Andrew Gordon Scores Against Former Team
October 3, 2014
Hershey, PA – Veteran winger Andrew Gordon’s return to ChocolateTown was a memorable one. An exciting, new addition to the Phantoms this season blasted home a second-period power-play goal in his former home arena during a Friday night preseason showdown between the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Hershey Bears. The host Bears would go on to score the next three goals in securing a 3-1 victory in the finale of the two-game preseason set between the two rivals.
Gordon had scored 102 goals in four seasons for the Hershey Bears including a career-high 37 lamplighters in 2009-10 helping lead the team to a second consecutive Calder Cup. One of the most popular players in Hershey Bears’ history wasn’t sure how the fan-response would be for his return now that he is donning the sweater of a heated rival. But the crowd at Giant Center applauded approvingly when hearing his name over the PA speakers for the first time in a few years.
Gordon’s goal came off the rebound of a hard slapper by talented rookie Shayne Gostisbehere whose wide blast turned into a perfect carom off the end-boards. Gostisbehere was credited with eight shots on goal which didn’t include a couple others that missed as well as one monster that he blasted off the post. Gostisbehere also had another drive that appeared to deflect off the shoulder of the Hershey goaltender and then glance off the iron and away.
Rookie goalie Martin Ouellette from the University of Maine started for the Phantoms and turned away all 10 shots he faced before making way for third-year pro Connor Knapp at the mid-point of the game.
Don’t forget, these games are just the preseason appetizers. The Phantoms and Bears are set to square off 12 more times during the regular season. All-time, the Phantoms and Bears have met 184 times in the 18-year history of the rivalry which dates back to the beginning of the Philadelphia Phantoms in 1996.
The Phantoms lineup included many of their top, young talents who did not play in Wednesday’s game at PPL Center. Tonight marked the first appearance in a Lehigh Valley Phantoms jersey for Scott Laughton, Shayne Gostisbehere, Taylor Leier, Robert Hagg and Mark Alt. Also joining the lineup was tough-guy Zack Stortini who led the AHL with 299 penalty minutes last year with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL). Stortini didn’t have the opportunity to drop the gloves though as there were no fights in the contest while the players mostly kept the play clean.
Hershey was able to prevail thanks to the stellar goaltending of 22-year-old German prospect Philipp Grubauer who made 34 saves on 35 shots. He was tested the most in the first period when Lehigh Valley’s pressure was seemingly too much for Hershey to handle. The Phantoms picked off pass after pass keeping the shots coming while Hershey was hemmed in.
Lehigh Valley aoso had the better of the play for much of the second period as well although perhaps were not as dominating. But in the closing minutes of the middle frame Hershey started to turn the tables on the Phantoms. Dustin Gazley scored from the left-circle when he found himself with a wide-open opportunity following a right-point shot that appeared to bounce fortuitously off the back of the leg of Phantoms defenseman Mark Alt. Gazley buried his chance from the left-circle to equalize at the second intermission.
Then Stan Galiev would convert from between the circles on an assist by Tim Kennedy in the opening seconds of the third and, somewhat shockingly, the Bears had taken the lead even though the Phantoms certainly had the better of the play for the majority of the game up until that point.
Hershey built on their momentum and kept up the pressure in the third but Lehigh Valley goalie Connor Knapp was able to steer away a number of Bears drives. Finally, Garrett Mitchell was able to poke home the last score of the night with just a couple minutes remaining after a scramble in the crease to seal their 3-1 decision.
Lehigh Valley was 1-for-4 on the power play while Hershey went 0-for-2. The Phantoms out-shot the Bears 35-31.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms conclude their preseason schedule on Saturday night with a 7:05 tilt against the Albany Devils at PPL Center. Tickets are available by calling PPL Center at 610-347-TIXX (8499), logging on to PPLCenter.com , or visiting the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office located at 7th and Hamilton in PPL Center.
Individual Game Tickets for the regular season go on sale beginning this Monday at 10:00 AM. The Phantoms Opening Night contest on Friday, October 17 against the Adirondack Flames is sure to be a hot seller! Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance.
Check it out! Don’t miss the action and fun of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey at PPL Center in downtown Allentown! Contact the Phantoms Front Office for information on season tickets and affordable partial-season plans by calling 610-224-GOAL (4625)
Notes – October 4 will mark the 18th anniversary of the first ever game for the Phantoms franchise. Peter White scored the first goal for the Philadelphia Phantoms in a 6-3 victory at the Springfield Falcons. White is the Phantoms’ franchise all-time leading scorer with 153 goals and was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame two seasons ago.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 at Hershey Bears 3 – Status: Final
Friday, October 3, 2014 – Giant Center
Lehigh Valley 0 1 0 – 1
Hershey 0 1 2 – 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Manning Lv (tripping), 9:41.
2nd Period-1, Lehigh Valley, Gordon 3 (Gostisbehere, Laughton), 12:50 (PP). 2, Hershey, Gazley 1 (Kundratek, Spencer), 19:21. Penalties-Galiev Her (tripping), 6:06; Hagg Lv (hooking, cross-checking), 8:12; Herbert Her (slashing), 8:12; Herbert Her (hooking), 12:15; Carrick Her (high-sticking), 14:02.
3rd Period-3, Hershey, Galiev 3 (Kennedy, Kundratek), 0:24. 4, Hershey, Mitchell 1 (Cornet, Kennedy), 18:39. Penalties-Carrick Her (high-sticking), 4:45.
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 12-14-9-35. Hershey 7-10-14-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 1 / 4; Hershey 0 / 2.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Ouellette 1-0-0 (10 shots-10 saves); Knapp 0-1-0 (21 shots-18 saves). Hershey, Grubauer 2-1-1 (35 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Garrett Rank (48), Furman South (55).
Linesmen-Bob Goodman (90), Leo Boylan (97).
Saturday, October 4 (7:05) – Albany Devils at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Preseason)
Friday, October 17 (7:05) – Adirondack Flames at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Opening Night!