April 20, 2016
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (34-35-7, 75 pts.) closed the 2015-2016 campaign by playing some of their best hockey of the season.
With Sunday’s 5-2 triumph over the Syracuse Crunch at PPL Center in the team’s regular season finale, the Phantoms closed their 20th Anniversary Season by winning seven of their final 10 games. During that run, Lehigh Valley outscored its opposition 34-20 and allowed just three power play goals in 52 man-down scenarios (94.2 percent). Defensively, Lehigh Valley surrendered three or more goals against in a single game just three times over the final 10 outings while offensively, the club deployed a balanced attack as 17 different skaters accounted for the team’s final 34 goals of the season.
The Phantoms also notched the game’s opening goal in eight of their final 10 contests as Lehigh Valley finished the year an impressive 26-7-5 when scoring first. What’s more, with four or more goals in seven of their final 10 outings as well, the Phantoms ended their 20th Anniversary Season with a stunning 23-2-2 mark when scoring at least four goals in a game.
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Winger Chris Conner finished the 2015-16 season as the Phantoms’ team leader in both points (55) and assists (39). A 32-year-old forward, Conner notched his fourth career 50-point AHL campaign and came within just one point of matching a career high for points in a single season (56 points, 2009-10, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins). He also boasted Lehigh Valley’s longest point streak of the season (9 games, February 12-28) where he compiled 2 goals, 10 assists and 12 points.
- Winger Danick Martel finished the 2015-16 season as Lehigh Valley’s team leader with 22 goals and tied for the team lead with four game-winning tallies. A 21-year-old forward, Martel finished tied for fifth among all AHL rookies in goals.
- Winger Petr Straka produced Lehigh Valley’s longest goal-scoring streak of the 2015-16 campaign (6 games, November 11-22) during which he amassed 6 goals and 7 total points.
- Winger Taylor Leier ended the 2015-16 season as the Phantoms’ team leader in power play goals (10) and man-advantage points (22) and finished third among all AHLers with 214 shots on goal. What’s more, he finished the year tied with center Cole Bardreau for the team lead with two shorthanded markers.
- First-year defenseman Samuel Morin finished the season as Lehigh Valley’s only skater to appear in all 76 games this season. The 11th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft compiled four goals, 15 assists and 19 points this year while leading all Phantoms with 118 penalty minutes.
- As a team, Lehigh Valley boasted nine double-digit goal producers this season, including Martel (22), Leier (20), Straka (19), Conner (16), Colin McDonald (14), Cole Bardreau (13), Nick Cousins (12), Aaron Palushaj (11) and Tim Brent (10).
- Lehigh Valley also provided the setting this season for eight players to notch their first professional goal including Tyrell Goulbourne (October 16), Shayne Gostisbehere (October 28), Samuel Morin (November 22), Steven Swavely (April 1), Reece Willcox (April 2), Oskar Lindblom (April 9), Nic Aube-Kubel (April 10), and Travis Sanheim (April 17).
- All-Star goaltender Anthony Stolarz was a workhorse between the pipes for Lehigh Valley this season. In just his second professional campaign, the 6’6″, 232-pound netminder produced a 21-18-7 overall mark in 47 games to go along with a 2.60 goals-against average coupled with a .916 save percentage. He established a new Phantoms franchise mark with 51 saves in the team’s 3-2 shootout win in Syracuse on March 2, which was one of four 40-save performances this year for the 45th overall selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
- The Phantoms finished this year’s 38-game regular season home schedule with an impressive 24 standing room-only sellouts. Lehigh Valley enjoyed capacity crowds in 13 of its final 14 games at PPL Center and has now skated in front of 46 standing room-only sellout crowds in its first two seasons in downtown Allentown. One of just seven AHL clubs to average better than 8,000 fans on a per-game basis (8,244) this season, the Phantoms set a new team record with 9,046 supporters during their January 16th clash with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Friday, April 15: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1
All-Star goaltender Anthony Stolarz turned in his fourth 40-save performance of the season and Robert Hagg chipped in his fifth goal of the season but the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were able to escape downtown Allentown with a 2-1 win over the Phantoms in front of 8,433 fans at PPL Center. Tim Brent and Adam Comrie assisted on Hagg’s conversion while Stolarz’s impressive night featured double-digit saves in all three periods.
Friday’s game capped the 12-game regular season series between Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as the Phantoms closed the year with a 5-6-1 mark against the Penguins.
Saturday, April 16: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2 – Hershey Bears 4
Dalton Smith and Steven Swavely each converted their second goals of the season but the Hershey Bears were able to earn a come-from-behind 4-2 victory at Giant Center in Lehigh Valley’s final road game of the 2015-16 season. Robert Hagg, Adam Comrie and Oskar Lindblom collected assists on the Phantoms’ goals while Anthony Stolarz turned in another solid performance between the pipes as he denied 28 of Hershey’s 31 total shots.
Saturday’s contest capped the 12-game season series between Lehigh Valley and Hershey as the Phantoms finished the year 6-6 against their in-state rivals.
Sunday, April 17 – Syracuse Crunch 2 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5
Highly touted defensive prospect Travis Sanheim netted his first professional goal before Danick Martel landed his team-leading 22nd conversion as the Phantoms closed the 2015-16 regular season with a 5-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch at PPL Center. Tim Brent (10th), Steven Swavely (3rd) and Nic Aube-Kubel (2nd) also found the back of the net for Lehigh Valley as the Phantoms closed the regular season winning seven of their final 10 games.
Making his fifth consecutive start in goal, Anthony Stolarz earned the win with 19 saves on 21 shots while Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill denied seven of Syracuse’s eight power plays in closing the season by successfully stopping 49 of its opposition’s 52 man-advantage opportunities over the season’s final 10 games.
RISE UP! Another thrilling season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey at PPL Center will be here before you know it. Reserve your season tickets for the 2016-2017 season of Phantoms hockey. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town, call the Phantoms front office at 610-224-GOAL .
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 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).