Phantoms Weekly Presented by Provident Bank — 11/6/18

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Phantoms Continue Home Stand with Match Ups Against Top Two Teams in Atlantic Division

November 6, 2018

A Look Back

Friday, November 2, 2018 — Binghamton Devils 4, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 (OT)

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms traveled to Binghamton for the last game of their season long six-game road swing this past Friday to take on the Devils for the first game of a home-and-home weekend set. Despite Binghamton taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, Lehigh Valley fired back with three consecutive goals off the sticks of David Kase, German Rubtsov and Mikhail Vorobyev to take a 3-2 lead.  The Devils would add a late goal, at the 16:42 mark of the third period, to force overtime and although the Phantoms controlled the majority of the play in extra time, they fell 4-3 after Binghamton defenseman Colton White found the back of the net at the 3:25 mark in overtime.

Vorobyev, in only his second game with the Phantoms this season, finished the night with two points (1G-1A) — the sixth multi-point game of his professional career — which included a highlight reel assist that sprung fellow Russian forward Rubtsov on a shorthanded opportunity that he scored on.

Saturday, November 3, 2018 — Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3, Binghamton Devils 2 (OT)

On Saturday, the Phantoms returned home to PPL Center in downtown Allentown for the first time in 14 days to host the Devils for the back half of the home-and-home series.  Largely a scoreless contest through nearly the first 43 minutes of play, the Devils would net a pair of goals just 2:43 apart in order to take a 2-0 lead.  The Phantoms finally broke the goose egg on the board — with the goalie pulled — when Mike Vecchione fed T.J. Brennan on the point for a one-time shot that was tipped in by Colin McDonald to make it a 2-1 game at the 13:59 mark of the third period.

In dramatic fashion Lehigh Valley would net another extra-attacker goal, this time from Phil Varone, with just 4.5 seconds remaining in the contest to force overtime.

After a rare icing call in the three-on-three overtime period, Vecchione won a faceoff in his own end back to defenseman Mark Friedman who rimmed it into the corner for forward German Rubtsov.  The rookie pushed it up to a fast breaking Vecchione who skated in on the right-wing side and fired a shot past the stick side of Devils’ goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to lift the Phantoms to a 3-2 victory over the visitors.

The Road Ahead

Friday, November 9, 2018 — Springfield Thunderbirds at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 p.m. — TICKETS

The Phantoms will continue their four-game home stand on Friday night when they host the Springfield Thunderbirds for the second time this season.  In two prior meetings this season, the Phantoms hold a split record of 1-1 against the Thunderbirds which includes a 5-4 shootout victory.  As of Tuesday, Springfield holds second place in the Atlantic Division with just a single regulation loss in 10 games this season.  Thunderbirds’ forwards Henrik Borgstrom (1G-3A) and Harry Zolnierczyk (1G-3A) each have four points in two games against the black and orange this season while the team already has six players with double-digit point totals.

On the Phantoms side of things, defenseman T.J. Brennan (1G-1A) and forward Phil Varone (1G-1A) currently lead the charge with two points each against the T-Birds.  Similarly to Springfield, those same two players are also the top two on the team in total points this season.  Varone leads the Phantoms with 15 (4G-11A) while Brennan holds second place with 14 (4G-10A).

Friday night is also Superhero Night featuring an appearance by your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, who will be available for photos on the concourse. We’re calling on all fans to come out and help cheer on the Phantoms as they attempt to foil the plans of the evil Thunderbirds!  Limited tickets remain for Friday’s contest against Springfield, you can purchase yours HERE.

Saturday, November 3, 2018 — Charlotte Checkers at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 p.m. — TICKETS

On Saturday, Lehigh Valley will take on the first place team in the Atlantic Division as they rekindle their rivalry with the Charlotte Checkers.  Heading into this weekend with a 10-1-0-0 record, Charlotte is currently on a five-game unbeaten streak stretching back to October 24.  Since the start of the season, the Checkers have beaten four different North Division opponents seven times, but currently hold a 3-1-0-0 record against Atlantic Division opponents.

During the 2017-18 season, the Phantoms and Checkers split eight meetings right down the middle, each posting a 4-4-0-0 record in the process.  Forwards Greg Carey (3G-3A), Nic Aube-Kubel (2G-4A) and Phil Varone (1G-5A) tallied six points each for a total of 18 (6G-12A) in the contests against the Checkers a season ago.

Current Lehigh Valley defenseman Philip Samuelsson will get his first crack against his former team in Saturday night’s match up.  The 27-year-old blueliner appeared in all 76 contests for Charlotte this past season and tallied 21 points (4G-17A) as well as the league’s best plus-minus rating of plus-48.

Snap Shots

The Lyon Roars

Phantoms goaltender Alex Lyon made 40 saves on 42 shots in Saturday night’s game against Binghamton to earn his second victory of the season.  During his time with Lehigh Valley, Lyon has faced 40 or more shots nine times (2016-17: 4, 2017-18: 3, 2018-19: 2) and has a 7-1-1 record over those contests.  Lyon was recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers on November 5.

Riverboat Gordon

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms netted two extra-attacker goals in the final 6:01 of the third period — including the game-tying goal with just 4.5 seconds left — of Saturday night’s game against the Devils.  This marks the second time this season that Head Coach Scott Gordon’s gamble of pulling the goalie has produced two goals.  The first, on October 13 against the Springfield Thunderbirds, saw David Kase and Greg Carey net goals late in the third en route to a 5-4 shootout victory.

The New Guys

Rookie forwards German Rubtsov (5G-3A), David Kase (3G-2A), Connor Bunnaman (1G-1A) and Carsen Twarynski (1A) have tallied a total of 16 points (9G-7A) over a combined 35 games this season.  The newcomers nine goals thus far account for 21 percent of Phantoms goals this season.

Phantoms by the Numbers

  • 2: With German Rubtsov’s shorthanded goal in Friday night’s game against Binghamton, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms now have two shorthanded goals on the season
  • 3: Three Phantoms players are currently producing at a point-per-game or better pace: Phil Varone (1.36), T.J. Brennan (1.27) and Greg Carey (1.09)
  • 5: Both Phil Varone and T.J. Brennan have recorded five multi-point games this season, the most of anyone on the team
  • 8: The Phantoms took eight of a possible 12 points during the team’s season long six-game road swing between October 20 and November 2
  • 300: Lehigh Valley forward Chris Conner is just a single assist away from reaching 300 career assists at the AHL level

Recent Transactions

November 5, 2018: The Philadelphia Flyers recalled goaltender Alex Lyon from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Broadcast Coverage

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.

Ticket Information

Tickets for each and every Phantoms home game throughout the 2018-19 season are available online at, by calling 610-347-TIXX [8499] or in-person at the QNB Box Office [7th & Hamilton].