May 22, 2018
Wednesday, May 23 (7:05 p.m.) – Toronto Marlies @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms – TICKETS
(Eastern Conference Finals Game #3)
Friday, May 25 (7:05 p.m.) – Toronto Marlies @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms – TICKETS
(Eastern Conference Finals Game #4)
Saturday, May 26 (7:05 p.m.) – Toronto Marlies @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms – TICKETS
(Eastern Conference Finals Game #5, if needed)
Atlantic Division Champions for the 2017-18 season, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (47-19-5-5, 104 pts. during the regular season, 7-4 in 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs) continue their quest for the 2018 Calder Cup Championship this week as they continue their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Toronto Marlies. In the midst of their 12th postseason appearance in franchise history, this is the Phantoms first trip to the Conference Finals since 2005.
After a pair of tightly-contested showdowns at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto last weekend, the best-of-seven series now shifts to PPL Center in downtown Allentown for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if needed) this week. Playoff action resumes this Wednesday, May 23 at 7:05 p.m. with Game 3 between Lehigh Valley and Toronto with the Phantoms looking to use their home-ice advantage to slice the Marlies’ 2-0 series lead in half. Tickets for Wednesday’s highly-anticipated postseason showdown are available now by clicking HERE.
Game 4 will then take place on Friday, May 25 at PPL Center with Game 5 slated for Saturday, May 26 in downtown Allentown. Tickets for all three games at PPL Center this week are available now by clicking HERE.
The top seed in the Atlantic Division portion of the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs, Lehigh Valley opened its playoff run by eliminating the fourth-seeded Providence Bruins in four games (3-1) before ousting the third-seeded Charlotte Checkers in five games (4-1) in the Atlantic Division Finals. Meanwhile, Toronto (54-18-2-2, 112 pts. during the regular season, 9-2 in 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs) earned the top seed in the North Division and eliminated the fourth-seeded Utica Comets in five games (3-2) before sweeping the second-seeded Syracuse Crunch (4-0) in the North Division Finals.
As the highest seed in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs, Toronto earned home-ice advantage throughout the postseason and opened the Eastern Conference Finals with back-to-back games at Ricoh Coliseum. The Marlies claimed a back-and-forth Game 1 with a 4-3 regulation win before outlasting the Phantoms 3-2 in overtime in a thrilling, fast-paced Game 2. Toronto is now a perfect 7-0 at home this postseason.
The Eastern Conference Finals pits the top two teams in the entire 30-team American Hockey League against one another. The Marlies finished the 2017-18 regular season with a league-leading 112 standings points while the Phantoms were second with 104. What’s more, Toronto paced the AHL with 54 wins this year while Lehigh Valley was second with 47 victories. No team in the AHL won more home games this season than the Phantoms (27) while no AHL club had more road victories this year than the Marlies (30).
Lehigh Valley posted a 0-1-1 record in two regular season meetings with Toronto falling in a 5-1 decision at PPL Center back on November 5 before earning a standings point in a 3-2 shootout tilt at Ricoh Coliseum on January 15. The Phantoms and Marlies have faced off just eight times over the last four seasons with Lehigh Valley having posted a 4-2-2 mark in eight head-to-head clashes with Toronto.
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Forward Chris Conner currently leads all Phantoms with five goals and nine total points during the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. The 34-year-old winger has tallied at least one point in seven of 11 postseason outings.
- Forward Danick Martel is currently second among all Lehigh Valley skaters with eight postseason points (4 goals, 4 assists). Martel is tied with Oskar Lindblom (right) for second among all Lehigh Valley skaters with four goals scored in these playoffs.
- Goaltender Alex Lyon has been exceptional in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs for Lehigh Valley. The second-year netminder has already posted 72 saves through the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals and is 6-3 overall in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs with a sparkling 1.84 goals-against average coupled with a 0.949 save percentage.
- Defenseman T.J. Brennan currently leads all Phantoms with 61 career AHL postseason games and 44 AHL postseason points (18 goals, 26 assists). Meanwhile, Conner is second with 50 career AHL postseason appearances and 34 playoff points (13 goals, 21 assists).
- The Phantoms’ power play is currently third among all AHL playoff clubs at 21.6 percent (8-for-37). Meanwhile, Toronto’s man-advantage is second overall at 21.8 percent (12-for-55).
- Lehigh Valley went 42-1-5 when scoring three or more goals during the regular season and is 5-2 in the postseason in that circumstance. Meanwhile, the Phantoms went 41-6-5 when allowing three goals against or fewer during the regular year and are 7-1 in such games in the playoffs.
- The Phantoms were 30-4-6 when scoring first during the regular season and are 5-1 when netting the game’s opening goal in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Toronto was 36-6-2 when scoring first during the regular season and is 7-0 when doing so in the playoffs.
- Lehigh Valley was 19-4-10 in one-goal contests this year and is 4-2 in one-goal tilts this postseason. The Marlies were 15-4-4 in one-goal games during the regular season and are 5-0 in the playoffs.
- No team in the 30-team AHL won more home games during the regular season than the Phantoms (27). Lehigh Valley is already 3-1 at PPL Center this postseason and has now claimed 20 of the team’s last 24 games (20-2-2) in downtown Allentown.
Saturday, May 8 (Eastern Conference Finals Game #1): Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 – Toronto Marlies 4
Phil Myers tallied a goal and an assist while Chris Conner (5th) and Tyrell Goulbourne (2nd) also found the back of the net for Lehigh Valley but the Toronto Marlies were able to prevail with a 4-3 regulation decision in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Alex Lyon turned in a strong 28-save performance between the pipes for Lehigh Valley as the second-year netminder was handed just his second setback of the postseason.
Miro Aaltonen (2nd, 3rd) scored twice for the Marlies while Andreas Johnsson chipped in a pair of assists in front of Toronto goaltender Garret Sparks who earned his seventh victory of the playoffs after denying 26 of Lehigh Valley’s 29 total shots on goal.
Sunday, May 20 (Eastern Conference Finals Game #2): Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2 – Toronto Marlies 3 (OT)
Mark Friedman (2nd) and Mikhail Vorobyev (1st) both scored in regulation for the Phantoms but it was Miro Aaltonen’s conversion 10:59 into overtime that tipped a fast-paced, thrilling 3-2 contest in favor of the Toronto Marlies in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. With the win, Toronto opened up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as the Marlies claimed their seventh straight home victory in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Trevor Moore (4th) and Carl Grundstrom (5th) also found the back of the net for Toronto as Lehigh Valley’s Alex Lyon turned in another sparkling performance between the pipes turning aside 44 of the Marlies’ 47 total shots.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live each of the Phantoms’ home games throughout the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. 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.
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 and Phantoms365 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 and every Phantoms home game throughout the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs are available online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the QNB Box Office [7th & Hamilton].