January 5, 2016
Friday, January 8 (7:05 p.m.) – WB/Scranton Penguins @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, January 9 (5:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Albany Devils
Sunday, January 10 (5:05 p.m.) – Binghamton Senators @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Star Wars Night.)
Coming off an incredibly successful five-game road trip in which they claimed eight of a possible 10 standings points, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (17-16-2-1, 37 pts., 5th Atlantic Division) return home for games at PPL Center this Friday and Sunday.
The Phantoms return to the frozen surface this Friday, January 8 when they welcome the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to downtown Allentown. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (23-8-0-1, 47 pts., 1st Atlantic Division) enters the week atop the Atlantic Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference after capturing a 4-1 win at home over the Springfield Falcons on Saturday before earning a 3-2 road triumph at the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday. The weekend’s victories snapped a modest three-game losing skid for the Penguins who have still claimed seven of their last 11 games overall.
Friday’s contest will mark the sixth of 12 total meetings during the 2015-2016 regular season between Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with the Phantoms holding a 2-3 record head-to-head against their in-state rivals.
Lehigh Valley then returns to the road on Saturday when the Phantoms head to the Times Union Center in Albany for a 5:00 p.m. showdown with the Devils. Albany (20-8-3-0, 43 pts., 2nd North Division) enters the week with the third-highest points percentage in the Eastern Conference and is currently in the midst of a four-game winning streak. The Devils extended their current winning streak with a 4-1 victory at the Utica Comets on New Year’s Eve followed by a 4-3 triumph in Hartford two days later. During its recent surge, Albany has outscored its opposition 15-7.
Saturday’s game will be the second and final meeting this season between the Phantoms and Devils after Lehigh Valley was handed a 2-1 overtime setback against Albany at PPL Center back on November 14.
The Phantoms then return to downtown Allentown on Sunday when they welcome the Binghamton Senators to PPL Center for a 5:05 p.m. tilt. Binghamton (11-17-3-0, 25 pts., 7th North Division) enters the week with the lowest points percentage in the Eastern Conference but is currently one of the hottest teams in the league having won five of its last six games overall and collecting 11 of a possible 12 standings points during that stretch. Last week, the Senators claimed a 2-1 shootout win over the Phantoms on Tuesday and a 3-2 regulation triumph over the St. John’s IceCaps on Thursday before suffering a 6-5 shootout defeat at the Hershey Bears on Saturday.
Sunday’s contest marks the fifth of eight total meetings during the 2015-16 regular season between Lehigh Valley and Binghamton with the Phantoms holding a 1-2-1 mark head-to-head against the Senators. Sunday’s collision will be just the second meeting at PPL Center after Binghamton claimed a 4-1 decision in downtown Allentown back on November 8.
This Sunday is Star Wars Night at PPL Center as the Phantoms will celebrate one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. Fans are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Star Wars characters and will have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with some of the most iconic heroes and villains in movie history with a special appearance from the 501st Garrison.
Tickets for both Friday and Sunday’s game in downtown Allentown are available now 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
- Center Nick Cousins enters the week first among all Phantoms and tied for ninth among all AHL skaters in total scoring with 29 points (8 goals, 21 assists). The 22-year-old center from Belleville, Ontario is currently tied for fourth in the league in assists (21) and has registered nine points (goal, 8 assists) over his last 10 games.
- Forward Petr Straka continues to lead all AHLers with 17 goals this season. With 25 total points, the 23-year-old winger from Plzen, Czech Republic is second among all Lehigh Valley skaters in total scoring and enters the week tied for the team lead with four power play goals and 10 power play points.
- Forward Danick Martel is currently second among all Phantoms with 13 goals this season. With three conversions in four games last week, the 21-year-old winger is now tied for third among all AHL rookies in goals.
Over his last three starts, veteran goaltender Jason LaBarbera is 3-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average coupled with a .980 save percentage.
- The Phantoms penalty kill has been razor sharp in recent weeks. Lehigh Valley enters the week having successfully killed 28 consecutive man-down scenarios and hasn’t allowed a man-advantage goal since a December 18 tilt with Hershey (8 games ago). Since December 12, Lehigh Valley has allowed just one power play goal and it’s penalty kill is a jaw dropping 36-for-37 (97.3 percent) during that stretch.
Tuesday, December 29: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Binghamton Senators 2 (SO)
Andrew MacDonald scored his fifth goal of the season and Anthony Stolarz denied 39 of 40 total shots but the Binghamton Senators were able to outlast the Phantoms 2-1 in a shootout. The 39 stops for Stolarz was his second-highest save total of the season as the second-year netminder helped Lehigh Valley capture a critical standings point.
Nick Cousins and Petr Straka assisted on MacDonald’s power play conversion while Matt Puempel notched Binghamton’s lone goal in regulation before sealing the contest in the shootout.
Thursday, December 31: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Hershey Bears 1
Danick Martel scored twice, including the game winner, and Jason LaBarbera recorded 27 saves as the Phantoms closed out 2015 with a 3-1 victory over the Hershey Bears. Aaron Palushaj also found the back of the net for Lehigh Valley as the Phantoms earned their third consecutive win over their in-state rivals.
Sam Gagner, making his Phantoms debut after being loaned to Lehigh Valley from the Philadelphia Flyers just 24 hours earlier, tallied an assist in the triumph.
Saturday, January 2: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Portland Pirates 4 (OT)
Petr Straka netted his league-leading 17th goal of the season but Kyle Rau was able to score twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Portland Pirates handed the Phantoms a 4-3 setback. Mark Alt and Aaron Palushaj also scored for Lehigh Valley as Anthony Stolarz turned aside 28 of Portland’s 32 shots in the game.
Rob Schremp and Garrett Wilson also converted for the Pirates as goaltender Mike McKenna produced 29 saves in earning the victory between the pipes.
Sunday, January 3: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2 – Portland Pirates 1
The Phantoms closed an incredibly successful five-game road trip and capped a weekend series in Portland with a 2-1 win over the Pirates. Cole Bardreau and Danick Martel provided the offense for Lehigh Valley while Jason LaBarbera recorded a season-high 37 saves in earning his third consecutive victory in goal.
The Phantoms’ penalty kill denied all five of Portland’s power play opportunities in running its streak of consecutive successful penalty kills to 28.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live all of the Phantoms’ 21 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’ 21 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).