Zack Stortini Scores Early Goal and Throws Punches Late
December 12, 2014
Binghamton, NY – Zack Stortini struck early with a goal and then struck multiple times late with a fight against Mike Sdao but in-between the Binghamton Senators were able to sneak three goals past Rob Zepp for a 3-1 come-from-behind decision on Friday night in upstate New York.
The fast-paced Binghamton Senators offense was held in check for almost the whole first-half of the game as Lehigh Valley preserved their 1-0 lead thanks to 22 straight saves out of the gate for Zepp. But the B-Sens relentless and high-octane attack which produced 40 shots in total would eventually be paid dividends in the form of two goals in the second period scored about three minutes apart to take control of the game.
The Phantoms record moves to 10-10-3 with the result in the opener of their third “3-in-3” weekend of the season which will see Lehigh Valley play three games in three different cities in three consecutive days.
The game also featured a fair amount of big hitting within the contest as well as shoves after the whistle with the two East Division rivals expressing their distaste for one another in what was round 2 out of 10 total games to be played in the season series. Put a “to be continued” on some of those situations with Binghamton arriving to PPL Center for their first-ever Allentown visit on Wednesday night.
Steven Delisle dropped the gloves with big Binghamton defenseman Mike Sdao in the second period and then it was Zack Stortini’s turn for a go with Sdao in the third period.
Zack Stortini had started the scoring less than two minutes into the game nicely elevating a backhander while falling away in the left circle. He lifted the shot over the right shoulder of Binghamton netminder Andrew Hammond for the opening tally. Goalie Rob Zepp received credit for his first assist of the season pushing the puck off his blocker save to Taylor Leier who did the rest of the work rushing up the ice. Leier’s shot from the right circle was off to the short-side but deflected off the side of the netting and then off the end-boards back out to Stortini to deposit his second of the season.
Rob Zepp stood tall in his end with 22 consecutive denials of the highest scoring team in the league including several breakaway stops. But Binghamton eventually equalized at 8:23 into the second period on yet another rush into the zone with recent veteran acquisition Brad Mills cranking a high-slot drive off the left-post and in. The shot may have deflected off the stick of Phantoms defenseman Mark Alt attempting to block.
Just three minutes later, another perfect shot would find the back of the net with defenseman Fredrik Claesson lining up a one-timer from the right point to the far-post, high-blocker on Zepp for his second of the season. Jesper Pettersson in the slot was attempting to block but also may have inadvertently served as a screen to his goalie on the play.
Binghamton closed the scoring midway through the third with a critical breathing-room goal from Shane Prince on a power-play scramble. His 10th of the year came from the base of the right circle after a couple of shots and continued attack by Binghamton.
Jason Akeson almost got one of the them back with about five minutes to go with a pretty toe-drag move from the right circle over to the slot but his shot to the blocker side of Hammond glanced off the left post and away. Later in the third period, Mark Alt neatly stick-handled his way to the right-wing corner while the Phantoms were shorthanded and his centering pass was right on the money for a crashing Jay Rosehill but the chip attempt was kicked aside off Hammond’s right leg.
Binghamton out shot the Phantoms 40-35 in the fast-paced affair. The Senators were 1-for-3 on the power play while Lehigh Valley finished 0-for-2. The Phantoms are now 1-1 against Binghamton this season.
Lehigh Valley continues their three-in-three weekend with a Saturday night showdown at PPL Center against the East Division leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins followed by a Sunday matinee in Atlantic City against the Albany Devils.
Saturday’s contest features a “Go Birds” Tailgate with special guests Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Baldinger and the Eagles cheerleaders. The Phantoms will also don specialty jerseys that evening which will be auctioned off following the conclusion of the game. Tickets for next Saturday’s match-up are available now at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (7th & Hamilton), by calling 610-347-TIXX or online at pplcenter.com.
Check it out! Phantoms Holiday Plans are on sale now offering tremendous value on four game tickets in a great stocking-stuffer package that includes a Melvin Mini-Stick or special Phantoms beer stein AND a game program. Call the Phantoms to order your Phantoms Holiday Plan at 610-224-GOAL (4625).
For all the Holiday Shopping for the Phantoms fan in your life, check out the team’s merchandise and souvenir kiosk now open at the Lehigh Valley Mall through December 31. The Phantoms team store inside PPL Center is also open throughout the week from 11am until 5pm Monday through Saturday.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 at Binghamton Senators 3 – Status: Final
Friday, December 12, 2014 – Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena
Lehigh Valley 1 0 0 – 1
Binghamton 0 2 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Stortini 2 (Leier, Zepp), 1:56. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Binghamton, Mills 1 (A. Grant, Wideman), 8:23. 3, Binghamton, Claesson 2 (Mullen, Guptill), 11:25. Penalties-Delisle Lv (fighting), 5:26; Hagg Lv (delay of game), 5:26; Sdao Bng (fighting), 5:26; Wideman Bng (cross-checking), 12:41; Prince Bng (elbowing), 16:43.
3rd Period-4, Binghamton, Prince 10 (D. Grant, Camper), 9:45 (PP). Penalties-Stortini Lv (fighting), 3:47; Sdao Bng (fighting, game misconduct – third major/second fight), 3:47; served by Leier Lv (bench minor – too many men), 9:32; Jones Lv (slashing), 16:28.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 13-14-8-35. Binghamton 14-14-12-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 2; Binghamton 1 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Zepp 7-5-1 (40 shots-37 saves). Binghamton, Hammond 6-8-0 (35 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Garrett Rank (48), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Jim Harper (59), Francis Trempe (85).
Upcoming Home Games:
Saturday, December 13, 2014, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(“Go Birds” Tailgate! With special guests Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Baldinger and the Eagles Cheerleaders! Specialty Jersey Night with a post-game jersey auction)
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, Binghamton Senators vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(Jewish Heritage Night! With a special lighting of the menorah!)
Friday, December 19, 2014, Hershey Bears vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(FREE Shirt Friday! FREE Holiday-themed Phantoms shirt for all fans in attendance!)
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).