Phantoms Power Play Presented by Provident Bank

Push for the Playoffs

March 19, 2024

Allentown, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (26-24-8) are in the driver’s seat for the last spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs with one month remaining in the regular season. Lehigh Valley leads Springfield by just one standings point going into a critical showdown at PPL Center on Wednesday night. The Phantoms are also coming off a game that included multiple record performances in an exciting win at Providence.
Lehigh Valley recorded seven points out of 10 in its recent five-game road trip with a 3-1-1 record and is now opening a three-game homestand with divisional showdown clashes on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
There are 14 games remaining in the regular season and just seven home games to go.

Wednesday against the Springfield Thunderbirds includes original Philadelphia Flyers Broad Street Bully Joe Watson signing copies of his book “Thundermouth” before the game plus $1 pretzels and pregame Happy Hour with $2 beers.

Saturday’s contest against the Bridgeport Islanders is Margaritaville Night featuring live music from Jimmy and the Parrots pregame and during the intermission.

Sunday afternoon against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins is Kids Takeover Day with several in-game elements starring our local kiddos PLUS some special surprises throughout the day. Stick around after the game for a postgame autograph session with all the Phantoms players presented by NJM Insurance.

March 13 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 – Phantoms 0
March 15 – Providence Bruins 4 – Phantoms 3 (SO)
March 16 – Phantoms 5 – Providence Bruins 2

Wednesday, March 20 (7:05) – Phantoms vs. Springfield Thunderbirds
Saturday, March 23 (7:05) – Phantoms vs. Bridgeport Islanders
Sunday, March 24 (3:05) – Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Penguins 3 – Phantoms 0
Lehigh Valley was unable to pull off yet another comeback at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as the Penguins finally defended its home ice in the rivalry series with a 3-0 win on Wednesday night. Joel Blomqvist had 23 saves in recording his first career shutout. Lehigh Valley had won three straight appearances in Wilkes-Barre rallying from behind in each game but didn’t have enough in the tank to make it happen again.

Friday, March 15, 2024
Bruins 4 – Phantoms 3 (SO)
The Phantoms probably deserved two points in this one but somehow the P-Bruins hung on with some tremendous goaltending from Brandon Bussi to squeak out the extra point in the skills competition. It was the first time in the last six overtime contests in which the Phantoms didn’t prevail. Olle Lycksell (19th) returned to the Phantoms with another goal and Tanner Laczynski put the Phantoms ahead again. But Reilly Walsh scored a pair of tying goals for the Bruins who never led until the very end in the shootout.

Saturday, March 16, 2024
Phantoms 5 – Bruins 2
Olle Lycksell tied a franchise record with four assists and Adam Brooks tied a Lehigh Valley record with five points in a game on two goals and three assists to help lead Lehigh Valley in a 5-2 blowout of the second-place Bruins in the road trip finale. Tanner Laczynski recorded his second career hat trick. The Lycksell-Laczynski-Brooks line teamed up to score all five goals for Lehigh Valley in the dominating performance.

– Forward Olle Lycksell and defenseman Adam Ginning have been recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers.
– Defensemen Darren Brady and Mason Millman have joined the Phantoms from the Reading Royals.
– Lehigh Valley has added new players on PTO’s who have also signed one-year AHL deals with the Phantoms for the 2024-25 season: Jacques Bouquot played this season at Penn State and Tyler Gratton of Pottstown previously played four years at Penn State before joining Arizona State in his fifth-year transfer season

Olle Lycksell became just the second Lehigh Valley player to record four assists in a game. Phil Varone also had a four-helper night on November 4, 2017 against the Binghamton Devils. He also tied a Phantoms franchise record on his big night.
Adam Brooks wrapped up a seven-point weekend with a monster five-point game at Providence, just the second five-point performance in Lehigh Valley history and one off the franchise record set by Mike Maneluk in 2000 with the Philadelphia Phantoms. The only other five-point game with Lehigh Valley was Colin McDonald’s performance on January 27, 2016 for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms against the Binghamton Senators that included a hat trick with two assists.
Tanner Laczynski secured his second career hat trick in Saturday’s win at Providence, His first hattie was on March 24, 2021 at the Binghamton Devils (in Newark, NJ). Laczynski is the fourth player in Lehigh Valley history with a pair of hat tricks and the first to record two hat tricks on the road. Others with two career hat tricks for Lehigh Valley include Nick Cousins, Danick Martel (3) and Garrett Wilson.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have pushed ahead of the Springfield Thunderbirds for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with just 14 games remaining. Lehigh Valley has points in five of its last seven games (4-2-1) and currently stands one point ahead of the Thunderbirds. The Phantoms host Springfield in a pivotal showdown on Wednesday night.
The top six teams in the Atlantic qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs. The first round is a Best of 3 series and right now would see the Phantoms take on the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 6 vs. 3 matchup in late April.
Lehigh Valley’s second-round matchup would be against first-place Hershey in a Best of 5 series.

The Phantoms record when:
– Score 4 or more goals: 18-0-2
– Allow 3 or fewer goals: 18-6-3
– Lead After 1st period: 7-1-2
– Lead After 2nd period: 13-2-1
– One-Goal Games: 18-6-8
– Overtime: 6-5 / Shootout: 4-3

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Springfield Thunderbirds
Springfield (27-27-5) had fallen off the pace dropping seven out of nine before a bounce-back 6-4 win at the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday to stay within striking distance of the Phantoms for the last playoff spot. This is the last meeting of the season between the two teams. Lehigh Valley is 2-2-1 against the T-Birds but Springfield won the last meeting 4-2 on December 16 at PPL Center. Olle Lycksell won AHL Player of the Week honors for his gigantic weekend in October, mostly against Springfield, which included a hat trick in Western Mass on Friday, October 20 and a game-winning goal in the PPL Center rematch on Sunday, October 22.
Adam Gaudette is tied for the AHL lead with 36 goals for a T-Birds team that rates ninth in the AHL at 3.17 goals per game. The loss of captain Matthew Peca (12-29-41) to injury has been especially impactful. Former Washington first-rounder Jakub Vrana (10-13-23) has done well in his 29 games since arriving from St. Louis in December. Veteran goaltender Malcolm Subban exited for Cleveland after he was traded at the deadline. Head coach Drew Bannister left on December 12 to take over as interim head coach of St. Louis and Daniel Tkaczuk has been in the interim head coach role with the AHL team since then. Vadim Zherenko (11-9-2, 3.12, .912) has taken the reigns as the team’s #1.

Saturday, March 23, 2024 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA

Phantoms vs. Bridgeport Islanders
Bridgeport (20-33-7) tried to make a push back into postseason contention but has since dropped four straight including three games north of the border at Laval and Belleville. The Phantoms are 2-1-0 against the B-Isles entering Game 4 out of 6 in the season series. The Phantoms squeaked out a 4-3 win in Connecticut on March 10 on a pair of goals by Rhett Gardner in the most recent meeting. The away team has won all three games in the series so far. Second-year pro Ruslan Ishakov (16-26-42) leads the offense and is tied for the AHL lead with four overtime goals. Former Phantom Cole Bardreau (10-11-21) is in his fifth season with the Islanders after playing five years for the Phantoms. Rookie Henrik Tikkanen (7-5-2, 2.17, .927) checks in at 6’8″ and has also been their best between the pipes since joining from ECHL Worcester in December. Bridgeport is last in the league at 2.23 goals per game and the B-Isles power play at just 13.1% is also at the bottom.

Sunday, March 24 (3:05) 
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (31-20-9) holds down third place in the Atlantic after taking three of four points at North Division-leading Cleveland in a Sunday/Monday series that included a Radim Zohorna hat trick in a 5-2 win to close the set. The Baby Pens have gone 3-0-1 at PPL Center while the Phantoms are 3-1-0 in Northeast Pennsylvania in a series that has seen the visiting team win on six of eight occasions. Defenseman Ty Smith (9-28-37) leads the offense and stayed with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton even after he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina second-rounder Vasily Ponomarev joined the Pens in that same trade that sent Jake Guentzel to the Canes. Joel Blomqvist (20-9-6, 2.14, .918) is third in the AHL in goals-against average and recorded his first career shutout last week against the Phantoms. Blomqvist is 3-1-2, 2.33, .917 against the Phantoms and NHL veteran Vinnie Hinostroza has scored 1-6-7 in the season series.
The Penguins hold a three-point lead over Charlotte for the 3-seed in the Atlantic Division and would meet the 6-seed Phantoms in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs if the standings remain as they are currently.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cooper Marody 15-32-47
Samu Tuomaala 14-26-40
x – Olle Lycksell 19-19-38
Tanner Laczynski 12-19-31
Emil Andrae 4-26-30
x – Ronnie Attard 10-15-25

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

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

Friday, March 29 (7:00) at Syracuse Crunch
Saturday, March 30 (6:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Tuesday, April 2 (7:00) at Hershey Bears