January 2, 2018
Friday, January 5 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Toronto Marlies
Saturday, January 6 (7:05 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms @ Rochester Americans
Winners of five of their last seven games and eight of twelve overall, the red-hot Lehigh Valley Phantoms (21-10-2-2, 46 pts., 0.657 pts. pct., 2nd Atlantic Division) hit the road this weekend for a pair of showdowns against the top two teams in the North Division. Lehigh Valley enters the week with the most standings points (46) and tied for the most wins (21) in the Atlantic Division.
The Phantoms return to action this Friday, January 5 when the team heads to the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto for a meeting with the Marlies. Toronto (23-11-0-0, 46 pts., 0.676 pts. pct., T-1st North Division) claimed just one of four games during a busy stretch out of the holiday break last week. The Marlies capped their busy week with a 5-1 victory over the Belleville Senators on Saturday only after being handed a 2-1 setback to Belleville last Tuesday followed by a 5-4 loss at the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday and a 2-0 defeat against the Rochester Americans on Friday. Toronto enters the week having dropped six of its last eight games overall (2-6-0) and will face off against the Rocket in Laval on Wednesday before hosting Lehigh Valley on Friday.
This Friday’s contest will mark the second and final meeting of the 2017-18 regular season between the Phantoms and Marlies after Toronto claimed a 5-1 decision at PPL Center back on November 5.
Lehigh Valley then caps this week’s action on Saturday, January 6 when the Phantoms invade Blue Cross Arena in Rochester for their first meeting of the year with the Americans. Rochester (20-8-3-3, 46 pts., 0.676 pts. pct., T-1st North Division) won one of three games out of the holiday break last week but enters the week having claimed five of its last seven games overall. After a 3-1 setback to Laval last Wednesday, the Americans responded with a 2-0 win at Toronto on Friday before falling in a 4-2 decision at home to the Rocket on Saturday.
After this Saturday’s collision, Lehigh Valley and Rochester will cap their regular season series at PPL Center on Saturday, February 10.
- Phantoms By The Numbers
- Forward Phil Varone enters the week leading all Phantoms and is tied for second among all AHL skaters in scoring with 38 total points (10 goals, 28 assists). The AHL’s assist leader (28 assists) notched another four points last week (goal, 3 assists) and enters the week in the midst of a five-game point streak (goal, 6 assists) (12/20-present).
- Forwards Danick Martel and Greg Carey are currently tied for the team lead with 17 goals scored this season. Martel enters the week second among all Phantoms in total points (26) and plus/minus (plus-11) while Carey is fourth in scoring (24 points) and leads all Lehigh Valley skaters with five power play conversions this year.
- First-year forward Oskar Lindblom (right) enters the week third among all Phantoms and seventh among all AHL rookies in total scoring with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists). Lindblom has been on a tear in recent weeks having compiled 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) over his last 10 games.
- Lehigh Valley is 21-1-2-1 when scoring three or more goals this season and is 17-1-0-1 when allowing three goals against or fewer.
- The Phantoms are 12-2-1-1 when scoring first this season. What’s more, Lehigh Valley is 12-2-1-1 when leading after the first period this year and is 15-0-1 when leading after two frames.
- The Phantoms enter the week as the AHL’s third-highest scoring offense averaging 3.63 goals per game. What’s more, Lehigh Valley ranks second behind just the Manitoba Moose with nine 20-point producers to this point in the season.
Wednesday, December 27: Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4
T.J. Brennan and Tyler Goulbourne each registered a goal and an assist and Corban Knight chipped in a pair of helpers as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms returned from the AHL’s holiday break with a 5-4 victory at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Phil Varone (10th), Mike Vecchione (8th) and Chris Conner (7th) also found the back of the net for the Phantoms in front of goaltender Dustin Tokarski who earned his 10th victory of the season with a strong 32-save performance.
Lehigh Valley’s power play went 1-for-5 in the winning effort while the team’s penalty kill successfully defended each of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s three man-advantage opportunities.
Friday, December 29: Charlotte Checkers 1 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3
Greg Carey paced Lehigh Valley’s offensive attack with a goal and two assists and Phil Varone and Tyrell Goulbourne each notched a pair of assists as the Phantoms opened their weekend series with the Charlotte Checkers with a 3-1 triumph in front of 7,494 fans inside PPL Center. Oskar Lindblom (10th) also converted for Lehigh Valley in addition to T.J. Brennan (4th) whose late second-period goal marked the 400th career AHL point for the 28-year-old blueliner. With Friday’s conversion, Brennan became just the 10th defenseman in AHL history to amass 400 career points (138 goals, 262 assists).
Goaltender Alex Lyon earned the victory between the pipes as he turned aside 28 of Charlotte’s 29 total shots.
Saturday, December 30: Charlotte Checkers 5 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2
Oskar Lindblom (11th) and Will O’Neill (4th) both found the back of the net and goaltender Alex Lyon turned in a stellar 39-save performance but it wasn’t enough as Lehigh Valley earned a split in its weekend series with Charlotte after a 5-2 setback on Saturday in front of 8,050 fans inside PPL Center. Charlotte’s Warren Foegele and Patrick Brown each tallied a goal and an assist in front of Alex Nedeljkovic who earned the victory in goal after denying 26 of the Phantoms’ 28 total shots.
Saturday’s decision snapped Lehigh Valley’s point streak at six consecutive games (5-0-1).
Service Electric’s TV2 Sports will be broadcasting live each of the Phantoms’ 21 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].