The Lehigh Valley Phantoms will kick off the busy month of March with a road contest against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, March 1, at 7:00 p.m. This will mark the second time that the two teams have met during the 2018-19 season, the last of which was decided by a shootout on December 21 inside of PPL Center with the final decision going to the Crunch by a score of 3-2.
Syracuse, who briefly jumped into first place in the North Division with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Binghamton Devils on Tuesday night, are currently holding a record of 33-16-3-2 on the season and have a 5-3-1-1 record over their past 10 games. The Crunch are currently led by forward Carter Verhaeghe with 60 points (24G-36A) in just 54 games this season while rookie forward Alex Barre-Boulet leads the Crunch, and is tied for the league lead, with 13 power-play goals on the season, just one ahead of Phantoms forward Greg Carey.
On the Phantoms end of things, the team is currently looking for a way to get back into the win column having gone just 3-6-0-1 over its past 10 contests. With an overall record of 27-22-3-3 this season, Lehigh Valley is just outside of the playoff picture in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
Phantoms at Syracuse Crunch
Phantoms Leading Scorers
- Greg Carey (54 GP, 23G-26A, 49 PTS)
- Chris Conner (52 GP, 12G-25A, 37 PTS)
- T.J. Brennan (46 GP, 8G-29A, 37 PTS)
- Mike Vecchione (55 GP, 12G-21A, 33 PTS)
- Byron Froese (50 GP, 14G-16A, 30 PTS)
Crunch Leading Scorers
- Carter Verhaeghe (54 GP, 24G-36A, 60 PTS)
- Cory Conacher (50 GP, 18G-32A, 50 PTS)
- Alex Barre-Boulet (54GP, 26G-22A, 48 PTS)
- Cameron Gaunce (49GP, 9G-31A, 40 PTS)
- Andy Andreoff (54 GP, 19G-19A, 38 PTS)
Prior Meetings This Season
Dec. 21 — SYR 3, LV 2 (SO)
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- In the two team’s last meeting, on December 21, the Syracuse Crunch needed two goals in the shootout — from Cory Conacher and Carter Verhaeghe — in order to defeat the Phantoms as Alex Lyon stopped three of the five shooters that night.
- Phantoms forwards Greg Carey and Connor Bunnaman both finished with a plus-two rating, the best of any players on either team, against the Crunch on December 21.
- There are only two players in the league that currently have more power-play goals than Phantoms forward Greg Carey, currently at 12. One of those players, Syracuse’s Alex Barre-Boulet, will faceoff against the Phantoms tonight.
- Forwards Cole Bardreau and David Kase began skating with the team during practice this week.
Players to Watch
Justin Bailey was returned to the Phantoms from the Flyers earlier this week and will likely slot back into the Phantoms lineup for the first time since February 9. In just 10 games with Lehigh Valley this season, Bailey has amassed five goals and two assists for seven total points.
Mike Vecchione recorded a team-high seven shots on net the last time out against the Crunch. Vecchione, who currently has two goals and six assists for eight points in his past 10 games, may play a large role in Lehigh Valley’s offense on Friday night and ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 33 points (12G-21A) in 55 contests this season.
February 25, 2019: The Philadelphia Flyers recalled defenseman Samuel Morin from his conditioning loan with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms
February 25, 2019: The Lehigh Valley Phantoms returned on loan forwards Alex Krushelnyski and Michael Huntebrinker to the Reading Royals
February 26, 2019: The Philadelphia Flyers returned on loan forward Justin Bailey to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms traded forward Alex Krushelnyski to the Binghamton Devils for future considerations on Thursday, February 28.
The Road Ahead
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms return home to PPL Center for two games this weekend beginning with a game on Saturday night, March 2, at 7:05 p.m. against the Utica Comets followed by a Sunday afternoon match up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 3:05 p.m. Saturday’s game will also be Game Show Night featuring a salute to everyone’s favorite trivia and puzzle games! Plus, fans in attendance have a chance to take part in some fun games throughout the night with a chance to win some very cool prizes. On Sunday, the first 2,000 fans ages 14 and under will receive a special Phantoms Youth Jersey thanks to PALCS and Velaspan. Tickets for both contests are available online and can be purchased by clicking HERE.