Eight is Great. Blowout in Belleville

Attard and Laczynski Lead Offensive Explosion with Two Goals Each

November 18, 2023

Belleville, ON – Once the Phantoms started scoring they couldn’t stop. Nor did they want to. Lehigh Valley set a new team record for largest margin of victory as 15 players got their names on the scoresheet in an 8-1 rout at the Belleville Senators on Saturday night.

Ronnie Attard (2nd, 3rd) led the attack with two goals and one assist while Tanner Laczynski (3rd, 4th) added two more goals to his massive five-point weekend north of the border. Samu Tuomaala (3rd) had a goal and an assist and also is enjoying a five-goal weekend. Emil Andrae (1st), Wade Allison (2nd) and Cooper Marody (5th) all found the back of the net as well.

Rookie J.R. Avon enjoyed his return to his home area with a pair of solid assists. The Peterborough, Ontario native had a large turnout of friends and fans who traveled one hour over to Belleville for the game.

Lehigh Valley had previously won twice by a six-goal margin but had never won by seven. The night also established a franchise record for largest margin of road victory and fell just shy of the Philadelphia Phantoms overall record eight-goal win most recently accomplished in 1999.

More history in this one. Samu Tuomaala’s deflection at the net-front of a Ronnie Attard shot put the Phantoms ahead at 2-0 just 10 seconds into the second period. That tied the Lehigh Valley record for fastest goal in a period also achieved by Pascal Laberge at the Binghamton Devils three seasons ago.

Lehigh Valley (7-6-2) has won three straight and also scored eight goals in a game for the first time since a franchise-record 10 goals on April 7, 2019 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 10-6 win.

The game started innocently enough with a 0-0 deadlock through the first 19 minutes. But some zippy passing on the move into the Belleville zone eventually dragged goaltender Leevi Merilainen out of his crease to cover Tuomaala at the bottom of the right circle. But Tuomaala spotted an open Laczynski racing into the slot who buried his opportunity into a wide-open net for a 1-0 lead.

Tuomaala was right there in the very first moments of the second period to double that lead when he got a piece of an Attard blast from right point just 10 seconds into the frame for a 2-0 lead. That was the first of four goals in the second period for the Phantoms, also a season-high.

J.R. Avon hustled in behind the goal to take the puck away from Merilainen eventually getting up Marody with the chip upstairs out in front for a 3-0 lead.

Belleville got on the board on an Angue Crooshank drive from the right of the cage that was initially ruled to have gone off the crossbar but was confirmed to be in the goal on the video review.

The Sens had cut the lead to 3-1 but there was nothing to be concerned about for the Phantoms.

Emil Andrae rocketed a power-play drive off the underside of the crossbar to make it 4-1 and Tanner Laczynski dangled around the Belleville goalie on a partial breakaway with an impressive backhand stuff five-hole to make it a 5-1 game on a highlight-reel caliber goal to cap the massive four-goal stanza.

With 8:03 left, it was Attard scoring his first on a power-play one-timer from the left circle set up by Victor Mete and Avon that made it 6-1.

Wade Allison sprinted past the defense with 4:55 left and scored on a nifty forehand tuck around the left skate of relief goaltender Kevin Mandolese for a 7-1 lead on a play assisted by Garrett Wilson and Adam Karashik.

Then Attard capped the scoring, and his three-point performance, with a one-timer from the right circle with 2:50 left for an 8-1 lead on a goal assisted by Evan Polei and Jordy Bellerive.

The Phantoms swept the season series against Belleville by a combined 13-3 which included a 5-2 win at PPL Center during Opening Weekend on October 15. Belleville took a 2-0 lead inn the first meeting so, since that beginning, the Phantoms have outscored Belleville 13-1 in the dominating season series.

The Phantoms are perfect at 3-0-0 on their current road trip with wins at Hershey, Laval and Belleville. The final contest of the four-game road swing is Tuesday night at the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies.

The Phantoms return home next Friday and Saturday with a pair of Thanksgiving Weekend showdowns at PPL Center against the Providence Bruins and Rochester Americans with promotions including Phantoms Ballcaps from Service Electric, Flyers Night featuring GRITTY, and Postgame Photos with the Phantoms players.

1st 19:02 – LV, T. Laczynski (2) (S. Tuomaala, O. Lycksell) (1-0)

2nd 0:10 – LV, S. Tuomaala (3) (R. Attard) (2-0)
2nd 5:43 – LV, C. Marody (5) (B. Furry, J. Avon) (3-0)
2nd 6:39 – BEL, A. Crookshank (5) (C. Reinhardt, M. Gaunette) (3-1)
2nd 15:36 – LV, E. Amdrae (1) (C. Marody, O. Lycksell) (PP) (4-1)
2nd 17:27 – LV, T. LAczynski (4) (H. Grans) (5-1)

3rd 11:57 – LV, R. Attard (2) (V. Mete, J. Avon) (PP) (6-1)
3rd 15:05 – LV, W. Allison (2) (G. Wilson, A. Karashik) (7-1)
3rd 17:10 – LV, R. Attard (3) (E. Polei, J. Bellerive) (8-1)

LV 42 – BEL 33

LV 2/3, BEL 0/3

LV – P. Gahagen (W) (32/33) (4-3-1)
BEL – L. Merilainen (L) (19/24) (2-2-1)
BEL – K. Mandolese (ND) (15/18)

Lehigh Valley (8-7-2)
Belleville (6-7-1)

Saturday, November 18 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Belleville Senators
Tuesday, November 21 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Toronto Marlies

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