February 11, 2022
It’s a GAMEDAY at PPL Center presented by MassMutual as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms play host to the Hershey Bears, AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals. It’s the beginning of the team’s big GO FOR GOLD weekend-long Olympics tribute with three games in a row at PPL Center. Lehigh Valley (15-17-8) has points in eight of it last ten home games (7-2-1). Hershey )23-13-6) is in second place in the Atlantic Division just percentage points behind first-place Hartford. The Bears are on a three-game point streak (2-0-1). Tonight is Game 2 of a six-game homestand for the Phantoms.
The Phantoms were shut out at home for the first time in over two seasons in a 5-0 setback againast the Belleville Senators. It was Lehigh Valley’s worst loss of the season and only the team’s second regulation loss at home in its last 10 games. Former Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Michael Del Zotto paced the B-Sens with one goal and two assists while Filip Gustavsson had 21 saves for his third career shutout. Lehigh Valley goalie Sam Ersson left the game in the third period due to an injury.
The Hershey Bears (23-13-6) are knocking on the door for first place in the Atlantic and trail Hartford by only a few percentage points. Lehigh Valley rallied in the last meeting for a 3-2 win on January 30 on Cal O’Reilly’s pair of shorthanded goals and Linus Sandin’s late game-winner. The Phantoms are 3-1-1 against Hershey entering Game 6 out of 14 in the rivalry series.
Hershey had a pair of 4-1 wins at Cleveland last weekend. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby leads active Hershey skaters with 13-16-29. Popular Phantoms’ alum Mike Vecchione has 10 goals including 7 in the last 12 games. Vecchione initially had been credited with a two-goal game at PPL Center on January 30 but a late scoring decision determined he did not tip on of the shots and thus he actually only had one goal in that contest.
News and Notes:
– Lehigh Valley has gone 12-6-3 in its last 21 games after a beginning that saw just three wins in the first 19 games at 3-11-5.
– Adam Clendening is projected to play his 500th pro game on Saturday.
– Hayden Hodgson scored three goals last weekend to take the team lead with 12. He has scored two goals in a game three times this season.
– Captain Cal O’Reilly leads the Phantosm with 28 points (9-19-28)
– Cal O’Reilly (3), Jackson Cates (2) and Max Willman (2) all have multiple shorthanded goals this season.
– The Phantoms have points in 8 of their last 10 home games (7-2-1)
– Lehigh Valley’s six-game homestand is their longest stretch of consecutive home games this season.
– 11 Phantoms players this season have also suited up for the Philadelphia Flyers: Wade Allison, Connor Bunnaman, Jackson Cates, Morgan Frost, Gerry Mayhew, Isaac Ratcliffe, Linus Sandin, Felix Sandstrom, Max Willman, Cam York, Egor Zamula
The Phantoms play three home games this weekend beginning Friday night against the Hershey Bears on GO FOR GOLD weekend.
Friday, February 11 vs. Hershey Bears (7:05) – GO FOR GOLD Weekend
Saturday, February 12 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – GO FOR GOLD Weekend, Saturday Night Hockey Live with “A Pair of Aardvarks”
Sunday, February 13 vs. Hershey Bears (2:05) – GO FOR GOLD Weekend
Saturday, February 19 vs. Utica Comets (7:05) – Hockey is For Everyone. Saturday Night Hockey Live with “Noah Gibney Trio”
Saturday, February 20 vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (3:05) – meLVin’s Birthday Celebration!
Wednesday, February 23 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7:05)
Friday, February 25 at Cleveland Monsters (7:00)
Saturday, February 26 at Cleveland Monsters (1:00)
Broadcast coverage of all Phantoms games, home and away, is available on the Phantoms 365 app and on 1470-WSAN. Fans can watch on AHLTV.com and can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.” Join Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck, for all the action!