the other side and waited for the perfect moment to flip the puck across for the slam dunk tally with 2:12 remaining in the second period to put the Phantoms back ahead 2-1.
Laval came on stronger than ever in the third period but Ersson and the defense in front of him were there for the challenge. The Rocket finally succeeded on Richard’s breakaway goal on a lead pass by Danick Martel. The tying tally with 6:22 remaining in the third period came on a backhand chip between the legs of Ersson.
The Rocket had a big chance to take the lead, or even win the game, when they had a power play with just 2:59 remaining in the third but Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill unit came up with a big-time clutch stop to push the game to overtime.
York ended the game on his power-play one-timer from the right circle and then signaled to his teammates to race off the ice with him to celebrate the win back in the room. Both of York’s goals this season have come on the power play. This was the first overtime goal of his career and the second overtime win of the season for the Phantoms.
Olle Lycksell has a two-game goal streak.
Zayde Wisdom had three assists in the two games this weekend.
Phantoms captain Cal O’Reilly posted a two-point game and played in his 835th AHL game all-time to pass John Stevens for 32nd all-time in AHL history. Stevens was the first captain of the Philadelphia Phantoms in 1996 and was later head coach of the 2005 Calder Cup winning Phantoms team.
Forward Adam Barrett made his Phantoms debut. The Berks County native was acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers organization two weeks ago.
Defenseman Adam Karashik played in his first Phantoms game of the season after a brief conditioning loan to Reading of the ECHL.
Lehigh Valley returns to PPL Center on Friday, November 11 against the Springfield Thunderbirds and Saturday, November 12 against the Laval Rocket. Join us for our WFMZ-69 Coat Drive and Berks $1 Hot Dogs Night on November 11 followed by 90s Night and Saturday Night Hockey Live on November 12!
Phantoms individual game tickets are on sale now. Secure your seats for your favorite promotional nights and big rivalry matchups! PHANTOMS GAME TICKETS
1st 11:54 – LV C. O’Reilly (2) (T. Foerster, C. York) (PP) 1-0
2nd 16:12 – LAV P. Abbandonato (2) (A. Richard, M. Norlinder) 1-1
2nd 17:48 – LV O. Lycksell (2) (Z. Wisdom, J. Cates) 2-1
3rd 13:38 – LAV A. Richard (6) (D. Martel, P. Abbandonato) 2-2
OT 2:44 – LV C. York (2) (C. O’Reilly, T. Foerster) (PP) 3-2
LV 39 – LAV 37
LV 2/3, LAV 0/2
LV – S. Ersson (W) (1-4-1) (35/37)
LAV – K. Poulin (OTL) (0-3-1) (36/39)
Lehigh Valley (3-5-1)
Saturday, November 5 (3:00) at Laval Rocket
Friday, November 11 (7:05) vs. Springfield Thunderbirds – WFMZ-69 Coat Drive. Berks $1 Hot Dogs Night
Saturday, November 12 (7:05) vs. Laval Rocket – 90’s Night! Saturday Night Hockey Live
Friday, November 18 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Saturday, November 19 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Sunday, November 20 (3:05) at Springfield Thunderbirds