Lucky 7! Phantoms Sweep First-Place Springfield

Four Points for Wade Allison in 7-4 Win

March 19, 2022

Springfield, MA – On a night in which the team learned that two teammates had been traded, the Phantoms pulled together for a season-high seven-goal outburst in a 7-4 win at the Springfield Thunderbirds at Saturday night. Wade Allison led the way with two goals and two assists while Cal O’Reilly also had a two-goal game with one assist.

Lehigh Valley (22-25-10) pulled off the impressive weekend road sweep of the top team in the division having already won the first game of the series on Friday 3-1. It was the first time for the Phantoms to score seven goals in a game this season and Allison became the first Phantoms player this year to record four points in a game.

Isaac Ratcliffe (6th), Tanner Laczynski (4th) and Charlie Gerard (6th) also scored for the Phantoms while Springfield was led by NHL veteran James Neal (10th, 11th) who scored a pair of goals in the T-Birds’ comeback efforts.

Shortly before game-time, the team had learned that Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov had been traded to the Florida Panthers and Charlotte Checkers as part of the Claude Giroux deal.

Isaac Ratcliffe opened the scoring with the deflection of an Adam Clendening point-shot for a power-play goal in the first period and a 1-0 lead. Wade Allison also assisted on the play for the first of his four points.

Springfield (32-19-7) was limited to just four shots in the first period but the T-Birds’ offense came alive in the second frame with an 18-shot outburst as the pace significantly picked up.

Tanner Kaspick scored for Springfield just 3:20 into the second period to get the Thunderbirds on the board.

After the Phantoms weathered some significant pushes in Springfield’s efforts to take the lead, it was a pair of breakaway-rebound goals that would put Lehigh Valley back on top.

Wade Allison (5th) was sprung free on a breakaway on a lead pass by Cal O’Reilly. Initially denied off the left pad of Charlie Lindgren, Allison was able to quickly pounce on a second chance at the right dot that he buried past the scrambling goalie to put the Phantoms ahead 2-1.

A few minutes later, it was Laczynski’s turn to sneak behind the defense when Egor Zamula connected with him down ice. Laczynski was also initially denied by Lindgren and momentum carried him behind the goal. But somehow he was able to reach back in front behind of the net and lift a backhander over the stretched left pad of Lindgren for an impressive goal and a 3-1 lead.

James Neal for Springfield blasted a power-play one-timer from the right circle to cut the score to 3-2 going into the second intermission.

It was Cal O’Reilly’s time to shine in the third period. A Wade Allison shot from the left circle was blocked but rocketed over to O’Reilly in the right circle who was ready to pull the trigger for his first of the game and a 4-2 lead on the team’s second power-play strike just 33 seconds into the final period.

A few minutes later, Adam Johnson hustled in and deflected a Springfield pass along the end-boards. The tip pushed the puck to O’Reilly inside the left dot who picked the corner past Lindgren for a 5-2 lead at 6:25 into the third period.

Springfield pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and James Neal scored on a rebound off Sandstrom from over at the right dot again to cut the gap to 5-3 with 5:27 remaining.

Wade Allison scored an empty-netter with 3:43 left as he was being tripped up. That put the Phantoms ahead 6-3.

Charlie Gerard added another empty-net goal with 51 seconds left after Brennan Saulnier’s try up the left wing hit the post. The puck was quickly retrieved by Linus Sandin at the right boards who connected with Gerard in the slot for the one-timer.

Will Bitten for Springfield concluded the scoring with a late-game empty-netter. His goal with just 22 seconds left provided the 7-4 final count.

Cal O’Reilly moved into a tie for the team-lead in goals with Hayden Hodgson. O’Reilly also equaled his personal best for goals in a season which he initially set 15 years ago when he was a 20-year-old rookie with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2006-07 which was the only other time he has scored 18 goals in a season.

O’Reilly will play his 999th pro game on Wednesday night at the Hershey Bears and then his 1,000th pro game is scheduled for Friday night at the Laval Rocket as the Phantoms road-trip continues.

The Phantoms return to PP LCenter on Hockey Fiesta Weekend with home games on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Utica Comets.

1st 9:37 – LV, I. Ratcliffe (6) (A. Clendening, W. Allison) (PP) 1-0

2nd 3:20 – SPR, T. Kaspick (4) (T. Tucker, S. Santini) 1-1
2nd 11:12 – LV, W. Allison (5) (C. O’Reilly) 2-1
2nd 16:49 – LV, T. Laczynski (4) (E. Zamula) 3-1
2nd 18:29 – SPR, J. Neal (10) (S. Anas, C. Rosen) (PP) 3-2

3rd 0:33 – LV, C. O’Reilly (17) (W. Allison, E. Zamula) (PP) 4-2
3rd 6:25 – LV, C. O’Reilly (18) (A. Johnson) 5-2
3rd 14:33 – SPR, J. Neal (11) (M. Peca, N. Walker) 5-3
3rd 16:17 – LV, W. Allison (6) (A. Johnosn, E. Zamula) (EN) 6-3
3rd 19:09 – LV, C. Gerard (6) (L. Sandin, B. Saulnier) (EN) 7-3
3rd 19:36 – SPR, W. Bitten (10) (K. Washkurak, G. Luce) 7-4

LV 28 – SPR 39

LV 2/5, SPR 1/5

LV – F. Sandstrom (W) (12-14-3) (35/39)
SPR – C. Lindgren (L) (18-4-1) 21/26)

Lehigh Valley (22-25-10)
Springfield (32-19-7)