Four Points for Lycksell, Two Goals for Anisimov
November 26, 2022
Lehigh Valley, PA – Artem Anisimov scored his first American Hockey League goals in 13 years and Olle Lycksell starred in a four-point performance, most in a game for any Phantoms player this season while Nolan Maier shined in his AHL debut as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms dominated visiting Rochester 5-1 on Saturday night at PPL Center.
Tyson Foerster (5th) and Elliot Desnoyers (7th) also lit the lamp while Louie Belpedio and Kevin Connauton both had a pair of assists as the Phantoms had control from start to finish as evidenced by a lopsided 40-15 shot margin. Following the contest, Phantoms players and “Phans” came together for a postgame skate on the PPL Center ice to cap an enjoyable and successful evening in Center City Allentown.
The night also was historic for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as the team set a new standard for fewest shots allowed in a game. Lehigh Valley had previously given up 16 shots in a game against Hershey on March 1, 2015. The Phantoms fell short of the all-time franchise record which is still held by the Philadelphia Phantoms who surrendered just 12 shots on goal in a contest against the St. John’s Maple Leafs in 2001.
The 5-1 decision also represented the largest margin of victory for the Phantoms this season who had played 11 one-goal decisions of its first 15 games before the Saturday blowout.
After Lehigh Valley opened the tilt with a 5-0 shots advantage, Rochester drew first blood on an early power-play chance. Jiri Kulich completed a tic-tac-toe passing play from between the face-off circles for his fourth goal of the campaign at 3:20.
The Phantoms responded with a power-play marker of their own in the midst of an impressive opening stanza in which Lehigh Valley outshot the Americans 18-4. With their continued pushes at Rochester goalie Michael Houser, the Phantoms forged ahead for a 2-1 lead at the first break.
Tyson Foerster tallied for the Phantoms at 7:59 to bring the score even. After the puck was funneled towards the net by Kevin Connauton, Foerster finished a chance from in-tight. Foerster has scored goals in consecutive games and extended his point streak to five games in the process, longest for any Phantom this season. Artem Anisimov earned the secondary assist, and soon after, scored his first AHL goal in 13 years to spark a 2-1 Lehigh Valley lead.
At 14:04, Anisimov recorded his first goal in the American Hockey League since April 11, 2009 when he was a member of the Hartford Wolf Pack. On the power play, the veteran forward found daylight along the near post on an NHL-caliber sharp-angle drive top shelf to beat Houser over his shoulder and off the underside of the crossbar. Anisimov’s PPL Center debut was his fourth game with the Phantoms since the 34-year-old veteran of 771 NHL games signed a PTO with Lehigh Valley two weeks ago. It was also his 158th career AHL game.
The outright domination continued into the middle frame, as the Phantoms saw a 17-3 shots advantage in the period to compile a 40-minute total of 35-7. Upon video review at 10:12, Olle Lycksell improved his club to 2-for-2 on the power play with a laser-beam drive from the right wing. After the initial call on the ice was no goal, video replay concluded the puck clearly crossed the goal line in addition to catching the iron on its way in and out. Cam York and Belpedio recorded the assists.
The Anisimov-Lycksell show continued in the second period, and Lehigh Valley’s two-goal cushion eventually stretched to 4-1. At 13:19, Lycksell found an open Anisimov creeping towards the backdoor for an open look on Houser from the left wing. Perfect patience and execution on the pass and release from Lycksell to connect with Anisimov on the backdoor pushed the Phantoms’ lead to three for the second break.
Elliot Desnoyers joined the scoring party in the third period, and Nolan Maier stonewalled the opposition to earn his first-career AHL victory. On a transition into the offensive zone, Desnoyers fielded a nifty drop pass from Lycksell and fired a perfect shot into the cage at 4:50. The insurance tally marked Desnoyers’ team-leading seventh goal of the regular season.
Final shots on goal totaled 40-15 in the 5-1 rout during Rochester’s lone visit to PPL Center in 2022-23.
Lehigh Valley has notched points in seven of its last eight games and has recorded 40 or more shots on goal in three of the last four outings.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms return to action on Wednesday, November 30 for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against their rival Hershey Bears at PPL Center. It’s Military Appreciation Night Presented by Netizen. Ticket information is available online at www.PhantomsHockey.com.
1st 3:20 – ROC J. Kulich (4) (B. Murray, L. Rousek) (PP) 0-1
1st 7:59 – LV T. Foerster (5) (K. Connauton, A. Anisimov) 1-1
1st 14:04 – LV A. Anisimov (1) (O. Lycksell, L. Belpedio) (PP) 2-1
2nd 10:12 – LV O. Lycksell (3) (C. York, L. Belpedio) (PP) 3-1
2nd 13:19 – LV A. Anisimov (2) (O. Lycksell) 4-1
3rd 4:50 – LV E. Desnoyers (7) (O. Lycksell) 5-1
LV 40 – ROC 15
LV 2/2, ROC 1/2
LV – N. Maier (W) (1-0-0) (14/15)
ROC – M. Houser (L) (3-2-0) (35/40)
Lehigh Valley (8-6-2)
Wednesday, November 30 (7:05) vs. HERSHEY BEARS
Friday, December 2 (7:00) at Charlotte Checkers
Saturday, December 3 (6:00) at Charlotte Checkers
Wednesday, December 7 (7:00) at Hartford Wolf Pack
Friday, December 9 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS
Saturday, December 10 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS
Wednesday, November 30 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – Military Appreciation Night Presented by Netizen
Friday, December 9 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers – Berks $1 Hot Dogs!
Saturday, December 10 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers – Phantoms Hat Giveaway Presented by Service Electric
Saturday, December 17 (7:05) vs. Providence Bruins – Teddy Bear Toss Presented by Big Woody’s