Three Points Each for Laczynski and Tuomaala
November 17, 2023
Laval, Quebec – Aaaand…exhale. After a wild finish, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms can breathe again after a heartstopping 3-2 win at the Laval Rocket on Friday night. Olle Lycksell (9th, 10th) scored a pair of third-period goals while Tanner Laczynski and Samu Tuomaala both contributed three points apiece as the Phantoms hung on late for the exciting win.
Lehigh Valley held a 3-0 lead with under three minutes remaining but Rhett Gardner was assessed a five-minute major for charging that provided Laval the opportunity to make the ending significantly more interesting. The Rocket scored a pair of 6-on-4 goals to cut into the Phantoms’ margin but the clock ran out of them allowing to escape with the hard-earned W.
Lehigh Valley (6-6-2) has won two straight to open a stretch of four consecutive away games while Laval (5-8-1) had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Tanner Laczynski (2nd) registered a goal with two assists while Samu Tuomaala racked up three helpers to represent the second three-point effort of the season for the 20-year-old rookie. Lycksell’s two goals moves him into a tie for second in the AHL. Tuomaala is now tied for second among AHL rookies in assists with nine.
Cal Petersen was exceptional between the pipes with 24 saves including denials on three breakaways. It was Petersen’s first game back with the Phantoms since October 28 after a two-week stint with Philadelphia.
Lehigh Valley was on its heels in the first period but successfully thwarted three Laval power-play opportunities to preserve a 0-0 deadlock while being outshot 11-4 in the opening frame. Joshua Roy found the outside of the iron on Laval’s first power play but Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill abilities progressively improved from there while extending their streak of successful kills to 20 in a row before the Rocket finally broke through 6-on-4 style in the closing minutes.
The Phantoms took charge in a dominating second period. Even though Laval had two more power play chances in the frame, the Rocket were held to just one shot on goal as Lehigh Valley outshot the highest scoring team in the AHL by a 12-1 margin.
Eventually, the Phantoms found a way to break through with all the hard work eventually paying off with something of a lucky break and accidental goal. Tanner Laczynski’s power-play across across the slot hit off the skate of Laval defender William Trudeau who was covering Olle Lycksell in the middle. The friendly deflection bounded right through goaltender Jakub Dobes with 4:41 remaining to finally break the scoreless deadlock and give Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead.
Laval surged back in the third period with the first three shots of the frame including an early breakaway for Brandon Gignac that Petersen denied.
The Phantoms rushed back in with Tuomaala on the right boards smartly connecting with Laczynski in the high slot whose drive off the left pad of Dobes was right there for Lycksell to have a couple tries for the putback. His conversion at 2:59 into the third period doubled Lehigh Valley’s advantage to 2-0.
The Phantoms held onto that 2-0 lead until the closing minutes with the frenetic and chaotic finish. Laval pulled their goaltender with over four minutes to go and Lycksell nailed an empty-netter from behind the Phantoms blue-line with 3:49 remaining to seemingly salt the game away.
But looks can be deceiving. Garnder was assessed a five-minute major for clipping the goalie while Garrett Wilson and Wade Allison were both assessed misconducts for the rest of the game in the ensuing altercation. That provided Laval the opening to break through.
Gignac deflected a point shot upstairs with 2:#2 left for a 6-on-4 goal to get the Rocket on the board at 3-1.
Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill came through the rest of the way though with several big denials and blocks. Helge Grans, Tanner Laczynski and Adam Ginning all had key plays while precious time ticked away from the Rocket.
Eventually, Riley Kidney scored on the backdoor of a rebound to make it 3-2 but there were just 5.8 seconds remaining.
Laval got off one more chance in the closing seconds off the center faceoff win and the rebound out to Joel Armia bounced over his stick for the last play of the game as the Phantoms celebrated the hard-earned win.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are back in action Saturday night at the Belleville Senators and then conclude the road-trip on Tuesday at the Toronto Marlies.
The next home games for the Phantoms are next Friday and Saturday with a pair of Thanksgiving showdowns at PPL Center against the Providence Bruins and Rochester Americans with weekend promotions including Phantoms Ballcaps from Service Electric, Flyers Night featuring GRITTY, and Postgame Photos with the Phantoms players.
2nd 15:19 – LV, T. Laczynski (2) (S. Tuomaala, C. Marody) (PP) (1-0)
3rd 2:59 – LV, O. Lycksell (9) (T. Laczynski, S. Tuomaala) (2-0)
3rd 16:11 – LV, O. Lycksell (10) (T. Laczynski, S. Tuomaala (EN) (3-0)
3rd 17:28 – LAV, B. Gignac (5) (S. Farrell, J. Roy) (PP, 6×4) (3-1)
3rd 19:55 – LAV, R. Kidney (1) (W. Trudeau, L. Mailloux) (PP, 6×4) (3-2)
LV 32 – LAV 26
LV 1/3, LAV 2/8
LV, C. Petersen (26/28) (W) (2-3-0)
LAV, Jakub Dobes (29/31) (L) (3-5-0)
Lehigh Valley (6-6-2)
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