Phantoms Face Rival Penguins at the Front End of a 3-in-3 Weekend
October 16, 2018
A Look Back
Friday, October 12, 2018 — Springfield Thunderbirds 7, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 0
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms took to the ice last weekend for a home-and-home series against the Springfield Thunderbirds beginning with a game inside of PPL Center on Friday night. Friday night’s contest was largely marked by a number of penalties — eight in total — that put the Phantoms behind the eight ball, and on the penalty kill, for the majority of the game. By night’s end, Lehigh Valley had surrendered five power-play goals to the T-Birds which resulted in a 7-0 loss.
Rookie goaltender Carter Hart, who saw his second start of the season, was pulled from the game in favor of Anthony Stolarz in the second period.
Saturday, October 13, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5, Springfield Thunderbirds 4 (SO)
On Saturday, the Phantoms hit the road for their first away game of the season to complete the home-and-home set with the Thunderbirds. Despite Springfield finding the back of the first, the Phantoms battled back and tied the game when Cole Bardreau netted his first of the season as he picked up a loose puck, skated in on the left side and scored shorthanded. Lehigh Valley would later take the lead early in the second period thanks to a goal from defenseman T.J. Brennan, his first of the season. Another Springfield goal would again tie the game, this time at 2-2, heading into the third period.
After killing off the remainder of a double minor to begin the period, the Phantoms again found themselves behind after a pair of goals scored by Blaine Byron and Paul Thompson — just 22 seconds apart — quickly made it 4-2 in favor of the opposition. With under three minutes remaining in the game, rookie David Kaše sparked Lehigh Valley’s comeback when he potted the first professional goal of his career thanks to a centering feed from Chris Conner. His goal made it 4-3 with just 2:23 left in the game. Exactly two minutes later, at the 19:37 mark of the third period, Greg Carey would would find a rebound off of a Philip Samuelsson shot and bury it to tie the game at four.
A scoreless overtime period would give way to the shootout and thanks to goals from Taylor Leier and German Rubtsov, as well as some timely saves from goaltender Anthony Stolarz, the Phantoms prevailed to bring home the 5-4 victory.
The Road Ahead
Friday, October 19, 2018 — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 p.m. — TICKETS
The Phantoms will welcome the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins into PPL Center for the first of six meetings in downtown Allentown this season on Friday night. Having battled for the Atlantic Division crown against each other the last two seasons, the two teams will again likely be in a race at the top of the standings. Last season, the Phantoms produced an impressive 7-4-0-1 record against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but, in 12 total match ups, saw the results against the Penguins decided by a single goal in six of those contests.
As of Tuesday, the Penguins remain one of only three unbeaten teams in the Atlantic Division with a 3-0-0-0 record. After dispatching the Thunderbirds in their first game of the season, the Pens traveled to Cleveland where they topped the Monsters twice this past weekend. Rookie center Anthony Angello leads the Penguins with two goals this season, but is tied for first in points scored at three with captain Garrett Wilson (1G-2A) and defenseman Stefan Elliott (3A).
Friday night is also Hat Trick or Treat Night featuring a spooky Halloween theme and a Phantoms Ball Cap Giveaway for the first 6,500 fans in attendance thanks to Service Electric Cable TV & Communications. Tickets for Friday night’s contest inside of PPL Center are available online, so be sure you get yours by clicking HERE.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley will travel up the Pennsylvania Turnpike to complete their home-and-home series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday night. The game will be the first of five that the Phantoms will play on the road to round out the end of October and the first of six total away games before returning to the confines of PPL Center.
Chris Conner led the charge for the Phantoms against the Penguins during the 2017-18 season having tallied 11 total points (5G-6A) in 12 games. Just two seasons ago, Taylor Leier produced five points (3G-2A) in just seven games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and while he’s still searching for his first point of the 2018-19 season, a familiar foe may be just what he needs to get going.
Sunday, October 21, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 3:00 p.m.
The Phantoms triumphed over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 6-3 in the October 6 season opener that featured two-goal, three-point performances by both Nic Aube-Kubel and Greg Carey. Reigning AHL MVP Phil Varone finished the night with a plus-five rating and rookie goaltender Carter Hart also earned his first professional victory that night, making 31 saves on 34 total shots.
After their opening night loss, the Sound Tigers have only managed to produce a single win in three additional tilts this season. Currently led by forward Michael Dal Colle, who has a goal and four assists on the season, Bridgeport will look to rebound from two losses against Rochester this past weekend.
Similar to the Phantoms, the Sound Tigers will play a home-and-home set of games against the Providence Bruins leading up to the Sunday afternoon match up against Lehigh Valley. With the Bruins currently sitting at 1-4-0-0 on the season, it could be a good opportunity for the Sound Tigers to earn some wins and confidence before re-matching against the Phantoms.
Rookie Forward David Kaše tallied his first professional point with an assist on German Rubtsov’s goal on October 6 against the Sound Tigers. This past weekend, Kaše netted the first goal of his pro career and helped spark the Phantoms comeback late in the third period of Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds. The 21-year old out of Kadan, Czech Republic, is now tied for third on the team with two points this season (1G-1A).
The Comeback Kids
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms scored two goals against the Thunderbirds with under three minutes remaining in Saturday night’s game and went on to eventually win in the shootout by a score of 5-4. During the 2017-18 season, the Phantoms managed to come back 13 times — including six times in the third period — from deficits on the scoreboard.
Welcome Back Stolie
Goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 27 saves on 31 shots in Saturday night’s game to earn his first victory with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms since March 26, 2017.
Phantoms by the Numbers
- 2: Two Lehigh Valley skaters netted goals in the shootout against Springfield on Saturday, Taylor Leier and German Rubtsov.
- 5: Greg Carey currently leads the Phantoms in points this season with 5 (3G-2A).
- 6: The Phantoms pulled the goalie and scored twice with six skaters on the ice in the final three minutes of the third period against the Thunderbirds on Saturday.
- 20: Lehigh Valley has put their opponents on the power play 20 times over the first three games of the season and have allowed seven power-play goals. The team turned a corner on the penalty kill on Saturday, however, shutting the Thunderbirds down eight times.
- 149: T.J. Brennan netted his first goal of the season in Saturday night’s game, marking the 149th of his AHL career. The marker places him just 18 goals shy of breaking the current record for most goals by an AHL defenseman held by former Philadelphia Phantom John Slaney (166).
No Recent Transactions
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will again be broadcasting all of the Phantoms’ regular season home games live during the 2018-19 season. If you can’t make it out to the rink, be sure to catch all the exciting action in high definition with Steve Degler, Todd Fedoruk, Doug Heater, Dan Fremuth and Kristi Fulkerson!
And be sure to catch each and every Phantoms game this season live on 1470-AM WSAN, 790-AM WAEB or via the Phantoms365 app! Join the 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.
Tickets for each and every Phantoms home game throughout the 2018-19 season are available online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the QNB Box Office [7th & Hamilton].