Phantoms Claim 25th Win Overall in Front of 15th Sellout
February 28, 2015
Lehigh Valley, PA – Brandon Manning blasted in the overtime game winner Saturday evening as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms earned a dramatic, come-from-behind 3-2 triumph over the Binghamton Senators in front of 8,964 fans at PPL Center. The conversion was Manning’s team-leading fourth game-winning goal this season and his second overtime clincher at PPL Center this season.
“Huge two points for us,” said Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. “I mean we’ve gotta keep climbing. I thought we put a little desperation into the game here tonight. Started off ok, got a little off and bounced back with a big effort at the end of the game.”
The All-Star blueliner is now second in franchise history with four overtime game winners behind only the six compiled by 2005 Calder Cup champion and AHL Hall of Famer John Slaney, who will be honored during the Phantoms showdown with the Portland Pirates on Saturday, March 7th.
With the win, the Phantoms improved to 25-22-6-1 overall this season and are now 6-6 in games decided in overtime this year. Lehigh Valley is now 11-7 overall in post-regulation decisions and improved to 13-9-4-1 at PPL Center this season.
The dramatic effort came in front of the second-largest crowd to enjoy a Phantoms game in downtown Allentown this season and the 15th sellout overall for Lehigh Valley this year. The largest crowd to date remains the team’s January 24th outing which showcased 8,983 spectators.
Kevin Goumas and Brett Hextall also scored for the Phantoms while Anthony Stolarz backstopped the come-from-behind victory with 25 saves on 27 Binghamton shots. The victory was Stolarz’s eighth this season as the first-year netminder also collected his first professional point with the secondary assist on Manning’s game-winning tally.
“He [Stolarz] had a good game,” Murray said. “He had some work to do there. The first period he had some work. I thought we got a little loose in the second period for a while and he made some stops, kept us going. We’re down and found a way to get the two points.”
Stolarz opened the tilt with a gargantuan effort between the pipes when he turned aside all six Binghamton offerings as part of a Senators power play that came in the opening minutes of the contest.
Then it was Lehigh Valley’s turn to go to work offensively. The Phantoms used tremendous team speed, active sticks and a punishing forecheck to generate one scoring opportunity after another in the first period. Lehigh Valley opened the scoring just prior to the midway point of the opening frame when a crisp transition through neutral ice produced a puck in the slot that was softly dished by Stortini onto the right wing for Goumas who made no mistake in punching in his fifth goal of the season. Manning grabbed the secondary assist on the even strength strike netted 9:48 into the opening period. The conversion marked the 29th time this season that Lehigh Valley has grabbed the game’s opening goal as the Phantoms improved to 17-8-3-1 when scoring first this season.
The Phantoms’ 1-0 advantage remained through the middle stanza despite a combined 18 shots on goal in the middle period. Stolarz denied each of the Senators’ seven bids while Binghamton’s Peter Mannino turned aside each of Lehigh Valley’s 11 offerings in the period.
The goaltenders weren’t the only ones keeping pucks from crossing the goal line in the middle frame though. Both sides were the beneficiaries of a little puck luck as the Senators were kept off the scoreboard with roughly eight minutes left in the period when Patrick Mullen’s left-point drive rang off the right post just moments before Taylor Leier’s rebound offering was rejected by the pipe at the other end.
Binghamton found a way to level the contest less than three minutes into the final period of regulation when a drive from the slot by Patrick Mullen produced a rebound on the left wing that was one timed past an outstretched Stolarz by Ryan Dzingel. Cole Schneider earned the secondary assist on Dzingel’s 12th goal of the year.
The Senators then grabbed their first and only lead of the night just under three minutes later when Dzingel harnessed a turnover atop the Phantoms goal crease before backhanding in his second goal of the game and 13th of the season.
The Phantoms remained resilient though and leveled the contest less than three minutes later when, in the final seconds of the team’s third power play of the night, Hextall won a battle for a loose puck in the Binghamton goal crease before swatting in his fourth goal of the season. Jesper Pettersson and Jay Rosehill assisted on the game-tying tally landed 8:38 into the third period.
It was then Manning who sent the packed PPL Center crowd home happy with a rocket of a slap shot 3:27 into overtime that sizzled through the hulking screen of Oliver Lauridsen and past Mannino into the back of the Senators’ cage. Petr Straka and Stolarz assisted on Manning’s 10th goal of the season as the 24-year-old defender reached the double-digit goal mark for the first time in his four-year professional career.
The Phantoms outshot Binghamton 35-27 overall and Lehigh Valley accounted for the game’s only power play conversion as the Phantoms went 1-for-4 with the man-advantage while the Senators were 0-for-3 on the power play.
The Phantoms are back in action tomorrow when they head to the Giant Center in Hershey for a rivalry showdown with the Bears. Catch all the action on Fox 1470 AM, online at fox1470.com or via the iHeartRadio app beginning with the Nazareth Pallet Countdown to Faceoff at 4:20 PM.
Lehigh Valley then returns to PPL Center for a pair of games next weekend. First, the Phantoms host the New York Islanders’ affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, on Friday, March 6th. It’s another Free Shirt Night as all fans in attendance will receive a FREE Military Appreciation Phantoms shirt. Then, Lehigh Valley welcomes the Portland Pirates, AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, on Saturday, March 7th. Saturday’s game is another Legends Night as all fans in attendance will receive a FREE Collector’s Edition Poster spotlighting 2005 Calder Cup Champion and AHL Hall of Fame defenseman John Slaney.
Check it out! Reserve your season tickets now for the 2015-2016 season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town call the Phantoms front office today at 610-224-GOAL (4625)!
Binghamton Senators 2 at Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 (OT) – Status: Final OT
Saturday, February 28, 2015 – PPL Center
Binghamton 0 0 2 0 – 2
Lehigh Valley 1 0 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Goumas 5 (Stortini, Manning), 9:48. Penalties-Powe Lv (high-sticking), 1:10; D. Grant Bng (goaltender interference), 3:10; New Bng (high-sticking), 11:16; Dzingel Bng (fighting, misconduct – continuing altercation), 19:46; Cousins Lv (fighting), 19:46.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lauridsen Lv (interference), 10:28.
3rd Period-2, Binghamton, Dzingel 12 (Mullen, Schneider), 2:50. 3, Binghamton, Dzingel 13 5:40. 4, Lehigh Valley, Hextall 4 (Pettersson, Rosehill), 8:38 (PP). Penalties-Laughton Lv (tripping), 0:42; Tassone Bng (cross-checking), 6:39.
OT Period-5, Lehigh Valley, Manning 10 (Straka, Stolarz), 3:27. Penalties-Wideman Bng (holding), 0:28.
Shots on Goal-Binghamton 11-7-7-2-27. Lehigh Valley 9-11-11-4-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 0 / 3; Lehigh Valley 1 / 4.
Goalies-Binghamton, Mannino 3-7-0 (35 shots-32 saves). Lehigh Valley, Stolarz 8-11-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Matt McNulty (26), Jud Ritter (34).
Upcoming Home Games:
Friday, March 6, 2015 Bridgeport Sound Tigers vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(FREE Shirt Night! All fans in attendance will receive a FREE Military Appreciation Phantoms shirt.)
Saturday, March 7, 2015 Portland Pirates vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(Legends Night! All fans in attendance will receive a FREE Collector’s Edition Poster spotlighting 2005 Calder Cup Champion and AHL Hall of Famer John Slaney.)
Sunday, March 22, 2015 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(Youth Street Hockey Stick Giveaway (first 3,000 kids ages 14 and under)! Charities Night!)
In their 19th season of operation, the Phantoms are currently in the midst of their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms playing at the brand-new PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum before re-locating to Glens Falls, New York in 2009 where the team spent the next five seasons as the Adirondack Phantoms. A new era of Phantoms hockey began in the fall of 2014 when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms began play at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Through 18 incredibly successful campaigns, the Phantoms have captured two Calder Cup Championships (1998, 2005), two Conference Championships (1998, 2005), two Regular Season Titles (1996-97, 1997-98) and four Division Championships (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2003-04).