Phantoms Make Triumphant Return to PPL Center!
February 22, 2021
Phantoms On The Ice:
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Binghamton Devils 0
The Phantoms officially returned to PPL Center for their first home game in 346 days with a strong performance in a 3-0 win over the visiting Binghamton Devils. Zayde Wisdom scored a pair of goals for the second straight game and Zane McIntyre collected 25 saves in his 14th career AHL shutout. Max Willman scored his first goal of the season while Cal O’Reilly and Ryan Fitzgerald had two assists apiece. The Phantoms were also pleased to safely welcome back a couple hundred fans via a season-ticket random lottery. Lehigh Valley improved to 5-2-0 all-time in season openers at PPL Center since the team arrived in Allentown in 2014.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 6:00 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3-0-1) at Binghamton Devils (2-2-1) – RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House, Newark, NJ
The Phantoms visit the Binghamton Devils in Newark in Game 3 out of 14 total meetings this season. Lehigh Valley is 1-0-1 against the Devils this season. This is the rescheduled game from a postponement last Friday, February 19. 19-year-old defenseman Michael Vokojevic leads the team with five points on one goal and four assists. 34-year-old veteran Ben Street has two goals and two assists. Evan Cormier is 2-0 in net with a 1.96 goals-against while Gilles Senn is 0-2 despite a .932 save percentage.
Friday, February 26, 2021, 5:00 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3-0-1) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1-2-1) – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre, PA
The two Pennsylvania rivals officially meet for the first time this season in a Provident Bank Pennsylvania Cup showdown game but they actually have already established some familiarity this year. The Phantoms defeated the Penguins 2-0 in a preseason game at PPL Center on February 4 with Felix Sandstrom recording a 21-save shutout. The Penguins are led by former Charlotte Checker and Bridgeport Sound Tiger Nick Schilkey who has four points, all assists. Jordy Bellerive and Josh Currie each have two goals but both have been recalled to the Pittsburgh Penguins taxi squad. Emil Larmi has played three of the four games while veteran Max Lagace performed well in a 2-1 loss against Hershey last week.
Saturday, February 27, 2021, 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3-0-1) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1-2-1) – PPL Center, Allentown, PA
The Phantoms and Penguins rematch in the back-end of a home-and-home series in the second home game of the season for the Phantoms and the sixth game overall. Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will square off ten times this season. Lehigh Valley went 4-4-2 against the Penguins last season. The last official game the Penguins played in Allentown was also the last game of the season on March 11, 2020 when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defeated the Penguins in overtime 2-1. The season was suspended and eventually cancelled the next day.
More Wizardry from Wiz!
It was another two goals for 18-year-old Zayde Wisdom to lead the way in the Phantoms home opener on Saturday night. With back-to-back two-goal games, the newcomer leads the team with four goals. Wisdom scored the first goal at PPL Center this season at 5:30 into the first period joining an elite group that also includes Scott Laughton, Aaron Palushaj, Mark Zengerle, Danick Martel, Greg Carey and Kurtis Gabriel to spark the debut sound-off of the arena goal-horn.
The youngest player in Phantoms franchise history was a fourth-round selection of the Flyers in 2020 from the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. Normally, Wisdom would still be with his team in the OHL but their season has not started due to the pandemic thus allowing him to seize this opportunity to play with the professionals.
Second-year winger Maksim Sushko made his NHL debut last Thursday night when the Flyers returned to play against the New York Rangers. Sushko then played in his second NHL game in the outdoor event at Lake Tahoe. Sushko became the eighth player born in Belarus to play in the NHL and the 14th all-time Belarus citizen. He was also the 27th Lehigh Valley Phantom to receive an NHL debut call-up with the Philadelphia Flyers joining a list that includes Shayne Gostisbehere, Oskar Lindblom, Carter Hart, Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost, Travis Sanheim, Phil Myers, Mark Friedman, Robert Hagg and many more.
McIntyre Shuts Them Down
Veteran AHL goalie Zane McIntyre recorded his 14th career shutout in the Phantoms’ home opener with 25 saves in a performance that included several brilliant denials in the third period amidst a frantic push by Binghamton. McIntyre has played all four games for the Phantoms beginning with a tremendous 34-save performance in a 2-1 comeback overtime win at Hershey on February 6 in the season opener. He has gone 3-0-1 with a goals-against average of 1.73 and a save percentage of .942 in his tenure with the Phantoms. The former Mike Richter Award winner (top NCAA goalie) at the University of North Dakota was a long-time member of the Providence Bruins. McIntyre has been friends with Alex Lyon since childhood and both competed against each other at rival high schools in northern Minnesota.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will again be broadcasting all of the Phantoms’ regular season home games live during the 2021 season. If you can’t make it out to the rink, be sure to catch all the exciting action in high definition with Steve Degler, Steven Swavely, Dan Fremuth and Kristi Fulkerson!
And be sure to catch each and every Phantoms game this season live on 1470-AM WSAN or via the Phantoms365 app! Join Bob Rotruck, for all of the heart-pumping action of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey whether the team is at home or on the road.
For the latest Phantoms news, download the Phantoms 365 app on your Android or iPhone device. And visit www.phantomshockey.com or follow the team on Facebook, Twitter (@lvphantoms) and Instagram (@lehighvalleyphantoms).