Three Games Left in 2022
December 27, 2022
Lehigh Valley, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms wrap up the calendar year and return from the Holiday Break with two home games and one quick road trip in between. The first game back on Wednesday at PPL Center against the Bridgeport Islanders will be followed by an away game against the Utica Comets and then the big New Year’s Eve game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Lehigh Valley (13-11-3) has been especially strong in the last 19 games boasting an 11-6-2 record since November 5.
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Bears 4 – Phantoms 2
The Phantoms struck for their fastest consecutive goals of the season at just 24 seconds apart but visiting Hershey rallied from the early 2-1 deficit to post a 4-2 win at PPL Center. Artem Anisimov and Elliot Desnoyers provided the quick-strike markers for Lehigh Valley. Ethen Frank led the Bears with two goals including a power-play blast midway through the third period that broke a 2-2 tie.
Friday, December 23, 2022
Phantoms 2 – Thunderbirds 1
Lehigh Valley entered the Holiday Break with momentum after a hard-fought 2-1 win at Springfield. Artem Anisimov scored again, just 23 seconds into the game, following a nifty between-the-skates flick by Olle Lycksell. The 1-0 lead held up most of the way before Cal O’Reilly scored with just 7:32 left to make it 2-0. Springfield broke up Pat Nagle’s shutout bid with only 4:34 to go. Nagle was clutch in his first AHL win of the season with 30 saves.
Dec 21 – Delete Sam Ersson (G) – Recalled to Philadelphia (NHL)
Dec 21 – Add Nolan Maier (G) – Recalled to LV from Reading (ECHL)
Dec 22 – Add Mason Millman (D) – Recalled to LV from Reading (ECHL)
Dec 22 – Delete Kevin Connauton (D) – Assigned to Team Canada, Spengler Cup
Sam Ersson made his NHL debut for the Philadelphia Flyers on December 23 at Carolina. He becomes the 39th Lehigh Valley player to receive a recall to Philadelphia for an NHL debut. Congrats, Sam!
Ersson has had a tremendous bounce-back campaign after an injury-plagued first season in North America in which he played in only five games. He has gone 9-8-1, 2.72, .910 with Lehigh Valley this year including 9-4-0, 2.52, .915 since November 5.
Other goaltenders to make the jump from Lehigh Valley to debut with Philadelphia include Rob Zepp, Anthony Stolarz, Alex Lyon, Carter Hart, and Felix Sandstrom.
Kevin Connauton is wearing the Canadian Maple Leaf logo on his jersey for the first time in his career. The 32-year-old veteran defenseman has joined Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland. Connauton was named as an alternate captain for the team. The tournament runs through December 31 and Connauton will return to the Phantoms on January 2.
– Artem Anisimov has 7 goals in 6 games since signing a standard player contract with the Phantoms for the remainder of the season on December 10. The 13-year NHL veteran already has 10 goals with the Phantoms in just 12 games. Anisimov is on a three-game goal streak.
– Elliot Desnoyers is third among AHL rookies with 11 goals and also leads the Phantoms in lamplighters
– Olle Lycksell is producing when Artem Anisimov is also in the lineup. He has 3-8-11 in 8 such games.
– Lehigh Valley’s power play is fifth in the AHL at 25.0%.
– The Phantoms are….
10-4-2 when scoring 3 or more goals
10-2-1 when allowing 2 goals or fewer
10-3-3 in one-goal games
9-0-3 when leading after two periods
3-2 in overtime and 1-1 in shootouts
Wednesday, December 28 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Bridgeport Islanders
Bridgeport (14-9-5) has struggled of late with a four-game winless slide partly due to recalls and injuries but still hold down third-place in the Atlantic Division. The Phantoms are just four points back of Bridgeport and with one game-in-hand.
20-year-old Aatu Raty scored in his NHL debut with the New York Islanders and veteran goalie Cory Schneider and defenseman Parker Wotherspoon among the recent recalls. The B-Isles lost last Friday at Hartford 4-3 and return to action tonight with a Nutmeg State rematch against the Wolf Pack in Bridgeport. Phantoms alum Andy Andreoff leads Bridgeport with 15 goals and rates fourth in the AHL. Cole Bardreau (6-5-11) is in his fourth season with Bridgeport. One of the most popular players in Lehigh Valley history played in 226 games with the Phantoms for parts of five seasons from 2014 through 2019 scoring 41 goals and 98 points.
Friday, December 30 (7:05)
Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, NY
Phantoms at Utica Comets
Utica (12-9-4) has pushed past a shaky start to rise to fourth in the North Division on the strength of a four-game win streak. Graeme Clarke (9-12-21) leads the Comets followed by Nolan Stevens (8-10-18). Nolan is the son of former Philadelphia Phantoms captain and head coach John Stevens. Goaltender Akira Schmid is back from New Jersey. The Comets were tops in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-20-9 but bowed out to Laval in the playoffs.
This game in Upstate New York is almost on the anniversary of last year’s amazing New Year’s Eve comeback at Utica in which the Phantoms rallied from 4-0 and 5-1 deficits to post an incredible 6-5 overtime win. Hayden Hodgson scored twice in the third period and then assisted on Cal O’Reilly’s overtime winner.
Saturday, December 31 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
We’ll close out 2022 in style with a big New Year’s Eve game presented by Penn Community Bank. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (13-8-4) has dropped three straight including a 3-1 decision at Belleville last Wednesday. Their scheduled game at Laval on Friday was postponed. Entering their home game tonight against Hershey, the Penguins are just one point ahead of the Phantoms in the Atlantic Division standings.
Former Phantoms defenseman Mark Friedman has been recalled by Pittsburgh again and leading scorer Drew O’Connor (8-14-22) is up with the big club as well. Former Buffalo first-rounder Alex Nylander (10-10-20) paces the offense along with seventh-round Finnish talent Valtteri Puustinen (9-11-20). AHL goaltending great, and Phantoms alum, Dustin Tokarski (8-5-3, 2.20, .926) posted his 200th career AHL win against the Phantoms last month and is fourth in the AHL in save percentage.
The Phantoms are 1-1-1 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton entering Game 4 out of 12 in the rivalry series.
Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Tyson Foerster 8-11-19
Olle Lycksell 5-13-18
Elliot Desnoyers 11-5-16
Artem Anisimov 10-3-13
Garrett Wilson 5-8-13
x Cam York 3-10-13
Phantoms Tickets are available HERE
Wednesday, December 28 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders
Friday, December 30 (7:05) at Utica Comets
Saturday, December 31 (7:05) vs. WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS
Friday, January 6 (7:05) at Rochester Americans
Saturday, January 7 (4:00) at Toronto Marlies
Wednesday, December 28 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders – Pregame Happy Hour, $2 Miller Lites and Yuenglings
Saturday, December 31 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – New Year’s Eve Celebration presented by Penn Community Bank. Including festivities and great fun on Hamilton Street right after the game right with the World’s Largest Puck-Drop to ring in 2023!
Friday, January 13 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders – Berks Dollar Dog Night
Saturday, January 14 (7:05) vs. Syracuse Crunch – Valley Youth House Night Presented by Air Products
Broadcast coverage of all Phantoms games, home and away, is available on the Phantoms 365 app and on Real Oldies 1470-AM in Allentown. Fans can watch on AHLTV.com and can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.” Join the Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck, for all the action!
Service Electric Network again provides exclusive television coverage of all Phantoms home games with veteran announcer Steve Degler and Phantoms’ alum Steven Swavely on the call from the booth. Kristi Fulkerson reports from ice level and also from the Chickie’s and Pete’s studio with Dan Fremuth for pregame, intermission and postgame show analysis.