Game Preview – Phantoms at Devils – Game #22

Lehigh Valley Phantoms (14-4-3) vs. Binghamton Devils (5-13-6)
Monday, April 26, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. – RWJHealth Hockey House, Newark, NJ

Tonight’s Game – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms look to finish a sweep of their three-game series against the Binghamton Devils after taking the weekend games by 4-2 and 3-2 scores. This is the 22nd game of the season for the Phantoms and their eighth against the Devils. Lehigh Valley is 6-0-2 against Binghamton. The Phantoms have points in seven of their last eight games for a 5-1-1 record.

Last Time Out –Felix Sandstrom turned in his finest performance of the year with a 37-save gem as the Phantoms hung on for a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Devils on Saturday night at PPL Center. Tyson Foerster (9th), Isaac Ratclife (1st) and Ralph Cuddemi (1st) provided the offense for the Phantoms in building a 3-0 lead. But the Devils clawed back into the game on goals by Aarne Talvitie and Grahme Clarke and then proceeded to out-shoot the Phantoms 18-4 in the third period. Egor Zamula had an assist and prevented two Devils goals with second period break-ups and blocks. Cal O’Reilly assisted on Foerster’s goal for his 497th career helper.

Cal’s March to 500 – Cal O’Reilly is knocking on the door to become only the 10th player in AHL history to record 500 assists. The AHL active’s scoring leader currently has 497 helpers including 13 this season. O’Reilly’s 625 career points rates 35th all-time in AHL history. He currently stands 19th in assists tied with former Milwaukee Admirals and Chicago Wolves great Darren Haydar and having passed Hershey Bears legend Chris Bourque (495). O’Reilly has a three-game point streak and also points in 5 of his last 6 games.

It’s a Foerster Fire! – Tyson Foerster has three goals in the last two games with a lamplighter on Saturday following another two-goal game on Friday night that marked his third multi-goal night in just the last five games. The 19-year-old rookie first-rounder also had two-goal games on March 31 against Hershey and on April 3 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in consecutive games. In Foerster’s last 11 games he has scored 9 goals with 4 assists for 13 points. He also has 7 goals in his last 6 games. Foerster also has two shootout goals on March 31 and April 3. He is the only rookie in the AHL to have scored twice in the shootout this season.

Back in Action – The Leigh Valley Phantoms were away from the ice for nine days due to COVID protocols and game postponements. The team did not practice nor were players able to skate during that time. The Phantoms resumed practices this past Monday in preparation for their first game in 16 days on Wednesday, April 21 after having not played a game since Monday, April 5 at Newark.
Lehigh Valley had five total games postponed during their layoff including three home games on April 10, April 11 and April 18.

Change of Plans – When the Phantoms return to Newark on Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. they will now play a full game against the Devils. Previously, the two teams were only going to play two periods and were planning to resume a suspended game from March 10. That game will not be continued but all stats from the game will count.

York is Here! – Big Ten Defenseman of the Year Cam York made his professional debut on Wednesday, April 21 against the Hershey Bears and shook off the rust as he played his first game in five weeks since the Big Ten tournament with the University of Michigan. York signed an NHL Entry-Level Contract with the Philadelphia Flyers and was officially added to the Phantoms roster on April 1. The southern California native from Anaheim Hills was captain of the USA team that won the Gold Medal at the 2021 World Juniors in Edmonton. York just completed his sophomore season at the University of Michigan and was a first-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Transactions –
Apr 25 – G Felix Sandstrom – Recalled to Flyers (Taxi)
Apr 25 – D Egor Zamula – Recalled to Flyers (Taxi)
Apr 25 – D Mason Millman – Loaned to Phantoms
Apr 25 – D Linus Hogberg – Loaned to Phantoms

McIntyre Thrives in The Valley – 28-year-old goalie Zane McIntyre is not only a new Daddy, he is also having a tremendously successful debut campaign with the Phantoms. McIntyre is 9-1-2 with a 2.18 goals-against avg. that rates 6th in the AHL and 3rd among currently active AHL goaltenders trailing only Zach Fucale of Hershey. His .926 save percentage is 4th best in the AHL. The former Mike Richter Award winner at the University of North Dakota has played in 196 career AHL games over six seasons. He spent his first four years with Providence in a stretch that also included an AHL All-Star Classic appearance at PPL Center in 2017.

The Series – The Phantoms are 6-0-2 against the Devils this season.
Wed Feb 10 @ BNG L 1-2 (OT) Brett Seney for Devils scores in OT
Sat Feb 20 @ LV W 3-0 Zane McIntyre 25-save shutout. 2 goals for Zayde Wisdom
Wed Feb 24 @ BNG W 5-4 (OT) Max Willman 2 goals including OT winner
Wed Mar 10 @ BNG 1-1 Game suspended after one period. Cal O’Reilly goal
Fri Mar 26 @ BNG W 3-2 Tanner Laczynski Hat Trick. Game-winning goal shorthanded breakaway in 3rd
Sat Mar 27 @ LV W 6-3 Ryan Fitzgerald 2 goals, Wade Allison and Tanner Laczynski each 1-2-3. Alex Lyon 22 saves
Mon Apr 5 @ BNG L 1-2 (SO) Linus Hogberg first pro goal. Zane McIntyre 27 saves on 28 shots
Fri Apr 23 @ BNG W 4-2 Tyson Foerster 2 goals, Andy Andreoff 2 goals. Phantoms season-high 40 shots
Sat Apr 24 @ LV W 3-2 Felix Sandstrom 37 saves. Foerster 9th goal. Ratcliffe and Cuddemi both 1st goals

Upcoming –
Wednesday, April 28, 7:00 – Phantoms at Penguins
Saturday, May 1, 7:05 – Devils at Phantoms (PPL Center)
Sunday, May 2, 3:00 – Phantoms at Bears

Winding Down – Just five home games remain in the 2021 regular season. With increased capacity at PPL Center, take advantage of your last opportunities to see the Phantoms before next season. Four of the remaining home dates are on the weekend. Lehigh Valley Phantoms home dates:
Saturday, May 1, 7:05 p.m. vs. Binghamton Devils
Wednesday, May 5, 7:05 p.m. vs. Hershey Bears
Sunday, May 9, 3:05 p.m. vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Mothers’ Day!)
Saturday, May 15, 7:05 p.m. vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Sunday, May 16, 3:05 p.m. vs. Binghamton Devils

Provident Bank Pennsylvania Cup 
Phantoms 8-4-1 = .654
Bears 9-5-2 = .625
Penguins 4-6-3 = .423

Pennsylvania Cup Upcoming:
Apr 25: Penguins 6 – Bears 3
Apr 28: Phantoms at Penguins
May 1: Bears at Penguins
May 2: Phantoms at Bears