Phantoms Power Play Presented by Provident Bank

Rolling on the Road

March 12, 2024

Allentown, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (25-23-7) won back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport to begin a five-game road swing and move into the last playoff position in the Atlantic Division.
The Phantoms are tied in total points with the Springfield Thunderbirds but also have two games in hand remaining on the schedule and also have a higher points percentage entering the final 17 games of the regular season.
The roadie continues this Wednesday with a rematch at Wilkes-Barre followed by a pair of games at the Providence Bruins this weekend.

March 8 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 – Phantoms 2
March 9 – Phantoms 4 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
March 10 – Phantoms 4 – Bridgeport Islanders 3

Wednesday, March 13 (7:05) – Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Friday, March 15 (7:05) – Phantoms at Providence Bruins
Saturday, March 16 (7:05) – Phantoms at Providence Bruins

Friday, March 8, 2024
Penguins 3 – Phantoms 2
Rhett Gardner scored a pair of goals to give the Phantoms a 2-1 lead in the second period but the visiting Penguins rallied for two goals in the third to stun Lehigh Valley with a 3-2 decision. Corey Andonovski scored the game-winner with just 2:08 left on a deflection in the slot. Gardner picked up his second-career multi-goal game as he reached the 100-point milestone in his AHL career.

Saturday, March 9, 2024
Phantoms 4 – Penguins 2
Lehigh Valley found its offense with a four-goal outburst in the third period to rally from behind and post a 4-2 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the head-to-head rematch on Saturday night. Samu Tuomaala (14th) opened the scoring surge with his equalizing goal in the third period at 1-1. The Phantoms were on a 5-minute penalty kill in a tie game when Brendan Furry streaked past the Baby Pens defense for a shorthanded breakaway goal to give Lehigh Valley the lead. Adam Brooks and Evan Polei’s first as a Phantom rounded out the scoring in the exciting win.

Sunday, March 10, 2024
Phantoms 4 – Islanders 3
Rhett Gardner scored two more goals and Adam Karashik struck for his first-career AHL goal as the Phantoms prevailed at the Bridgeport Islanders on Sunday afternoon in the weekend finale. Louie Belpedio called bank off the back of an Islanders defender for a clutch goal and Cal Petersen slammed the door on Bridgeport’s comeback efforts in the third period with several clutch denials as the Phantoms slammed the door on the Islanders’ four-game win streak. Gardner’s second multi-goal game of the weekend gives him 10 goals on the season equaling a career-high that he set last year with the Texas Stars.

– Forward Olle Lycksell has been returned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms from Philadelphia. Lycksell leads the Phantoms with 18 goals.
– Forward Wade Allison has been traded by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Denis Gurianov.
– Defenseman Adam Ginning has been recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers after a quick one-game return to the Phantoms last weekend.
– Three additional players were briefly loaned to the Phantoms for only a few minutes at the trade deadline last Friday at 3:00 p.m. That ensures AHL eligibility for those players moving forward. Ronnie Attard, Bobby Brink and Felix Sandstrom are all currently on the Philadelphia Flyers. They each received such “paper transactions” allowing them the opportunity to play for the Phantoms later this season or in the playoffs.

Phantoms captain Garrett Wilson has been suspended for three games by the American Hockey League as the result of a checking to the head penalty in Saturday’s game at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Wilson sat out Sunday’s game at Bridgeport and will also be unavailable this Wednesday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Friday at Providence. Wilson is eligible to return to the lineup on Saturday at the Providence Bruins which is also his 33rd birthday.

Never count out the Phantoms! Lehigh Valley has rallied for victory seven times when trailing after two periods which is the most comeback wins in the AHL ahead of Grand Rapids, Henderson and Manitoba who have six late comeback triumphs. Three of Lehigh Valley’s rallies have been on the road at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the Phantoms have gone 3-0-0 despite trailing at the second intermission on each visit.

The Phantoms have won five straight games that have been tied after regulation including two overtime wins and three shootout wins. Lehigh Valley is 7-1 in calendar year 2024 in overtimes and shootouts combined.
20-year-old rookie J-R Avon is tied for the AHL lead with five shootout goals on just six attempts this season. Trey Fix-Wolansky of Cleveland is the only other player with five.
The Phantoms are tied for the league lead with four shootout wins. The Cleveland Monsters and Abborstford Canucks also have four. Lehigh Valley is also second in the league with nine total shootout goals trailing only Cleveland who has 11.
The Phantoms have gone to overtime or shootout in 17 games this year which is third-most in the AHL behind Rochester (19) and Cleveland (18). The Phantoms are 6-5 in overtimes and 4-2 in shootouts for a combined mark of 10-7 after regulation.

The Phantoms record when:
– Score 4 or more goals: 17-0-2
– Allow 3 or fewer goals: 18-5-3
– Lead After 1st period: 7-1-2
– Lead After 2nd period: 13-2-1
– One-Goal Games: 18-6-7
– Overtime: 6-5 / Shootout: 4-2

Wednesday, March 13, 2024 (7:05)
Mohegan Sun Arena, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
The March mini-series with rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (29-20-8) continues as the Penguins are still hanging on to third place in the Atlantic Division. The Penguins are entering their third consecutive game against the Phantoms after splitting a home-and-home series last weekend.
The Penguins vs. Phantoms matchup is now also a possible playoff preview as the two teams are lined up for a potential 3 vs. 6 series in the first round as the standings are currently situated.
Lehigh Valley is 3-0-0 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with three late rallies in NEPA. In all three Phantoms wins at the Baby Pens, it was Lehigh Valley trailing at the second intermission but coming back for the dramatic triumph including a pair of overtime victories at Mohegan Sun Arena (Samu Tuomaala on January 6 and Cooper Marody on February 21).
The visiting team has won six out of seven games in the season series. This is Game 8 out of 12.
Rookie All-Star goaltender Joel Blomqvist (18-9-5, 2.19, .918) is third in the AHL in GAA. Defenseman Ty Smith (9-25-34) paces the offense. Smith is still with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton even though he was traded by Pittsburgh to Carolina last week. Without an AHL affiliate this season, the Carolina Hurricanes opted to loan him back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where he can remain a member of the team. Sam Poulin (12-12-24) has scored 3-2-5 against the Phantoms. Vinny Hinostroza (11-13-24) has scored 1-6-7 against Lehigh Valley. The former Chicago Blackhawk and Buffalo Sabre has played 374 career NHL games scoring 54 goals.

Friday, March 15, 2024 (7:05)
Saturday, March 16, 2024 (7:05)
Amica Mutual Pavilion, Providence, RI

Phantoms at Providence Bruins
The Providence Bruins (35-17-5) are looking good to receive a first-round playoff bye as they are solidly implanted into second place in the Atlantic Division and have a nine-point cushion over third-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hartford. The P-Bruins bounced back from two blowout losses against Hartford to post a 5-0 trouncing of Springfield on Sunday with Brandon Bussi (18-9-3, 2.63, .912) racking up 36 saves in the shutout.
Second-year pro Georgii Merkulov (23-28-51) leads the team’s fast-paced and high-octane attack and is third in the conference and seventh in the AHL in scoring. Merkulov represented Providence at the AHL All-Star Classic this season after also making the AHL All-Rookie Team last season.
21 year-old first-rounder Fabian Lysell (15-30-45) and former Laval Rocket Anthony Richard (20-21-41) provide additional scoring punch. Also back is first-rounder John Beecher (4-4-8) who has spent most of the season up with Boston. The 22-year-old out of the University of Michigan has scored 3-2-5 in the last four games.
The Bruins are fourth in the AHL in offense at 3.42 goals per game and their 195 total goals are the most of any team in the Eastern Conference.
The Phantoms are 0-2-1 against Providence entering Games 4 and 5 out of 6 in the season series.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cooper Marody 14-32-46
Samu Tuomaala 14-26-40
Olle Lycksell 18-14-32
Emil Andrae 4-26-30
Tanner Laczynski 8-18-26
x – Ronnie Attard 10-15-25

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Wednesday, March 13 (7:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Friday, March 15 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Saturday, March 16 (7:05) at Providence Bruins

Wednesday, March 20 (7:05) vs. Springfield Thunderbirds – Joe Watson Book Signing / $1 Pretzels
Saturday, March 23 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders – Margaritaville Night
Sunday, March 24 (3:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Kids Takeover Day / Postgame Autographs Presented by NJM Insurance