February 24, 2015
Saturday, February 28 (7:05 PM) – Binghamton Senators @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Little League Night!)
Sunday, March 1 (5:00 PM) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Hershey Bears
A pair of East Division rivalries highlight the upcoming week of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey.
First, Lehigh Valley (24-22-6-1, 55 pts.) caps its four-game home stand on Saturday, February 28th when it welcomes the Binghamton Senators back to PPL Center. Saturday’s showdown marks the ninth of 10 total meetings during the 2014-2015 regular season between the Phantoms and Senators and the fourth head-to-head collision between the East Division foes this month. Lehigh Valley is 3-4-1 overall against Binghamton this season but will be looking for some revenge following three straight Senators victories earlier this month. Following a 4-1 setback at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on February 7th, the Phantoms were on the wrong end of back-to-back one-goal decisions in downtown Allentown on February 13th and 18th.
Lehigh Valley is currently in sole possession of third place in the East Division and sits just seven points back of the Providence Bruins for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Binghamton (22-25-5-1, 50 pts.) is tied for fourth in the East Division and 13th overall in the Eastern Conference after claiming four of its last six outings overall.
A limited number of tickets for Saturday’s highly-anticipated rivalry showdown are available now at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (701 Hamilton), by calling 610-347-TIXX (8499) or online at pplcenter.com.
The Phantoms then head to the Giant Center in Hershey on Sunday, March 1 for a showdown with the East Division-leading Bears. Sunday’s tilt marks the 10th of 12 total meetings this season between Lehigh Valley and Hershey with the Phantoms holding a 4-5 overall mark head-to-head against the Bears. Following four straight Hershey victories, Lehigh Valley got back into the win column in the season series with a 5-4 overtime win in the most recent get-together on February 8th.
Hershey (32-14-5-2, 71 pts.) not only enters the week atop the East Division but just one standings point back of the Syracuse Crunch for the top spot overall in the Eastern Conference. The Bears enter the week having claimed 13 of their last 16 games overall (13-1-2) and garnered at least one standings point during an AHL-high 13 consecutive outings from January 17th to February 15th. Hershey will travel to Binghamton on Friday and will host the Albany Devils Saturday before welcoming the Phantoms to town to close out the weekend.
Phantoms By The Numbers
- Nick Cousins has been a prolific scorer all season long but he’s been particularly potent against the opponents the Phantoms are set to face this weekend. Through the first eight head-to-head meetings between Lehigh Valley and Binghamton, Cousins leads all scorers in the season series with 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists). Meanwhile, he’s paced all Phantoms in scoring against Hershey with seven points (goal, 6 assists) through the first nine showdowns with the Bears. Cousins enters the week tied for fourth among all AHL skaters in scoring with 48 total points.
- Jason Akeson has been an offensive force in recent weeks for Lehigh Valley. The 24-year-old winger produced a season-high 10-game point streak from January 29th to February 18th and has amassed 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) in his last 12 games. Akeson enters the week tied for first among all Phantoms with 17 goals and third on Lehigh Valley’s roster in total scoring with 35 points.
- Zack Stortini continued his impressive offensive season with another three goals in three games last week. The reigning penalty minutes leader in the AHL enters the week boasting a career-high 13 goals and 23 total points and has produced five goals in his last four games.
- The Phantoms have seen five of their last seven games decided in either overtime or a shootout and have now enjoyed 17 post-regulation decisions this season. Lehigh Valley is 3-2 in its recent surge of dramatic conclusions and is now 10-7 overall in games decided via overtime/shootouts (5-6 in overtime, 5-1 in shootouts).
Wednesday, February 18: Binghamton Senators 4 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 (OT)
Zack Stortini, Petr Straka and Jason Akeson all scored for the Phantoms and Nick Cousins chipped in a pair of assists but Aaron Johnson netted the game winner with just 11 seconds left in overtime as the Binghamton Senators outlasted Lehigh Valley 4-3 at PPL Center. Brandon Manning, Darroll Powe and Mark Alt also collected assists for the Phantoms while Anthony Stolarz registered 40 saves on 44 total shots between the pipes for Lehigh Valley.
Chris Wideman led the offensive charge for the Senators with three assists while Garrett Thompson contributed a goal and an assist for Binghamton. The rivalry showdown featured a surprising amount of discipline as the two sides combined for just 28 total penalty minutes.
Friday, February 20: Providence Bruins 5 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1
Petr Straka netted his 13th goal of the season and Nick Cousins continued his red-hot play with another assist but the Providence Bruins used a four-goal outburst in the second period to capture a 5-1 win in front of 8,590 fans at PPL Center. The standing room-only crowd was the 13th sellout this season for Lehigh Valley.
Ryan Spooner and Colin Stuart both scored twice for Providence while David Warsofsky, Seth Griffith and Zach Trotman each added a pair of assists for the Bruins. Jeremy Smith earned the victory in goal for Providence after 26 saves on 27 shots while Anthony Stolarz and Martin Ouellette combined for 27 saves between the pipes for the Phantoms.
Saturday, February 21: Hartford Wolf Pack 5 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4 (OT)
Jason Akeson recorded a goal and two assists and Nick Cousins added a goal and an assist of his own but Hartford Wolf Pack were able to outlast the Phantoms 5-4 in overtime in front of 8,791 fans at PPL Center. Zack Stortini scored twice for Lehigh Valley and Brandon Manning chipped in a pair of helpers as the Phantoms skated in front of their 14th standing room-only sellout of the season.
Dylan McIrath paced Hartford’s offensive attack with three assists in regulation before Oscar Lindberg sealed the contest with his second overtime game winner in as many nights.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live all of the Phantoms’ 12 remaining regular season home games. If you can’t make it out to the rink, be sure to catch all the exciting action in high definition with Steve Degler and former Flyers and Phantoms goaltender Brian Boucher! And don’t miss “Phantoms – Breaking the Ice” every Monday from 7:00 – 8:00 PM throughout the season live at Chickie’s & Pete’s (701 Hamilton Street)!
Be sure to also catch each and every Phantoms game this season live on Fox Sports 1470 AM, online at Fox1470.com or via the iHeartRadio app! Join Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck, for all of the heart-pumping action of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey whether the team is at home or on the road. Nazareth Pallett Countdown to Faceoff begins 45 minutes prior to puck drop.
Tickets for all of the Phantoms’ 12 remaining regular season home games are available now at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (7th & Hamilton), by calling 610-347-TIXX (8499) or online at pplcenter.com.
Check it out! Don’t miss the action and fun of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey at PPL Center in downtown Allentown! Contact the Phantoms Front Office for information on season tickets for the 2015-2016 season of Phantoms hockey by calling 610-224-GOAL (4625).
In their 19th season of operation, the Phantoms are currently in the midst of their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms playing at the brand-new PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Philadelphia Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum 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 18 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).