The Lehigh Valley Phantoms take on their first North Division opponent of the 2019-20 season when they welcome the Binghamton Devils inside PPL Center for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop on Friday night. The game will be the fourth in the team’s current five-game home stand and first of two this weekend.
After taking three of a possible four points this past weekend, with a 4-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and late, 4-3, overtime loss to the Hershey Bears, the Phantoms are poised to jump back near the top of the Atlantic Division.
The recent additions of both defenseman Andy Welinski and forward Connor Bunnaman, who were both loaned to Lehigh Valley from Philadelphia this week, will again add another pair of players that coach Scott Gordon will have to help bolster the lineup. Weliniski and Bunnaman combined for 51 points (27G-14A) across 89 AHL contests during the 2018-19 season. Those additions come in a similar fashion to that of this past weekend when defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Joel Farabee were injected into the lineup. The two paid instant dividends as they combined for four total points (2G-2A) over just two games.
Having played three of their first four contests on the road, the Devils find themselves in seventh place in the North Division. Most recently coming off of a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday, Binghamton is now 1-1-1 on the road this season.
Friday will also mark the return of former Phantoms forward Chris Conner to PPL Center for the first time since signing with the Binghamton Devils over the summer. The now 14-year professional spent four seasons in the Lehigh Valley in which he amassed 71 goals and 128 assists for a total of 199 points across 265 games. Conner ranks first in Lehigh Valley history for games played, assists and points as well as second in goals behind only forward Greg Carey.
Phantoms vs. Binghamton Devils
Phantoms Leading Scorers
- German Rubtsov (3 GP, 0G-3A, 3 PTS)
- Joel Farabee (2 GP, 2G-0A, 2 PTS)
- Kurtis Gabriel (3 GP, 1G-1A, 2 PTS)
- Isaac Ratcliffe (3 GP, 1G-1A, 2 PTS)
- Mikhail Vorobyev (3 GP, 1G-1A, 2 PTS)
Devils Leading Scorers
- Chris Conner (4 GP, 3G-3A, 6 PTS)
- Brett Seney (4 GP, 2G-3A, 5 PTS)
- Nathan Bastian (4 GP, 1G-4A, 5 PTS)
- Ben Street (4 GP, 1G-4A, 5 PTS)
- Joey Anderson (4 GP, 2G-2A, 4 PTS)
Prior Meetings Last Season
Jan. 11 — BNG 2, LV 1
Nov. 3 — LV 3, BNG 2 (OT)
Nov. 2 — BNG 4, LV 3 (OT)
Oct. 27 — LV 5, BNG 2
- A season ago, three of the two teams four meetings were decided by just a single goal, with two of those contests needing overtime to be completed.
- Friday’s game will mark former Phantoms forward Chris Conner’s first game back inside of PPL Center since signing with the Binghamton Devils over the summer. The 35-year-old from Westland, Michigan, played 265 games — a Lehigh Valley team record — and amassed 71 goals and 128 assists for a total of 199 points while in Orange and Black.
- Current Phantoms forward Kurtis Gabriel will also face off against his former team on Friday night. The Newmarket, Ontario, native spent last season split between the Binghamton Devils and New Jersey Devils in which he appeared in a total of 54 games. Gabriel is currently tied for second in scoring on the Phantoms with a goal and an assist on the season.
- Three of Lehigh Valley’s current top five scorers this season — German Rubtsov, Joel Farabee and Isaac Ratcliffe — are rookies.
- Defenseman Andy Welinski could see his first action of the season with the Phantoms on Friday night after being assigned to the team from Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Players to Watch
Philippe Myers was the Phantoms leading scorer against the Binghamton Devils just one season ago. The defenseman finished the 2018-19 season with a goal and four assists for a total of five points against Binghamton and is already off to a solid start this season. Through just two games, Myers boasts a team-high, plus-six rating with two points.
October 15, 2019: The Philadelphia Flyers loaned defenseman Andy Welinski to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms
October 18, 2019: The Philadelphia Flyers loaned forward Connor Bunnaman to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms
The Road Ahead
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms will complete their five-game home stand as they take on the Springfield Thunderbirds inside of PPL Center tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Saturday’s game will feature an appearance by the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders who will be on hand for pictures as well as autographs on the concourse. Tickets for Saturday night’s contest against the T-Birds are still available, so order yours now by clicking HERE.