Stretch Run! Just Six Games Left Including Four at Home
May 4, 2021
Phantoms On The Ice:
Wednesday, April 28 – Wilkes-Barre, PA
WBS Penguins 2 – Lehigh Valley 1 (OT)
The Phantoms cranked up a season-high 42 shots on goal but Penguins goalie Alex D’Orio turned in his career-best performance on his 22nd birthday as the Penguins pushed through with an overtime winner scored by Tim Schaller. Linus Sandin scored the lone goal for the Phantoms and Felix Sandstrom had 32 saves in a strong performance.
Saturday, May 1 – PPL Center
Binghamton Devils 4 – Lehigh Valley 2
The tenth try was the charm for the Binghamton Devils who finally beat the Phantoms in regulation for the first time this season. Lehigh Valley moved to 7-1-2 against the Devils as their four-game point streak came to a close. Isaac Ratcliffe (2nd) and Max Willman (8th) scored for the Phantoms while Mason Jobst had two goals and two assists in the Devils’ attack.
Sunday, May 2 – Giant Center, Hershey
Hershey Bears 2 – Lehigh Valley 0
Felix Sandstrom was terrific in a 40-save performance but the Phantoms were shut out for the first time this season in a 2-0 loss at Hershey. It was also the first time this season the Phantoms have taken consecutive regulation losses. Hershey built up a 25-5 shot advantage early in the second period but Sandstrom had kept the game deadlocked at 0-0 through the heavy barrage. Hunter Shepard won for Hershey in his AHL debut with 28 saves and had some strong point-blank denials on Isaac Ratcliffe, Connor Bunnaman and Chris Mueller among others. The intensity of the rivalry also boiled over with several scraps and scrums throughout the engagement.
Wednesday, May 4, 7:05 p.m. – PPL Center
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (15-6-4) vs. Hershey Bears (20-6-2)
The Phantoms and Bears rematch at PPL Center in the middle game of the three-game series between the two rivals. The North Division and Provident Pennsylvania Cup are on the line for the Phantoms who are trying to chase down the Bears in the standings. Lehigh Valley is 5-4-0 against Hershey this season but the Bears have won the last two matchups. Ryan Fitzgerald has scored 5 of his team-leading 10 goals against Hershey. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby has scored 5 times against the Phantoms of his 8 total goals this season.
Saturday, May 8, 4:00 p.m. – Giant Center
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (15-6-4) at Hershey Bears (20-6-2)
The Phantoms and Bears wrap up the season’s rivalry-series on Saturday afternoon at Giant Center. Capitals’ first-rounder Connor McMichael leads the team with 11 goals this year and 37-year-old captain Matt Moulson has 10 goals. Phillippe Maillet has racked up 17 points in 13 games since arriving from the Washington Taxi Squad beginning with a 5-assist game against the Phantoms on March 21, The Bears enter the week having won 9 of their last 10.
Sunday, May 9, 3:05 p.m. – PPL Center
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (15-4-2) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (10-11-6)
The Phantoms host the Penguins for a Mothers’ Day matinee rivalry showdown at PPL Center. Be prepared to stay a few minutes longer because the last five meetings between these two teams have gone to overtime. The Phantoms are 3-1-2 against the Penguins this season. The last time the Penguins came to PPL Center on April 3, Tyson Foerster scored two goals and then added the shootout winner. After this game there are just three games remaining in the regular season and only two at home.
Felix Sandström had his third consecutive sensational outing on Sunday at Hershey equaling a career-high with 40 saves in a 2-0 loss at the Bears. Sandström allowed just one goal and also kept the game deadlocked at 0-0 despite an early shots advantage heavily in favor of the Bears at the beginning. After an inconsistent start with sporadic playing opportunities, Sandström has a .956 save percentage in his last three games with 109 saves on 114 shots
Sandin is Scoring
24-year-old Linus Sandin has found his scoring touch over the past few games with three consecutive goals for the Phantoms over a two-game stretch. On Wednesday, he helped the Phantoms earn a standings point with the team’s lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss at the Penguins. That followed a two-goal performance at the Binghamton Devils last Monday. In his debut season in North America, the Flyers’ free-agent signee has five goals and three assists.
Mueller Moves Up
35-year-old veteran Chris Mueller had a slick assist from the corner to set up Isaac Ratcliffe’s goal on Saturday night as he continues to move up among the AHL’s all-time leaders. Mueller is now 60th all-time in AHL history with 574 points. That is also second among active AHL players trailing only teammate Cal O’Reilly (629 points). The two-time Calder Cup Champion (Texas and Toronto) with 796 career games in the AHL is on his way to becoming just the 41st in league history to play 800 games.
Service Electric Network 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).