Canadian Sweep!

Phantoms Win 4th Straight, 2-1 Tuesday Triumph at Toronto

November 21, 2023

Toronto, ON – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms thrived in their week-long trip north of the border completing a sweep of all three teams they faced as they capped the stretch with a hard-earned 2-1 win at the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday night.

Olle Lycksell (11th) and Garrett Wilson (4th) scored for the Phantoms while Cal Petersen racked up 24 saves in a strong performance that included a handful of showstoppers and point-blank denials in picking up his second consecutive win while earning #1 Star of the Game honors. Kieffer Bellows (6th) pulled the Marlies to within a goal late in the game but the former Phantom’s tally was all the home team would get.

Lehigh Valley (8-6-2) has won four straight games, all on the road, beginning with a November 12 decision at the Hershey Bears that preceded wins at Laval. Belleville and Toronto in the team’s only games in Canada this season.

The defensive battle featured two goaltenders who were very much on top of their game. Rookie netminder Dennis Hildeby entered the game with a league-leading 1.41 goals-against average and showed how he achieved such strong numbers with 12 saves in a scoreless first period including three spectacular denials. He stopped Rhett Gardner on the doorstep on consecutive bang-bang tries and then also barely got a toe on Wade Allison’s breakaway effort. J.R. Avon rifled through a shot on the backdoor from the right of the cage but Hildeby scrambled over to make a diving glove save in probably his most impressive save of the period. By all rights, the Phantoms could have led 2-0 or 3-0 at the first intermission but, thanks to Hildeby, it was still 0-0.

The Phantoms special teams thrived in the second period with four consecutive penalty kills, including 52 seconds of 5-on-3 for Toronto. But players like Ronnie Attard, Cooper Marody, Brendan Furry and Tanner Laczynski were among those who came up with big steals or blocks to cause problems for Toronto.

Shortly after Lehigh Valley had thwarted three Toronto power plays it would finally be the Phantoms’ turn to go on the man-advantage. Some zippy passing eventually resulted in a back-door slam for Lycksell on the right of the cage after reigning AHL Player of the Week, Tanner Laczynski. connected across the slot to his teammate in the right circle. Cooper Marody at the top of the right ring received the secondary assist on the play but Victory Mete and Samu Tuomaala were also pivotal in the quick puck movement for Lycksell’s team-leading 11th goal of the season. Lycksell moves into a tie for second in the AHL in goals.

The Phantoms worked through another strong and successful kill midway through the third period and, shortly thereafter, Mete connected with Wilson up the right wing who blasted a shot on the rush past Hildeby to double Lehigh Valley’s lead with 8:13 to go.

Toronto (8-5-2) made it interesting when Bellows bested his former team on a one-time blast from the right circle off a cross-ice feed from Joe Blandisi to get the Marlies on the board with 5:21 remaining. Then Toronto received its sixth power play of the game with 3:24 left which was shortly followed by a goalie pull for a 6-on-5 attack in the final minute. But the Phantoms killed it all to finish the win.

Petersen continued to come through with impressive denials in the clutch to preserve the one-goal lead.

This is the second time for Lehigh Valley to sweep a three-game through Canada. The Phantoms also pulled it off November 30 – December 2, 2018 with wins in the same order; at Laval, at Belleville, at Toronto.

Lehigh Valley is back at PPL Center for a big Thanksgiving Weekend homestand on Friday, November 24 and Saturday, November 25 with weekend promotions including SECTV Phantoms Ballcaps and Flyers Night with GRITTY plus postgame photos.


2nd 12:46 – LV, O. Lycksell (11) (T. Laczynski, C. Marody) (PP) (1-0)

3rd 11:47 – LV, G. Wilson (4) (V. Mete) (2-0)
3rd 14:39 – TOR – K. Bellows (6) (J. Blandisi, W. Villeneuve) (2-1)

LV 36 – TOR 25

LV 1/2, TOR 0/6

LV – C. Petersen (24/25) (W) (3-3-0)
TOR – D. Hildeby (32/34) (L) (3-2-1)

Lehigh Valley (8-6-2)
Toronto (8-5-2)


Friday, November 24 (7:05 p.m.) – Providence Bruins at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – SECTV Phantoms Ballcaps
Saturday, November 25 (7:05 p.m.) – Rochester Americans at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Flyers Night with GRITTY! Plus postgame photos with Phantoms players

Friday, December 1 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hartford Wolf Pack
Saturday, December 2 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hartford Wolf Pack
Sunday, December 3 (3:05 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Providence Bruins