Phantoms Take Down Hershey 4-1
March 14, 2021
Hershey, PA – Tyson Foerster and Wade Allison both scored their first professional goals to help lead the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to a 4-1 win at the Hershey Bears on Sunday afternoon. Zane McIntyre turned in a sterling 32-save performance while Ryan Fitzgerald (5th) and Derrick Pouliot (2nd) both contributed a goal and an assist each.
The Phantoms improved to 7-2-2 and took over the top spot in the North Division. Lehigh Valley is 4-1-0 against the rival Bears this season which includes a 3-1-0 mark in Chocolate Town.
Wade Allison’s goal came in his pro debut and his first actual game in over a calendar year. The second-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2016 out of Western Michigan University had taken an injury this past January during Flyers training camp that required surgery on his ankle thus delaying the start of his pro career by a few additional weeks.
Hershey opened the scoring just 1:36 into the game on a quick wrister by Damian Riat (2nd) from the high slot that beat McIntyre high-glove for an early 1-0 lead. McIntyre would not be beaten for the rest of the night as he went on to make 32 consecutive saves.
The Phantoms responded quickly at the league’s top goaltender entering play. Tyson Foerster pushed one past the left skate of Zach Fucale to bury it on the backdoor of a 2-on-1 with David Kase at 2:18 into the first period on a play also assisted by Garrett Wilson who sent the two prospects off to the races.
Then it was the Phantoms’ power play that helped the visitors extend the lead as the team was on its way to a 2-for-7 performance with the man advantage.
Fitzgerald, from the right of the cage, had a nifty backhand flick across to Pouliot at the top of the left circle who unloaded his booming slapshot back across Fucale to go high-glove to the far post for a 2-1 lead at 8:30 into the game. Both of Pouliot’s goals this season have come against Hershey. Cal O’Reilly had fed the puck down low to Fitzgerald to begin the sequence thus earning his team-leading seventh helper of the season and his 491st career assist as the 34-year-old veteran captain continues his march toward the 500 assist milestone. He is on his way to becoming only the 10th player in AHL history to rack up 500 assists.
Lehigh Valley’s man-advantage struck again at the end of the period with a 5-on-3 conversion on a big blast by Logan Day in the high slot that caromed off the left shoulder of Fucale and then was immediately poked in from the left of the cage by Fitzgerald with just 4.9 seconds left in the frame. Pouliot also assisted on the play. It was Fitzgerald’s fifth goal of the season and his second on the power play.
The Phantoms extended their lead at 7:23 into the second period with Max Willman, in his first game back from injury, snagging a Hershey clearing attempt. He connected with Allison at the top of the left circle who wasted no time unleashing his big wrister to the far post and into the net for his historic first career professional goal.
McIntyre made several strong stops on the Hershey attack which racked up over 10 shots on goal in each of the three periods. He improved to 6-1-1 with the win.
The Phantoms return to PPL Center on Wednesday night taking on the Binghamton Devils at 7:05 p.m. After a Friday night game at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 7:00, the Phantoms will return to PPL Center next Sunday afternoon at 3:05 to host the Penguins. Tickets for all Phantoms home games are on sale to the general public and are available at PhantomsHockey.com or PPLCenter.com
1st 1:36 – HER, D. Riat (2) (B. Pietila, C. Schilling)
1st 2:18 – LV, T. Foerster (1) (D. Kase, G. Wilson)
1st 8:30 – LV, D. Pouliot (2) (R. Fitzgerald, C. O’Reilly)
2nd 7:23 – LV, W. Allison (1) (M. Willman)
HER – Zach Fucale (16/20) (3-1-0)
LV – Zane McIntyre (32/33) (6-1-1)
HER 33 – LV 20
HER 0/4, LV 2/7
HER (7-3-2), LV (7-2-2)