Phantoms Snag Standings Point to Close Weekend

Toronto Marlies Take Back-and–Forth Overtime Battle

January 16, 2022

Lehigh Valley, PA – Newcomer Alex Kile gave the Phantoms a 3-2 lead late in the third period but the resilient Toronto Marlies had enough gas left in the tank for a Brett Seney tying score with 2:01 left and a Joey Anderson hat trick winner in overtime for a 4-3 win on Sunday evening at PPL Center.

Brennan Saulnier (2nd) had a goal and a fight while Wade Allison (2nd) scored for his second consecutive game.

The feisty and intense affair was a fitting way to conclude a three-game weekend for the Phantoms in which the team, coming back from a layoff and COVID protocols, snagged three out of six standings points despite the adversity. The Phantoms now have points in 10 of their last 11 games (7-1-3).

A kids-heavy crowd provided the energy on Youth Jersey Day with the first 1,500 youths receiving the coveted item on one of the most popular promotional events of the season.

After recording zero shots on goal in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Marlies belatedly got their offense rolling and Joey Anderson eventually opened the scoring on the power play on a set up from Brett Seney at 12:13 into the contest.

Lehigh Valley (10-12-8) equalized just 42 seconds later with a little bit of luck as Brennan Saulnier’s pass from behind the goal intended for Nick Lappin instead bounced off a Marlie and backwards into the net for a 1-1 tie. The goal for Saulnier came a few minutes after he just missed on a backhand chance right in front of the net.

Anderson for Toronto (17-10-2) would score again in the first period cutting to the middle for a chip past the stick side of Phantoms goalie Garrett Metcalf.

Cal O’Reilly picked it off in front of the Toronto line and connected with a cutting Wade Allison who slid the puck wide of the left skate of Erik Kallgren just 1:12 into the second period to forge a 2-2 tie.

Both teams scrapped and battled while both goalies made some nice stops to keep the game even at 2-2. Brennan Saulnier dropped the gloves with veteran captain Rich Clune a few minutes after the Phantoms had tied the score. The electrified crowd enjoyed the entertaining scrap which culminated with Saulnier raising his hands to the crowd.

Kile, 27, cut for the middle after delivering a hard hit along the right boards. Charlie Gerard had gotten to the puck in the left corner and found Isaac Ratcliffe behind the goal who timed his pass out in front for Kile perfectly to give the Phantoms the lead at 3-2 with just 6:17 remaining. Kile is a former captain at the University of Michigan who signed an AHL contract with the Phantoms on Friday morning joining the club from the ECHL’s Maine Mariners.

The Marlies weren’t finished though and Brett Seney rattled a tying goal to the upper-left corner past a screened Metcalf with just 2:01 left to the the game at 3-3.

Maksim Sushko was assessed a roughing penalty at the end of regulation when he engaged with Joe Duszak away from the puck. That allowed the Marlies to begin the overtime with a 4-on-3 power play and 66 seconds later, Anderson used some slick hands from the low-right slot to pull the puck away from a poke-check attempt of Metcalf and slide it around his right skate for the game-winner.

Toronto won overtime games against the Phantoms in both meetings this year.

The Phantoms begin a stretch of five straight away games on Wednesday night at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and then travel to Charlotte next weekend for a pair of afternoon contests against the Checkers.

1st 12:13 – TOR J. Anderson (11) (J. Duszak, B. Seney) (PP) 0-1
1st 12:55 – LV, B. Saulnier (2) (M. Millman, G. Rubtsov) 1-1
1st 18:12 – TOR, J. Anderson (12) (A. Suomela, B. Seney) 1-2

2nd 1:12 – LV, W. Allison (2) (C. O’Reilly) 2-2

3rd 13:43 – LV, A. Kile (1) (I. Ratcliffe, C. Gerard) 3-2
3rd 17:59 – TOR, B. Seney (13) (C. Dahlstrom, F. Kral) 3-3

OT 1:06 – TOR, J. Anderson (13) (B. Seney, A. Steeves) (PP) 3-4

LV 25 – TOR 27

LV 0/3, TOR 2/2

LV – Garrett Metcalf (OTL) (2-0-1) (23/27)
TOR – Erik Kallgren (W) (9-4-0) (22/25)

Lehigh Valley (10-12-8)
Toronto (17-10-2)