March 7, 2017
Wednesday, March 8 (7:05 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Friday, March 10 (7:05 p.m.) – Hershey Bears @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, March 11 (7:05 p.m.) – Utica Comets @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (36-18-3, 75 pts., 3rd Atlantic Division) are back in action for three games this week, including a pair of highly-anticipated showdowns at PPL Center this weekend.
Lehigh Valley’s action begins this week on Wednesday, March 8 when the Phantoms cap their four-game road swing with a visit to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a showdown with the Penguins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (39-16-3, 81 pts., 1st Atlantic Division) enters the week first in the Atlantic Division and currently boasts the most wins (39) and standings points (81) in the American Hockey League. The Penguins capped a seven-game road swing by splitting a pair of games last weekend. After a 2-1 setback at the Hershey Bears on Saturday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded with a 6-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday. Despite the Penguins’ overall success this season, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton enters the week having dropped five out of its last seven games overall.
Wednesday’s contest will mark the sixth of 12 total meetings during the 2016-2017 regular season between the Phantoms and Penguins with Lehigh Valley having posted a 2-2-1 mark in five prior tilts against their in-state rivals.
After four straight road outings, the Phantoms then kick off a four-game home stand this Friday, March 10 when they welcome the rival Hershey Bears to PPL Center. Hershey (31-17-11, 73 pts., 5th Atlantic Division) won all three games last weekend and enters the week having claimed five of its last six games overall. After a 5-1 win at the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, the Bears returned home to Giant Center and earned a 2-1 victory over the Penguins on Saturday before notching a 4-2 triumph over the Springfield Thunderbirds on Sunday.
Friday’s contest will be the 10th of 12 total meetings this season between Lehigh Valley and Hershey with the Phantoms having posted a 5-4 overall mark in nine prior showdowns with the Bears. Lehigh Valley claimed the most recent get-together with a 5-1 victory at Giant Center on January 22 and the Phantoms will enter Friday’s contest having outscored Hershey 31-26.
A limited number of tickets remain for Friday’s game and can be purchased by clicking HERE.
The Phantoms then conclude this week’s action on Saturday, March 11 when they welcome the Utica Comets to PPL Center for the final time this season. Utica (26-23-9, 61 pts., 4th North Division) won three games in three nights over the weekend and enters the week having won five straight contests while claiming 13 of a possible 14 standings points over the team’s last seven games.
Saturday’s game will be the fourth and final regular season meeting this year between the Phantoms and Comets with Lehigh Valley having claimed each of the first three head-to-head collisions. The Phantoms have outscored Utica 15-6 through the first three games in the season series and earned a victory in the most recent get-together with a 7-4 triumph at Utica Memorial Auditorium on February 19.
Saturday’s game will feature a Post-Game Skate with Phantoms Players. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game for a unique opportunity to take the ice with their favorite Phantoms players. A limited number of tickets remain for Saturday’s game and can be purchased by clicking HERE.
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Forward Chris Conner (right) enters the week tied for the team lead and tied for sixth among all AHLers in scoring with 48 total points (19 goals, 29 assists). The 33-year-old winger is currently riding a season-high seven-game scoring streak as he’s compiled nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) during his recent surge.
- Forward Greg Carey enters the week leading all Lehigh Valley skaters and second among all AHLers with 26 goals. Through just 57 games, he’s already matched his goal total from a season ago and Carey continues to lead all AHL skaters with an impressive 17 power play goals this year.
- Defenseman T.J. Brennan enters the week tied with Conner for the team lead in scoring with 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists). Brennan’s 48 points are tops among all AHL defenders and the four-time All-Star also leads all AHL defenders in goals (17) and shots on goal (173) and is tied for second among AHL blueliners in power play conversions (9).
- With 208 goals this season, the Phantoms lead all 30 AHL clubs in goals scored this year. What’s more, Lehigh Valley continues to lead the AHL averaging 3.65 goals per game.
- The Phantoms’ special teams have been on fire in recent weeks. Lehigh Valley’s power play has connected in six of its last seven games overall producing an impressive 10 man-advantage markers during that stretch (10-for-33, 30.3 percent) while the team’s penalty kill has allowed just two power play goals during that same time frame. Over the last seven games, Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill is 26-for-28 (92.9 percent).
- The Phantoms are 18-7-2 at home this season and have outscored their opposition 111-82 in games played at PPL Center. Phantoms fans have produced five straight standing room-only sellouts and 13 capacity crowds overall this season.
Friday, March 3: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5 – Springfield Thunderbirds 4
Danick Martel scored twice and Greg Carey and Chris Conner both added a goal and an assist as the Phantoms kicked off their four-game road swing with a 5-4 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds inside MassMutual Center. Colin McDonald (19th) also found the back of the net for Lehigh Valley in front of goaltender Anthony Stolarz who registered a season-high 44 saves in earning his 13th win of the season.
Lehigh Valley’s special teams were on point yet again as the power play converted for the fifth straight game while the Phantoms’ penalty kill thwarted each of Springfield’s four man-advantage opportunities.
Saturday, March 4: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Captain Colin McDonald (20th) netted the eventual game-winning goal with less than two minutes left in regulation en route to a 3-1 win for the Phantoms over the Hartford Wolf Pack inside XL Center. Chris Conner (19th) and Scott Laughton (13th) also scored for Lehigh Valley as the Phantoms capped their season series with Hartford with a 4-3-1 mark in eight tilts against the Wolf Pack.
Goaltender Alex Lyon was stellar between the pipes in securing his 22nd win of the season as he turned aside 32 of Hartford’s 33 total shots.
Sunday, March 5: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Providence Bruins 7
Scott Laughton (14th), Mark Zengerle (11th) and Andy Miele (7th) all scored for Lehigh Valley but it wasn’t enough as the Phantoms were handed a 7-3 setback by the Providence Bruins inside Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Corban Knight added a pair of assists for Lehigh Valley while Chris Conner garnered an assist as well in extending his current scoring streak to a season-high seven consecutive games.
Despite Sunday’s setback, the Phantoms still hold a 3-2 mark overall against the Bruins this season.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live all of the Phantoms’ 11 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, Todd Fedoruk, 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 1470-AM WSAN, 790-AM WAEB 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 each of the Phantoms’ 11 remaining regular season home games are available now online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the PPL Center Box Office [7th & Hamilton].