February 9, 2016
Wednesday, February 10 (7:05 p.m.) – Binghamton Senators @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Friday, February 12 (7:05 p.m.) – Portland Pirates @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, February 13 (7:05 p.m.) – Utica Comets @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (22-23-3, 47 pts., 7th Atlantic Division) kick off a season-high five-game home stand this Wednesday as they continue their push toward the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The home stretch begins this Wednesday, February 10 when the Phantoms welcome the rival Binghamton Senators to PPL Center. Binghamton (17-26-3, 37 pts., 7th North Division) dropped all three of its games last weekend as the Senators continue to hold the lowest standings points total in the Eastern Conference. After home losses to the Hershey Bears and Rochester Americans last Friday and Saturday, Binghamton hit the road to Giant Center in Hershey only to suffer a 6-1 loss at the hands of the Bears. The Senators enter the week having dropped seven of their last nine games overall and have outscored 16-3 during their recent three-game slide.
Wednesday’s game will be preceded by a Career Fair in which representatives from area sports teams will be on hand, including the Philadelphia Flyers, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Reading Royals, Somerset Patriots, Reading Fightin Phils and more. Admission to the Career Fair is complimentary with a ticket to Wednesday’s game.
Wednesday’s contest will mark the seventh of eight total meetings during the 2015-2016 regular season between the Phantoms and Senators. Lehigh Valley is 2-3-1 head-to-head against Binghamton this season but claimed the most recent get-together with a 6-3 triumph in downtown Allentown back on January 27. The final regular season meeting between the Eastern Conference foes is set for Saturday, March 5 at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.
The home stand continues on Friday, February 12 when the Portland Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers, make their first stop at PPL Center this year. Portland (26-18-1, 53 pts., 3rd Atlantic Division) lost both games last weekend coming out of the AHL All-Star break as the Pirates were handed a 5-0 loss at home to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday before suffering a 3-1 home setback to the Providence Bruins on Saturday. Portland enters the week having dropped three consecutive outings and five of its last seven games overall.
Friday’s collision will be the third of four total meetings this season between the Phantoms and Pirates after Lehigh Valley captured three of four standings points in a weekend series in Portland in early January. Following a 4-3 overtime defeat on January 2, the Phantoms responded with a 2-1 regulation triumph at Cross Insurance Arena on January 3. The final regular season tilt between the Phantoms and Pirates is scheduled for Sunday, March 20 at PPL Center.
Meanwhile, the Phantoms conclude this week’s action on Saturday, February 13 when they welcome the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, to downtown Allentown for the first time ever. Members of the Western Conference a season ago, the Comets didn’t visit PPL Center during Lehigh Valley’s Inaugural Season. Utica (22-17-6, 50 pts., 3rd North Division) swept a weekend series at the St. John’s IceCaps last week and enters the week in the midst of a four-game winning streak. After 5-2 and 3-2 triumphs over the IceCaps last Friday and Saturday, the Comets have won six of their last eight games overall and have outscored their opposition 16-9 during their recent four-game surge.
Saturday evening will mark the third of four total meetings during the 2015-16 regular season between Lehigh Valley and Utica. After a 7-1 setback to the Comets at Utica Memorial Auditorium on November 25, the Phantoms exacted a little revenge with a 3-1 victory at the Comets on December 2.
Saturday’s game features another opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with the Phantoms as the team will host Post-Game Photographs with the players immediately following the conclusion of Saturday’s action. Fans are encouraged to bring their cameras to the game and then take the ice afterwards to get pictures with their favorite Phantoms players.
A limited number of tickets remain for all three games this week and are available online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center [701 Hamilton Street].
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Winger Chris Conner enters the week having recorded at least one point in eight of his last nine games overall. During his recent surge, the 32-year-old forward has amassed five goals, eight assists and 13 points and enters the week third among all Phantoms in total scoring with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists).
- Winger Danick Martel enters the week tied for first among all Phantoms and tied for the AHL lead among rookies in goals scored with 17 total tallies. Fifth among all Lehigh Valley skaters in total scoring with 27 points, Martel is also tied for the AHL rookie lead with four game-winning goals this season.
- Defenseman Andrew MacDonald has been on fire offensively in recent weeks. The 29-year-old defender has compiled eight points (all assists) over his last five games and enters the week tied for second among all AHL blueliners in total scoring with 33 points (5 goals, 28 assists).
- Lehigh Valley’s power play has produced nine man-advantage markers over the team’s last seven games. During that stretch, the Phantoms power play is 9-for-39 (23.1 percent)
Friday, February 5: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Bridgeport Sound Tigers 6
Danick Martel netted the fourth hat trick in Lehigh Valley Phantoms history and the team’s second three-goal performance in the last two weeks but it wasn’t enough as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers were able to earn a 6-3 win at home. With his three conversions, Martel moved into a tie for first among all AHL rookies with 17 tallies this year.
Andrew MacDonald chipped in a pair of assists as he landed his seventh multi-point game of the season and third over the last four contests.
Saturday, February 6: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Hershey Bears 5
Aaron Palushaj recorded Lehigh Valley’s lone conversion as the Hershey Bears extended their point streak to 11 consecutive games with a 5-1 win over the Phantoms. Kevin Goumas and Andrew MacDonald assisted on Palushaj’s ninth goal of the season as MacDonald moved into a tie for second among all AHL defenders in total scoring with 33 points.
The victory was just Hershey’s second over the last six head-to-head meetings between the Pennsylvania rivals. Despite the setback, the Phantoms are still an impressive 6-4 against the Bears this season.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live all of the Phantoms’ 15 remaining regular season home games. If you can’t make it out to the rink, be sure to catch all the exciting action live in HD quality with Steve Degler, Peter Zingoni, Doug Heater and Kristi Fulkerson! Pre-game coverage begins with “Phantoms Front and Center” 30 minutes before puck drop. And don’t miss “Phantoms – Breaking the Ice” every Monday from 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. throughout the season live at Chickie’s & Pete’s at PPL Center!
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. “Countdown to Faceoff” begins 45 minutes prior to puck drop.
Tickets for all of the Phantoms’ 15 remaining regular season home games are available now online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (7th & Hamilton).
RISE UP! 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 and groups for the 2015-2016 season of Phantoms hockey by calling 610-224-GOAL .
In the midst of their 20th season of operation, the Phantoms are coming off their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 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).