Exciting Opening Weekend at PPL Center
October 25, 2022
Lehigh Valley, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms took three out of four points from the Cleveland Monsters through a pair of exciting Opening Weekend contests that included the team’s 101st all-time all-time PPL Center sellout and postgame photos with the players following a terrific Sunday win.
Lehigh Valley (2-1-1) continues the homestand this Friday and Saturday during “Haunted on Hamilton” weekend. Wear your costumes! Face painting on the concourse during both games and kids in costume get to go on the ice for a Halloween Parade with meLVin during Saturday’s game at the first intermission.
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Cleveland 4 – Phantoms 3 (OT)
An Opening Night sellout crowd was treated to a thriller. Cal O’Reilly tied the see-saw game with just 62 seconds left to force overtime but Cleveland’s Emil Bemstrom secured the second standings point for the Monsters with his second goal of the game.
Elliot Desnoyers scored for a third consecutive game to begin his pro career. Hayden Hodgson scored the season’s first Phantoms goal at PPL Center.
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Phantoms 5 – Cleveland 4
It was a killer rematch in Center City Allentown on Sunday afternoon with the Phantoms emerging victorious in another tight game. Ronnie Attard scored twice in the first period and added an assist later while narrowly missing a hat trick on two other occasions. Tyson Foerster scored a strong 1-on-2 goal by peeling away from the defenders and rifling a shot bar-down from the left circle while fading away. Garrett Wilson had a goal and an assist as did Max Willman with a shorthanded marker in the third period on the rebound of an Attard breakaway.
Troy Grosenick (2-0-0) was tremendous with 39 saves as the Phantoms killed off almost a minute-and-a-half of 6-on-4 to hang on for the win. Jordy Bellerive, Kevin Connatuon, Attard and others had key blocks in the nailbiting finish.
WHAT A WEEKEND! – The rally towel-waving crowd on Saturday’s Opening Night contest was electric throughout beginning with the introductions of each player. Superfan Cameron Hughes cranked it up with his own brand of T-Shirt Mania. And the players for both sides delivered in a physical, hard, feisty, and entertaining game that had the fans on the edge of their seats. Sunday’s rematch picked up on that momentum. And the fans got to meet and congratulate the players during the postgame photo session as we also officially welcomed back our fan-interaction promotional events. It was an awesome way to start the season!
Friday, October 28 at 7:05 p.m., PPL Center
Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Rivals collide for Round 2 to start off two more home games at PPL Center. Lehigh Valley won 3-2 in overtime at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (3-0-1) to begin the season on Saturday, October 15 with Louie Belpedio scoring the game-winner with just 1.4 seconds remaining. The Penguins have been perfect since then with a 3-game win streak and will host the Cleveland Monsters on Wednesday night. Alex Nylander leads the team with 3-2-5. Former Phantom, Dustin Tokarski, is the team’s #1 goalie and is off to a fantastic start at 2-0-1, 1.63, .938. Another former Phantom, Mark Friedman, is on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as well. NHL veteran Drake Caggiula was recalled to Pittsburgh.
Saturday, October 29 at 7:05 p.m., PPL Center
Phantoms vs. Bridgeport Islanders
It’s the first of eight matchups between the Phantoms and Brent Thompson’s Bridgeport Islanders (4-0-0) who are scorching hot on a 4-game win streak following an Opening Night loss. This team is loaded with top prospects including 2018 2nd rounder Ruslan Iskhakov who leads the team in scoring with 2-4-6. 19-year-old Aatu Raty had an overtime playoff series-clinching goal against Providence last year and, more recently, set up 20-year-old William DuFour on an overtime winner last week. Watch out for former Phantoms Cole Bardreau (1-1-2) and Andy Andreoff (2-3-5) who are among the team’s veteran leaders.
Sunday, October 30 at 5:00 p.m., Giant Center, Hershey PA
Phantoms at Hershey Bears
The Phantoms travel back to Chocolatetown where they look to avenge their only regulation loss of the season. Hershey topped Lehigh Valley 2-1 on October 16 on a game-winner for former Phantom Mike Vecchione (that was originally credited to Mike Sgarbossa prior to a scoring change). Vecchione leads the team in scoring with 2-2-4. Zach Fucale in net is 2-1-0, 2.02, .897. The Bears dropped a pair of games at unbeaten Charlotte last weekend. Cal O’Reilly scored 6-6-12 against Hershey last season including three shorthanded goals. Todd Nelson is Hershey’s new head coach after Scott Allen accepted a position with the Washington Capitals as an assistant coach.
Jackson Cates – Assigned to Phantoms from Philadelphia Flyers
– Elliott Desnoyers became the first Lehigh Valley Phantom to score goals in his first three professional games.
– Ronnie Attard’s two goals on Sunday were his first-ever in the AHL but not the first of his pro career. He played in 15 games with the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of last season where he scored two goals.
– Friday night will be Garrett Wilson’s 700th pro game. That includes 514 games in the AHL and 84 games in the NHL with Florida and Pittsburgh as well as 101 games in the ECHL early in his career.
– Cal O’Reilly has 536 career assists in the AHL which is 8th all-time in league history. His 829 career games in the AHL rates 32nd all-time. Next up is former Flyers head coach and former Philadelphia Phantoms captain and head coach John Stevens who is 31st all-time with 834 games.
– The Phantoms have played in four consecutive one-goal games to start the season. Two of those games have gone to overtime.
– Lehigh Valley is now 5-3-1 in home openers and the Phantoms franchise is 18-7-2 in debuts at home.
Team Scoring Leaders
Elliot Desnoyers 3-1-4
Ronnie Attard 2-2-4
Garrett Wilson 1-3-4
Tyson Foerster 1-2-3
Max Willman 1-2-3
Troy Grosenick 2-0-0, 2.89, .928
Sam Ersson 0-1-1, 3.04, .898
Friday, October 28 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – HAUNTED ON HAMILTON!
Saturday, October 29 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders – HAUNTED ON HAMILTON! SNHL Returns
Sunday, October 30 (5:00) at Hershey Bears
Friday, November 4 (7:00) at Belleville Senators
Saturday, November 5 (3:00) at Laval Rocket
Tickets for upcoming Phantoms games are available HERE
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.