Phantoms Rally Late…Again!

Lehigh Valley Strikes 3 Times in 3rd at Albany in 4-3 Victory

February 3, 2017

Albany, NY – For the fifth time this season, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms rallied from a second-intermission deficit to pull out a comeback victory. On Friday night in Albany, it was Corban Knight (6th), Chris Conner (12th) and Andy Miele (5th) who all scored in the third-period surge for a 4-3 triumph over the Devils.

Scott Laughton scored his 10th of the season to spark the team early in the second period after a sluggish start put the Phantoms behind the eight-ball in the form of a 2-0 hole. The Phantoms have four times this season overcome a two-goal deficit for a victory. Three of those comeback were on the road (Providence, Springfield, Albany).

Lehigh Valley saved their best for last…as usual. With three more goals in the final minutes the Phantoms are outscoring their opponents 70-37 in the third period for an astonishing +33 margin. That rates as the most goals scored and largest margin for any AHL team in any period.

Alex Lyon and the rest of the Phantoms had to hang on at the end while killing Albany’s 5-on-4 then 6-on-4 and eventually 6-on-3 advantage. The Devils had at least one extra man for the final three minutes of regulation and made it two men with a pulled goalie with 1:45 to go. But the Phantoms held strong and Lyon made the big stops for the team’s 30th win of the season. Lyon had to slide quickly to his right to make a chest save on a last-second offering by Carter Camper to eventually preserve the win. It was a last-second push across that was eerily similar to the Marc-Andre Fleury save at the end of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup Game 7 victory at Detroit in 2009.

Lehigh Valley gained ground on the first-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who dropped a 5-2 decision on their home ice against the St. John’s IceCaps. Lehigh Valley trails first place by seven points but also has two games-in-hand on the Penguins. The Phantoms travel to Wilkes-Barre on Saturday for the first time this season in a showdown of the top two teams in the American Hockey League.

The Albany Devils raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals just 39 seconds apart by Blake Coleman (15th) and Nick Lappin (4th). The Phantoms are now 6-6-2 in games in which they trail after one period partly due to their frequent late-game surges.

Scott Laughton crashed the slot in the opening seconds of the second period to bury the rebound of a Colin McDonald sharp-angle shot off the pads of goalie J.P. Anderson. It was the first of two helpers on the nights for the Phantoms captain while Laughton’s 10th goal of the season was also his 7th marker in just the last 12 games.

The Phantoms thought they might have scored at the end of the second period as well when they rapidly found the iron twice back-to-back. The puck rolled into the net off the back of Anderson on the second rebound off the crossbar but the horn had sounded just a fraction of a second before the goal would have counted. Laughton’s deflection of a Robert Hagg left-point shot-pass started the flurry and then McDonald’s quick offering in response also found the post before eventually deflecting in but the Devils were saved by the horn.

Lehigh Valley continued the momentum into their favorite period and quickly turned the tables on the Devils with back-to-back goals 26 seconds apart to take the lead. Corban Knight deflected a Scott Laughton drive from the top of the left circle with a slight chop down to bounce the puck through five-hole at 5:38.

Then the Phantoms rushed in just moments later with Morin and Sanheim quickly rotating the puck over. A deflection in the slot caromed out to Conner perfectly positioned on the left of the cage to deposit the go-ahead goal over the out-stretched right leg of Anderson. Lehigh Valley led for the first time on the evening at 3-2 with 13:56 remaining.

Albany roared back with an equalizer with just under six minutes to go when Blake Coleman’s wraparound on the power play would elude Lyon off his stick and glove and barely squirt through.

T.J. Brennan’s elbowing major against John Quenneville sparked a fight between him and Jan Mandat. While playing 4-on-4, Albany was assessed another infraction providing a 4-on-3 chance for 34 seconds for the Phantoms before the Devils would eventually embark on their extended power play to close out regulation.

Greg Carey’s high-slot rocket just missed the left post but had enough of a rebound to come back to Andy Miele on the left of the net for a sharp-angle put back just behind the drawn-out netminder who was away from the blue in efforts to narrow the angle of the hard-shooting Carey. Miele’s game-winner came with 3:12 left and was also assisted by Will O’Neill.

With 3:00 left, the Devils would go on the power play that began 5-on-4 but quickly became 5-on-3 with the pulled goalie. Another penalty with 10 seconds remaining made it a 6-on-3 advantage for the Devils but the Phantoms prevailed with the big win.

Lehigh Valley improved to 30-12-2 overall and swept the season series over the Devils 2-0. This also marked the last appearance for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Times Union Center in Albany. Earlier this week, it was announced that the New Jersey Devils would be moving their affiliate from Albany to Binghamton next year. Albany officials have stated they will not have a new team in the area.

Albany out shot the Phantoms 31-28. Lehigh Valley was 1-for-4 on the power play while Albany was 1-for-5.

The Phantoms travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday night for the finale of the team’s four-game road swing.

The Phantoms next home game is Wednesday, February 8 against the Binghamton Senators. Lehigh Valley remains at PPL Center for contests against the St. John’s IceCaps on February 10 and 11 with T-Shirt Night presented by Capital Blue Cross coming on Friday followed by Post-Game Autographs with the Phantoms players on Saturday. Tickets for the upcoming three-game homestand are on sale at

Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4 at Albany Devils 3 – Status: Final
Friday, February 3, 2017 – Times Union Center

Lehigh Valley 0 1 3 – 4
Albany 2 0 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Albany, Coleman 15 (Gibbons, Sexton), 13:51. 2, Albany, Lappin 4 (Camper, Quenneville), 14:30. Penalties-Fazleev Lv (interference), 6:17; Bardreau Lv (tripping), 7:47.

2nd Period-3, Lehigh Valley, Laughton 10 (McDonald, Brennan), 0:45. Penalties-Gazdic Alb (high-sticking), 3:10; Pelley Alb (hooking), 11:46.

3rd Period-4, Lehigh Valley, Knight 6 (Laughton, McDonald), 5:38. 5, Lehigh Valley, Conner 12 (Sanheim, Morin), 6:04. 6, Albany, Coleman 16 (Mozik, Gibbons), 14:12 (PP). 7, Lehigh Valley, Miele 5 (Carey, O’Neill), 16:48. Penalties-Pelley Alb (boarding), 6:32; Morin Lv (cross-checking), 12:24; Brennan Lv (major – elbowing, fighting, game misconduct – elbowing), 15:02; Mandat Alb (instigating, fighting, game misconduct – instigator (last 5:00)), 15:02; Coleman Alb (hooking), 16:28; Knight Lv (hooking), 19:50.

Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 4-11-13-28. Albany 8-15-8-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 0 / 4; Albany 1 / 5.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Lyon 19-8-2 (31 shots-28 saves). Albany, Anderson 0-1-0 (28 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Cameron Voss (41).
Linesmen-Matt Brady (86), Frank Murphy (29).

And for the latest Phantoms news, visit or follow the team on Facebook (, Twitter (@lvphantoms), Instagram (@lehighvalleyphantoms) and Snapchat (lvphantoms).

The Phantoms are coming off their 20th Anniversary Season and second campaign in the Lehigh Valley playing at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum in Philadelphia before re-locating to Glens Falls, New York in 2009 where the team spent the next five seasons as the Adirondack Phantoms. A new era of Phantoms hockey began in the fall of 2014 when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms began play at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Through 20 incredibly successful campaigns, the Phantoms have captured two Calder Cup Championships (1998, 2005), two Conference Championships (1998, 2005), two Regular Season Titles (1996-97, 1997-98) and four Division Championships (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2003-04).