Phantoms Weekly – Playoff Push Continues This Weekend at PPL Center

March 3, 2015

This Week

Friday, March 6 (7:05 PM) – Bridgeport Sound Tigers @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Free Shirt Night! All fans in attendance will receive a FREE Military Appreciation Phantoms shirt.)

Saturday, March 7 (7:05 PM) – Portland Pirates @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(Legends Night! All fans in attendance will receive a FREE Collector’s Edition Poster spotlighting 2005 Calder Cup Champion and AHL Hall of Fame defenseman John Slaney.)


The Lehigh Valley Phantoms continue their push for one of the coveted playoff spots in the Eastern Conference this weekend with a pair of games at PPL Center.

Military_Appreciation_ShirtFirst, Lehigh Valley (25-23-6-1, 57 pts.) welcomes the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to downtown Allentown for the final time this season on Friday, March 6th. Friday’s contest is another Free Shirt Night at PPL Center as all fans in attendance will receive a FREE Military Appreciation Phantoms shirt!

The Phantoms enter the week in sole possession of third place in the East Division and currently trail Providence by nine standings points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Lehigh Valley possesses two games-in-hand on the Bruins. Meanwhile, Bridgeport (21-29-5-1, 48 pts.) enters the week fifth among the five teams in the Northeast Division and currently holds the lowest standings point total in the entire Eastern Conference. The Sound Tigers enter the week having lost nine consecutive games and have been outscored 41-15 during their recent skid.

JustSports PhotographyFriday’s tilt marks the third of four total meetings during the 2014-2015 regular season between the Phantoms and Sound Tigers with Lehigh Valley holding a 1-0-1 record head-to-head with Bridgeport. After a 3-2 shootout defeat at PPL Center on December 6th, the Phantoms exacted a little revenge just 24 hours later with a 5-3 triumph at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. Jason Akeson had a monster night in the victory for Lehigh Valley with a season-high four points (two goals, two assists) while Darroll Powe and Blair Jones each chipped in a pair of points. Anthony Stolarz backstopped the win with 34 saves on 37 Sound Tigers shots.

Then, on Saturday, March 7th, the Phantoms welcome the Portland Pirates to town for the first and only time this season. Saturday’s game is another Legends Night as all fans in attendance will receive a FREE Collector’s Edition Poster spotlighting 2005 Calder Cup Champion and AHL Hall of Fame defenseman John Slaney!

Portland (30-22-3-1, 64 pts.) is currently fourth in the tightly-contested Atlantic Division but enters the week just two points back of Providence for the final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Saturday’s showdown is the second and final meeting this season between the Phantoms and Pirates following Lehigh Valley’s 3-0 setback at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on November 8th.

Phantoms By The Numbers

  • JustSports PhotographyBrandon Manning enters the week second among all AHL blueliners and second on Lehigh Valley’s roster in scoring with 41 points. The 24-year-old defender has produced more assists (31) to date than any AHL defenseman and has registered more power play points (23) than any player overall in the entire AHL. What’s more, the All-Star blueliner ranks first among all AHL defenders with 174 shots on goal and is tied for second among defensemen with four game-winning goals this year.
  • Nick Cousins enters the week tied for fifth among all AHL skaters in total scoring with 48 points. The Belleville, Ontario native compiled 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in 10 February outings and has produced a team-high 15 multi-point outings this season. A second-year pro, Cousins leads all Phantoms with eight power play tallies this season and is tied with Jason Akeson for the team lead with 17 total conversions.
  • Lehigh Valley’s penalty kill has allowed just two power play goals against over the last five games. The Phantoms’ penalty kill is 16-for-18 (88.9%) during that stretch.
  • The Phantoms have seen six of their last nine games decided in either overtime or a shootout and have now enjoyed 18 post-regulation decisions this season. Lehigh Valley is 4-2 in its recent surge of dramatic conclusions and is now 11-7 overall in games decided via overtime/shootouts (6-6 in overtime, 5-1 in shootouts).

Last Week

Saturday, February 28: Binghamton Senators 2 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 (OT)

P0228_0610Brandon Manning netted the game winner 3:27 into overtime as the Phantoms rallied for a dramatic, come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators in front of 8,964 fans at PPL Center. Kevin Goumas opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season and it was Brett Hextall’s fourth of the year that leveled the contest just prior to the midway point of the third period. Manning finished the contest with a goal and an assist as the 24-year-old blueliner notched his ninth multi-point game this season.

Anthony Stolarz earned the victory between the pipes with 25 saves on 27 shots. The victory came in front of the second-largest crowd to enjoy a Phantoms game this season as PPL Center hosted Lehigh Valley’s 15th sellout of the 2014-2015 season. With the win, the Phantoms improved to 6-6 in overtime this year and an impressive 15-5-6-1 in one-goal games this season.

Sunday, March 1: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 0 – Hershey Bears 2

H0301_0454The Phantoms outshot the Hershey Bears 37-16 Sunday evening but Bears goaltender Philip Grubaueir turned aside each of Lehigh Valley’s 37 total offerings as Hershey earned a 2-0 victory at Giant Center. The 16 shots allowed were the fewest the Phantoms have surrendered in a single game this season.

Dustin Gazley and Stanislav Galiev both scored for the Bears while Rob Zepp, back between the pipes for Lehigh Valley after a 12-day stint with the Philadelphia Flyers, recorded 14 saves.

Broadcast Coverage

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 in high definition with Steve Degler and former Flyers and Phantoms goaltender Brian Boucher! And don’t miss “Phantoms – Breaking the Ice” every Monday from 7:00 – 8:00 PM throughout the season live at Chickie’s & Pete’s (701 Hamilton Street)!

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. Nazareth Pallett Countdown to Faceoff begins 45 minutes prior to puck drop.

Ticket Information

Tickets for all of the Phantoms’ 11 remaining regular season home games are available now at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (7th & Hamilton), by calling 610-347-TIXX (8499) or online at

Check it out! 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 for the 2015-2016 season of Phantoms hockey by calling 610-224-GOAL (4625).

In their 19th season of operation, the Phantoms are currently in the midst of their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms playing at the brand-new 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).