February 6, 2018
Wednesday, February 7 (7:05 p.m.) – Charlotte Checkers @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
(United Way Night.)
Friday, February 9 (7:05 p.m.) – Hershey Bears @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, February 10 (7:05 p.m.) – Rochester Americans @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms
With standings points in five of their last six games (4-1-1) and wins in six of their last nine outings (6-2-1), the red-hot Lehigh Valley Phantoms (27-14-3-3, 60 pts., 0.638 pts. pct., 2nd Atlantic Division) return to action with three games at PPL Center this week. The Phantoms enter the week with the second-most wins (27) and tied for the most standings points (60) in the tightly-contested Atlantic Division.
Lehigh Valley returns to action this Wednesday, February 7 as it welcomes the Charlotte Checkers to downtown Allentown for the final time this season. Charlotte (25-19-0-3, 53 pts., 0.564 pts. pct., 5th Atlantic Division) dropped two of three games last week and enters the week having fallen in five of its last seven outings overall (2-3-2). After a 3-2 regulation setback to the Phantoms last Friday, the Checkers split a weekend series at the Hershey Bears with a 6-5 shootout defeat on Saturday followed by a 5-2 triumph on Sunday.
Wednesday’s game will mark the sixth of eight total meetings during the 2017-18 regular season between Lehigh Valley and Charlotte with the Phantoms having posted a 3-2 mark through the first five collisions. Checkers’ forward Warren Foegle leads all scorers in the season series with six points (3 goals, 3 assists) while T.J. Brennan and Greg Carey have paced all Lehigh Valley skaters in the season series with five points each.
A limited number of tickets remain to Wednesday’s game and are available HERE.
The Phantoms then continue this week’s action on Friday, February 9 when they host the rival Hershey Bears in downtown Allentown. Hershey (18-23-3-4, 43 pts., 0.448 pts. pct., 8th Atlantic Division) snapped a nine-game winless skid with a 6-5 shootout win over Charlotte last Saturday but still enters the week having dropped 10 of its last 11 games overall (1-7-3). The Bears opened last week with a 4-1 setback at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before earning their shootout victory against the Checkers only to have Charlotte hand Hershey a 5-2 regulation setback on Sunday. Since January 10, the Bears have claimed just five of a possible 22 standings points and have been outscored 42-21 across that 11-game stretch.
Friday’s game will be the 10th of 12 total meetings this season between Lehigh Valley and Hershey with the Phantoms having gone 7-2 through the first nine tilts. Lehigh Valley enters the week having claimed three straight meetings in the rivalry series and is 4-0 in the season set in games played at PPL Center. Overall, the Phantoms have outscored the Bears 35-25 with Lehigh Valley’s Phil Varone (3 goals, 7 assists) and Hershey’s Chris Bourque (3 goals, 7 assists) leading all scorers in the season series with 10 points apiece.
Friday’s game is Faith Night in downtown Allentown and features a special free post-game screening of “Soul Surfer” on the videoboard at PPL Center. A limited number of tickets remain to Friday’s game and are available HERE.
The Phantoms then cap this week’s action on Saturday, February 10 when they welcome the Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, to PPL Center for the first and only time this season. Rochester (25-11-6-5, 61 pts., 0.649 pts. pct., 2nd North Division) dropped a pair of North Division showdowns last weekend and enters the week having fallen in seven of its last nine outings (2-3-4). Last weekend, the Americans were handed a 4-2 setback to the Toronto Marlies on Friday before garnering a critical standings point Saturday as part of a 4-3 overtime loss at the Binghamton Devils.
Saturday’s clash at PPL Center will be the second and final meeting of the 2017-18 regular season between Lehigh Valley and Rochester after the Americans claimed a 3-1 victory at Blue Cross Arena back on January 6.
A limited number of tickets remain for Saturday’s game in downtown Allentown and are available HERE.
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Forward Phil Varone enters the week leading all Phantoms and is second among all AHL skaters in scoring with 44 total points (11 goals, 33 assists). Tied for third among all AHLers with 33 assists, Varone has recorded 10 multi-point outings this season.
- All-Star defenseman T.J. Brennan is currently tied for second among all Phantoms and is fourth among all AHL blueliners in scoring with 30 total points (10 goals, 20 assists). Coming off his fifth straight All-Star appearance, Brennan made history last Friday evening when he became the first blueliner in AHL history to post eight double-digit goal seasons.
- Forwards Oskar Lindblom and Nic Aube-Kubel are the only players to have appeared in each of Lehigh Valley’s 47 games to date. Lindblom is currently tied for second among all Phantoms in scoring with 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) while Aube-Kubel is tied for fifth with 29 total points (13 goals, 16 assists).
- After a pair of goals last weekend, forward Chris Conner (right) is now in sole possession of 13th place on the Phantoms’ franchise all-time scoring list with 140 total points (49 goals, 91 assists). He is just six points back of Danny Syvret and Craig Darby (T-12th).
- Goaltender Alex Lyon has won four straight games and five of his last eight appearances overall (5-2-1). The second-year netminder has posted an impressive 2.14 goals-against average during that stretch to go along with a sparkling 0.936 save percentage.
- Lehigh Valley is 25-1-2-1 when scoring three or more goals this season and is 23-3-1-2 when allowing three goals against or fewer.
- The Phantoms are currently second in the AHL and lead the Eastern Conference with 14 one-goal wins this season. Lehigh Valley is an impressive 14-2-3-3 in games decided by just a single goal this year.
- The Phantoms are 14-5-3-1 at PPL Center this season and have outscored their opposition 83-70 in 23 prior games in downtown Allentown.
Friday, February 2: Charlotte Checkers 2 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3
T.J. Brennan made history as he became the first defenseman in AHL history to record eight double-digit goal seasons when he pumped in his 10th goal of the year as part of Lehigh Valley’s 3-2 victory over the Charlotte Checkers in front of 7,444 fans inside PPL Center. Chris Conner (10th) and Cole Bardreau (3rd) also found the back of the net in front of goaltender John Muse who turned in an impressive 38-save performance in earning his third AHL win of the season.
Bardreau’s goal was part of a multi-point effort as he notched a goal and an assist while Conner solidified the 10th double-digit goal campaign of his impressive 12-year pro career.
Saturday, February 3: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
Chris Conner netted his 11th goal of the season and his second conversion in as many nights but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were able to hang on for a 2-1 win over the Phantoms inside Mohegan Sun Arena. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski turned in a strong performance between the pipes for Lehigh Valley as he denied 19 of the Penguins’ 21 total shots while Phil Varone collected his team-leading 33rd assist and 44th point.
Daniel Sprong (20th) and Jean-Sebastien Dea (11th) provided the offense for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in front of goaltender Tristan Jarry who turned in an impressive 34-save outing.
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live each of the Phantoms’ 15 home games throughout the 2017-2018 regular season. 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 2017-18 season are available online at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX  or in-person at the QNB Box Office [7th & Hamilton].