Phantoms Power Play Presented by Provident Bank

Down the Stretch

April 1, 2024

Allentown, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (28-26-9) have a big week of games to open April as they control the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division by two points over Springfield.
The Phantoms begin on Tuesday night at Hershey before playing a pair of home games on Friday and Saturday including Star Wars Night in the Saturday game against the Cleveland Monsters.
There are nine games remaining in the regular season and Lehigh Valley’s Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is at 15 points.

March 29 – Phantoms 6 – Syracuse Crunch 4
March 30 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4 – Phantoms 3 (OT)

Tuesday, April 2 (7:00) – Phantoms at Hershey Bears
Friday, April 5 (7:05) – Providence Bruins at Phantoms
Saturday, April 6 (7:05) – Cleveland Monsters at Phantoms
Sunday, April 7 (3:05) – Phantoms at W-B/Scranton Penguins

Friday, March 29, 2024
Phantoms 6 – Syracuse Crunch 4
Cooper Marody became just the fifth player in Lehigh Valley history to record multiple hat tricks in a career and Adam Brooks extended his goal streak to five games as the Phantoms picked up their first win in Syracuse in eight years via an exciting 6-4 decision. The Phantoms opened the scoring with back-to-back shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill when Jacob Gaucher and Adam Brooks buried consecutive tallies. Marody sealed the win with an empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining for the team’s third hat trick of the season. Defenseman Hunter McDonald returned to the lineup after an injury one week earlier and registered a +4 rating in his first full pro game.

Saturday, March 23, 2024
Penguins 4 – Phantoms 3 (OT)
Lehigh Valley rallied from behind in the third period on consecutive goals by Samu Tuomaala and Emil Andrae but the Penguins weren’t finished and tied the game with 3:30 left before Corey Andonovki’s winner in overtime. The Phantoms were clinging to a 1-0 lead after Ethan Samson’s second career goal and Felix Sandstrom made a number of strong saves in his first game with the Phantoms in over a month before Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finally turned the tables with two goals at the end of the second period.

Mar 29 – Felix Sandstrom (G) loaned to the Phantoms from the Philadelphia Flyers
Mar 30 – Parker Gahagen (G) loaned by the Phantoms to the Reading Royals

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have pushed ahead of the Springfield Thunderbirds for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with just 9 games remaining.
Lehigh Valley’s Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is at 15 points.
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 Charlotte Checkers in a 6 vs. 3 matchup in late April which would also be a rematch of last year’s postseason clash in which the Checkers rallied from behind to steal a 2-1 series win. The possible rematch is hardly a guarantee though. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is only two points behind Charlotte for the 3 spot and the Penguins also have one game in hand.
Lehigh Valley’s second-round matchup would be against first-place Hershey in a Best of 5 series.

Adam Brooks had his five-game goal streak snapped on Saturday despite several strong chances at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Brooks fell one short of the Lehigh Valley record six-game goal streak by Danick Martel in the 2017-18 season. Brooks is also on a seven-game point streak since March 15 which is tied for the longest by a Phantom this season (also Olle Lycksell Nov 12 – Dec 1). Brooks has scored 6-7-13 over his last seven games.
The Lehigh Valley record for longest point streak is 10 games by Jason Akeson in the inaugural 2014-15 season.

Cooper Marody became just the fifth Lehigh Valley player to record multiple hat tricks with the team joining Tanner Laczynski, Garrett Wilson, Danick Martel and Nick Cousins. Marody is also only the second player in Lehigh Valley history to notch a trifecta in consecutive seasons joining Danick Martel.
Marody also had a hat trick barely over a year ago on March 11, 2023 against the Belleville Senators.
The Phantoms have three hat tricks this season and all three have come on the road:
Olle Lycksell on October 20 at Springfield, Tanner Laczynski on March 16 at Providence, Cooper Marody on March 29 at Syracuse.

Rookie defenseman Hunter McDonald played his first full pro game on Friday at Syracuse and instantly impressed. McDonald was physical and active and finished with a +4 rating in Lehigh Valley’s 6-4 win at Syracuse. The Fairport, NY native used to play in the very same arena as a kid with the youth Syracuse Stars. The 21-year-old checks in at 6’4″ and was a Round 6 selection of the Flyers in 2021 before playing two seasons at Northeastern University. All of this after his official debut at PPL Center on March 23 was cut short due to injury after just two shifts. But McDonald was cleared to return to play quickly and thrived in central New York.

The Phantoms record when:
– Score 4 or more goals: 19-0-2
– Allow 3 or fewer goals: 18-6-3
– Lead After 1st period: 8-1-2
– Lead After 2nd period: 15-2-1
– One-Goal Games: 18-7-8
– Overtime: 6-5 / Shootout: 4-3

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 (7:00)
GIANT Center, Hershey, PA
Phantoms at Hershey Bears
Hershey (47-12-5) is running away with the Atlantic Division and is in pursuit of the all-time AHL record for best points percentage in a full season. The defending Calder Cup Champs also sit at 99 standings points as they look to become the first team this season to reach the Century mark. But Lehigh Valley has done well against the crew from Chocolatetown. In fact, better than any other team. The Phantoms are 4-4-2 against Hershey including an unusual 1-0 shootout win against the Bears in their last meeting on March 3 at PPL Center when Cal Petersen’s shutout earned the win over Clay Stevenson’s shutout. In fact, the Phantoms have gone 3-1-1 against Hershey in the last five matchups, all in 2024. Four out of the ten games have gone to overtime.
Joe Snively (11-38-49) and Alex Limoges (21-24-45) pace the offense. Pierrick Dube (26-16-42) and Ethen Frank (25-16-41) are also in the 20+ goal department and Dube has scored five of his goals against the Phantoms. The stingy Bears allow less than 2.1 goals and under 26 shots per contest, both tops in the AHL. Goaltenders Hunter Shepard (24-3-3, 1.86, .925) and Clay Stevenson (21-9-2, 1.97, .925) are first and second in the AHL in goals-against average.

Friday, April 5, 2024 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Providence Bruins
Providence (38-19-7) is mostly locked in for the two-seed in the Atlantic Division although the Charlotte Checkers are still within striking distance at a six-point deficit. The Phantoms took three of four points in Rhode Island last March in a weekend series that saw Tanner Laczynski record a hat trick and Adam Brooks a five-point game in a 5-2 victory on March 16. But that was Lehigh Valley’s first win against the Baby Bruins this season. The Phantoms are 1-2-2 against Providence. Second-year pro Georgii Merkulov (25-33-58) is fifth in the AHL in scoring and second in the Eastern Conference behind only Springfield’s Adam Gaudette and he also has scored 3-4-7 against the Phantoms this season. First-rounder Fabian Lysell (15-35-50) had an overtime winner at PPL Center on November 24 and veteran Jayson Megna (17-31-48) leads the AHL with five shorthanded goals. The high-flying Bruins are third in the AHL at 3.4 goals per game.

Saturday, April 6 (7:05)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Phantoms vs. Cleveland Monsters
Lehigh Valley fans have not seen the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets since the very first game of the season on October 15 but the Monsters are back for Star Wars Night. Slumping Cleveland (35-22-7) has fallen out of the top spot in the North Division behind Syracuse following a number of call-ups to the Blue Jackets. Four of their to six scorers are gone with Jake Christensen, Brendan Gaunce, Carson Meyer and Mikael Pyythia all getting a look with the big club as well as goaltender Jet Greaves.
But leading scorer Trey Fix-Wolansky (24-34-58) is back. He’s tied with Providence’s Georgii Merkulov for fifth in the AHL in scoring which began with his four-point performance in Allentown on October 15.
Veteran goaltender Malc0olm Subban (11-16-4, 3.03, .904) arrived from Springfield in a trade between St. Louis and Columbus to provide stability on the back end.

Sunday, April 7, 2024 (3:05)
Mohegan Sun Arean, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Phantoms at W-B/Scranton Penguins
W-B/Scranton (33-22-9) hosts the Phantoms yet again for Round 11 of the season series. The Phantoms are 4-5-1 against the Baby Pens but have dropped the last three contests against their northeast Pennsylvania rivals. Four out of the ten meetings have gone to overtime. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has slipped to fourth place in the division behind streaking Charlotte but are still only two points back of the Checkers for third place with one game-in-hand meaning a possible Pennsylvania Playoff matchup is still very possible.
Defenseman Ty Smith (9-29-38) leads the Baby Pens in scoring and stayed with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton even after he was traded by Pittsburgh to Carolina (who loaned him back to the team he was already playing for). Second-rounder Joel Blomqvist (22-10-6, 2.15, .919) continues to thrive in his rookie season and is third in the AHL in GAA. Against the Phantoms, Blomqvist has gone 5-1-2, 2.24, .922 including his first career shutout on March 13.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cooper Marody 18-32-50
Samu Tuomaala 15-27-42
x – Olle Lycksell 19-19-38
Tanner Laczynski 13-24-37
Emil Andrae 5-27-32
x – Ronnie Attard 10-15-25

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Tuesday, April 2 (7:00) at Hershey Bears

Friday, April 5 (7:05) vs. Providence Bruins – Berks $1 Hot Dog Night
Saturday, April 6 (7:05) vs. Cleveland Monsters – Star Wars Night
Sunday, April 7 (3:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins