Phantoms Weekly – Phantoms Return From Holiday Break This Saturday at PPL Center

December 23, 2015

This Week

Saturday, December 26 (7:05 p.m.) – Bridgeport Sound Tigers @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Game Presented by Service Electric. “20 Years of Phantoms” Night. Commemorative Poster Giveaway 2 of 4 Free to First 3,000 Fans in Attendance.)

Sunday, December 27 (4:05 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ WB/Scranton Penguins


Currently in the midst of the American Hockey League’s holiday break, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (14-15-1-0, 29 pts.) return to action for a pair of games this weekend.

Phantoms_20_Years_Poster_2_printFirst, the Phantoms are back at PPL Center this Saturday, December 26 when they welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to downtown Allentown for the first time this year. Bridgeport (16-12-2-1, 35 pts.) is currently fourth among the eight teams in the Atlantic Division and returns from the holiday break in the midst of a five-game losing skid. During their recent slide, the Sound Tigers have been outscored 14-6 and have been dropped five consecutive outings against Atlantic Division foes.

Saturday’s contest will mark the first of six total meetings during the 2015-2016 regular season between Lehigh Valley and Bridgeport. The Phantoms and Sound Tigers squared off four times last year with the Phantoms earning victories in three of the four meetings while claiming nine of a possible 10 standings points in the season series.

Saturday’s game is another “20 Years of Phantoms” night with the second of four commemorative poster giveaways free to the first 3,000 fans in attendance. A limited number of tickets remain for Saturday’s contest and are currently available at, by calling 610-347-TIXX [8499] or in-person at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center [701 Hamilton Street].

Then, on Sunday, December 27, Lehigh Valley heads to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a 4:05 p.m. rivalry showdown with the Penguins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (21-5-0-1, 43 pts.) is currently atop the Atlantic Division and enters the week with the second-highest points percentage (.796) in the AHL. The Penguins will return from the holiday break having won five of their last six games overall.

Sunday’s showdown will mark the fifth of 12 total meetings this year between Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the third such meeting at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Phantoms are 1-1 when skating on the Penguins’ ice this season.

  • Phantoms By The Numbers
  • JustSports PhotographyCenter Nick Cousins enters the week first among all Phantoms and tied for ninth among all AHL skaters in total scoring with 25 points (8 goals, 17 assists). The 22-year-old center from Belleville, Ontario has managed at least one point in 15 of 22 games this season and has already produced seven multi-point outings.
  • Forward Petr Straka enters the week tied with Texas Stars forward Devin Shore for the AHL lead with 15 goals. One of just three Phantoms to have appeared in all 30 games this year, Straka has already surpassed his 68-game goal total from a season ago.
  • Defenseman Andrew MacDonald is currently first among all Lehigh Valley blueliners and tied for 10th among all AHL defenders in total scoring with 18 points (3 goals, 15 assists). The 29-year-old defenseman has been particularly hot in December having produced 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) in just 7 December outings.
  • The Phantoms special teams have been particularly effective of late. Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill has allowed just one man-advantage goal over the last four games (13-for-14) while the team’s power play has produced five conversions (5-for-17) over that same span.Last Week

    Wednesday, December 16: WB/Scranton Penguins 3 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 0

    Jason LaBarbera recorded 22 saves in his return between the pipes but it wasn’t enough as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins outlasted the Phantoms 3-0 in front of 8,468 fans at PPL Center. The standing room-only sellout crowd was the fifth of the season for Lehigh Valley and the team’s 27th regular season sellout since the start of last season.

    Clark Seymour, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins while Tristan Jarry registered 17 saves in the victory.

    Friday, December 18: Hershey Bears 4 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 6

    JustSports PhotographyNick Cousins recorded a goal and two assists and Andrew MacDonald added three helpers as the Phantoms erased an early two-goal deficit en route to a come-from-behind 6-4 triumph over the Hershey Bears in front of 8,111 fans at PPL Center. First-year defenseman Samuel Morin notched Lehigh Valley’s first Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) of the season while Maxim Lamarche (goal, assist), Aaron Palushaj (2 assists) and Petr Straka (2 assists) contributed multi-point outings as well.

    Anthony Stolarz earned his 12th win of the season with a 21-save performance while the Phantoms’ power play produced a season-high three conversions in the triumph.

    Saturday, December 19: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Binghamton Senators 2

    Colin McDonald notched his first goal of the season to level the contest with less than seven minutes left in regulation but the Binghamton Senators answered just over four minutes later in earning a 2-1 victory inside Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Kevin Goumas and Taylor Leier assisted on the captain’s conversion while Jason LaBarbera turned in a sparkling performance between the pipes with 30 saves on 32 Binghamton offerings.

    Ryan Dzingel and Nick Paul converted for the Senators while Matt O’Connor earned the victory in goal with 22 saves on 23 Phantoms shots.

    Broadcast Coverage

    Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live all of the Phantoms’ 22 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 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.

    Ticket Information

    Tickets for all of the Phantoms’ 22 remaining regular season home games are available now online at, by calling 610-347-TIXX [8499] 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 [4625].

    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).