Phantoms Pummel Past Hershey 5-1

Two goals for Jackson Cates leads Lehigh Valley’s charge

February 4, 2023

Hershey, PA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms cruise into the AHL All-Star Break in style after pumping the Hershey Bears by a 5-1 count on Saturday night. Jackson Cates (9th, 10th) scored twice and Bobby Brink (6th) recorded his first professional three-point night. Sam Ersson was stellar in net for the Phantoms with a near-perfect 22-save performance for his 13th win of the season as the Phantoms knocked off first-place Hershey for a second time this week.

Lehigh Valley (22-17-5) fell behind 1-0 early, but five unanswered goals for the good guys in orange soon silenced the hometown crowd. At 14:13 of the opening period, Aliaksei Protas (2nd) deposited a rebound chance after an initial shot from Ethen Frank was kicked out by Ersson.

Shortly into the second period, the Phantoms cranked up the pressure and turned the tide. At 2:21, Jackson Cates buried the equalizer after a picture-perfect sub-goal line feed from Max Willman for Cates’ ninth tally of the season.

Lehigh Valley later went to work on a 5-on-3 power play, and AHL All-Star Tyson Foerster unleashed an All-Star caliber shot following a sequence of spectacular saves by Hershey goaltender Hunter Shepard. From center-point, Foerster solved Shepard with a snipe to the upper-left corner for his team-leading 17th goal of the season. Olle Lycksell and Egor Zamula both earned the helpers at 8:16 to provide a 2-1 Phantoms lead into the second intermission.

The third period had an Orange and Black theme with a crooked number posted on the scoreboard and a plethora of insurance tallies added. Jordy Bellerive sparked an exciting third-period rout with his sixth goal of the season at 6:55. On an offensive zone entry, Brink dished across to Bellerive on the move who blasted home a shot from the left dot off the far iron and into the net.

Lehigh Valley opened its lead to 4-1 at 16:49 with the club’s second power-play goal of the night. Bobby Brink buried a rebound of a Louie Belpedio slapshot and knocked it in past the left skate of the scrambling Bears’ netminder.

Jackson Cates completed the scoring party in style with a shorthanded, empty-net goal at 19:44 from Willman and Adam Karashik.

The Phantoms now cruise into the AHL All-Star Classic with four out of six points on the week, including back-to-back wins over the Hershey Bears. In the last two head-to-heads against Hershey, Lehigh Valley has outscored the Chocolate and White by a 10-3 margin.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms will return to action on Friday, February 10 at the Hartford Wolf Pack, before returning home to PPL Center to face the Bridgeport Islanders on “Hockey is for Everyone” Night on Saturday, February 11.

1st – 14:13 – HER A. Protas (2) (E. Frank, M. Sgarbossa) (PP) 0-1

2nd – 2:21 – LV J. Cates (9) (M. Willman, B. Brink) 1-1
2nd – 8:16 – LV T. Foerster (17) (O. Lycksell, E. Zamula) (PP) 2-1

3rd – 2:55 – LV J. Bellerive (6) (B. Brink, E. Zamula) 3-1
3rd – 16:49 – LV B. Brink (6) (L. Belpedio, R. Attard) 4-1
3rd – 19:44 – LV J. Cates (10) (M. Willman, A. Karashik) (EN, SH) 5-1

LV 29 – HER 23

LV 2/3, HER 1/4

LV – S. Ersson (W) (13-10-1) (22/23)
HER – H. Shepard (L) (12-3-3) (24/28)

Lehigh Valley (22-17-5)
Hershey (29-11-5)

February 5-9 AHL All-Star Break

Friday, February 10 (7:00) at Hartford Wolf Pack
Saturday, February 11 (7:05) vs. BRIDGEPORT ISLANDERS

Tuesday, February 14 (7:00) at Charlotte Checkers
Wednesday, February 15 (7:00) at Charlotte Checkers

Saturday, February 11 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders – Hockey is for Everyone! Philly Special ticket packages available

Saturday, February 18 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – United Way Housing Heroes presented by PPL

Sunday, February 19 (5:05) vs. Hershey Bears – meLVin’s Birthday with his Mascot Friends! Postgame Skate with the Phantoms Players