Magic Number at Seven
April 4, 2023
Lehigh Valley, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are closing in. The team’s Magic Number to clinch a position in the Calder Cup Playoffs is at seven points with five games remaining.
The Phantoms occupy the fifth-place playoff spot in the Atlantic Division after taking two out of three last weekend. Having won four of its last five, Lehigh Valley is on the verge of clinching of potentially clinching as early as this weekend. Right now, the Phantoms occupy the fifth-place playoff position and would have a 4 vs. 5 matchup against the Charlotte Checkers in the first round.
The Phantoms are at home this Friday and Saturday against the Charlotte Checkers and Springfield Thunderbirds who are both directly ahead of Lehigh Valley in the standings.
Saturday’s game is the popular Star Wars Night promotion. There will also be a live postgame auction of the team’s Whiteout jerseys.
There are five games remaining in the regular season including three at home.
Friday, March 31, 2023
Phantoms 4 – Penguins 2
The Comeback Phantoms did it again with yet another third-period rally, their third in a row. Jordy Bellerive tied the game at 2-2 in the third then Bobby Brink scored the game-winner and added an empty-netter to top Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Tyson Foerster opened the scoring with his 20th of the season.
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Wolf Pack 5 – Phantoms 1
Emil Andrae scored his first career goal in North America and later hit the post in a bid for his second that would have tied the game. But that was all the offense the Phantoms could muster against Hartford goalie Dylan Garand as the Pack struck for three straight in the third to pull away for a 5-1 decision at PPL Center. Lehigh Valley outshot Hartford 35-18 in the game but Hartford’s hot goalie was a difference-maker to end the Phantoms’ three-game win streak.
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Phantoms 3 – Islanders 2
The Phantoms bounced back nicely on the road with a strong 3-2 victory at Bridgeport on Sunday afternoon. Artem Anisimov (19th) and Olle Lycksell (11th) scored early to open a 2-0 lead and Garrett Wilson (17th) added a backdoor slam-dunk on the rush to cap a pretty passing sequence with linemates Bobby Brink and Adam Brooks. Nolan Maier was terrific between the pipes with 26 saves on 28 shots to hold off the B-Isles’ desperation push at the end.
TRANSACTIONS – ATTARD UP, FURRY SIGNS
– Defenseman Ronnie Attard has been recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers to make his season debut with the big club. The 24-year-old represented the Phantoms at the AHL All-Star Classic in February and has not played for the Flyers since last season when he scored 2-2-4 in 15 games as a rookie out of Western Michigan. Attard has scored 11-19-30 with the Phantoms in 64 games this season.
– Forward Brendan Furry, 24, has signed a two-year AHL contract with the Phantoms and has joined the team for the remainder of the 2022-23 season on a try-out basis. The Toledo, Ohio native played collegiately at Minnesota State (Mankato) where he served as the team’s captain this season while scoring 9-18-28 in 39 games for the Mavericks.
– Forward Alex Kile has been returned to the Maine Mariners of the ECHL. Kile has scored 2-2-4 in 19 games with the Phantoms this season and also has 14-20-34 with Maine in 31 games played.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have nine players who have scored 10 or more goals this season and have two more players at nine goals who are knocking on the door for double digits (Belpedio and Willman).
Elliot Desnoyers 21
Tyson Foerster 20
Artem Anisimov 19
Garrett Wilson 17
Cooper Marody 12
Ronnie Attard 11
Jackson Cates 11
Olle Lycksell 11
Bobby Brink 10
– Louie Belpedio is at 299 career AHL games
– Max Willman is at 98 career pro points in the NHL, AHL and ECHL combined
– Elliot Desnoyers has 21 goals as a rookie which is one away from the Lehigh Valley record of 22 goals by a rookie held by Danick Martel in 2015-16.
– Garrett Wilson is at 312 career penalty minutes with the Phantoms which is one away from the all-time Lehigh Valley record of 313 penalty minutes by Tyrell Goulbourne.
– The Phantoms have won four of their last five games and are also 9-4-0 in their last 13 games since March 4
– Garrett Wilson has scored 12 goals in the last 17 games.
– Wilson leads the Phantoms with 157 shots on goal. Ronnie Attard is next with 150.
– The Phantoms are….
24-9-2 when scoring a power-play goal
28-8-5 when scoring 3 or more goals
25-2-1 when allowing 2 goals or fewer
19-6-6 in one-goal games
16-3-6 when scoring the first goal
21-2-4 when leading after two periods
6-3 in overtime and 4-3 in shootouts
Friday, April 7, 2023 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Charlotte Checkers
Charlotte (35-23-8) has dropped five straight to slip to fourth in the Atlantic Division and would be the Phantoms first-round playoff opponent based on the current standings. Last week, the Checkers lost a three-game series at home to the soaring Springfield Thunderbirds. The season-series is even at 3-3. Former Phantom Alex Lyon (13-9-1, 2.43, .910) is thriving with the Florida Panthers having just recorded his first NHL shutout last week. Another former Phantom, Jean-Francios Berube (6-5-3, 3.32, .883) has received the bulk of the opportunities in net of late. Gerry Mayhew (22-18-40 including four goals vs. Lehigh Valley) and Connor Bunnaman (13-7-20) round out the quarter of ex-Phantoms products now on the Charlotte Checkers. Veteran leaders Riley Nash (23-30-53) and Zac Dalpe (20-14-34) played for Charlotte over a decade ago and have returned to provide leadership and scoring punch.
Sam Ersson is 3-1-0, 2.27, .926 vs. Charlotte this season.
Saturday, April 8, 2023 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Springfield Thunderbirds
Springfield (36-23-7) has sprinted ahead via a four-game win streak and now a five-game point streak after an overtime loss at Bridgeport on Tuesday morning. The St. Louis Blues affiliate and defending Eastern Conference Champions find themselves in third place in the Atlantic Division. The T-Birds snagged an impressive three-game series sweep at Charlotte last week including a pair of high-scoring games with wins by 7-4 and 6-5 (OT) counts. Springfield is bolstered by the return of goaltender Joel Hofer (10-8-3, 2.96, .918). The Team Canada gold medal-winning goalie in 2020 did well in his recent NHL stint with the Blues going 3-0-1, 2.79, .915. Hard-shooting Martin Frk, who set a record with a 109.2 mph slapshot at the 2020 All-Star Skills Competition, shook off a sluggish start for this season and has now cranked up 30 goals with two hat tricks this year including 10 goals in the last 13 games. The Thunderbirds are clicking at 23.4% on the powerplay, second-best in the AHL behind only Toronto. The Phantoms are 2-1-0 against Springfield this season including a 2-1 win on November 11 on the T-Birds’ lone previous visit to PPL Center.
PHANTOMS SCORING LEADERS
Tyson Foerster 20-24-44
Olle Lycksell 11-30-41
Elliot Desnoyers 21-19-40
Garrett Wilson 17-21-38
Artem Anisimov 19-16-35
Cooper Marody 12-22-34
Phantoms Tickets are available HERE
Friday, April 7 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS
Saturday, April 8 (7:05) vs. SPRINGFIELD THUNDERBIRDS
Wednesday, April 12 (7:00) at Bridgeport Islanders
Friday, April 14 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS
Saturday, April 15 (7:00) at Hershey Bears
Friday, April 7 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers – Berks $1 Hot Dogs. Whiteout Jerseys
Saturday, April 8 (7:05) vs. Springfield Thunderbirds – Star Wars Night! SNHL with DJ Jamal “Jedi” Knight. Postgame Auction – Whiteout Jerseys
Friday, April 14 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers – Regular Season Home Finale. Berks $1 Hot Dogs
Calder Cup Playoffs! – Dates TBD
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.