Key stops from Ersson and two goals for Marody leads Lehigh Valley
March 10, 2023
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA – Ronnie Attard (9th), Cooper Marody (7th, 8th) and Max Willman (8th) all hit pay-dirt for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in a Friday night 4-1 rivalry win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Sam Ersson stopped 25 shots to earn his 18th victory of the season, tying Hershey backstop Zach Fucale for sixth-most in the American Hockey League. None were more clutch than a point-blank save with 10:38 left in the third period on a glorious chance from Drake Caggiula. Three minutes later, Ersson stonewalled Caggiula a second time by challenging the Wilkes-Barre sharpshooter in the low slot.
Before fans in Wilkes-Barre Township could open their boxes of popcorn, the Phantoms solved Wilkes-Barre/Scranton backstop Dustin Tokarski. On Lehigh Valley’s first shot of the night at the 3:37 mark, Ronnie Attard wired home his ninth goal of the campaign. Garrett Wilson stretched the ice with an outlet pass out of his defensive zone and connected with Cooper Marody. In the slot, Attard trailed the play and received Marody’s centering pass before burying the only goal of the period.
Garrett Wilson recorded the secondary assist to total his 12th point in his last eight games (6g, 6a).
The Baby Pens drew even on the power play early in the second period after a brief 5-on-3 advantage became a 5-on-4. Sam Houde from the left-circle picked a corner and roofed a shot for the equalizer. But in the final minute of the second stanza, Lehigh Valley took full advantage of an offensive zone face-off following a Penguins icing violation.
A successful face-off draw for Adam Brooks setup Kevin Connauton with a chance from the center-point. After Tokarski steered the puck away to the right corner, Cooper Marody raced to the loose biscuit and blasted a quick, second chance opportunity into the Pens’ cage from a sharp angle.
Leading 2-1 in the final period and poised for an insurance marker, Olle Lycksell was granted a penalty shot with 5:35 remaining in regulation. Lycksell barreled to the net on a breakaway chance, but was tripped by former Phantoms defenseman Mark Friedman. On the ensuing penalty shot, Tokarski denied a third Lehigh Valley goal with his right leg-pad, denying Lycksell low to the ice.
But Lehigh Valley remained knocking on the door, and Marody and Brooks helped pour on the late insurance. Brooks disrupted a Penguins passing lane leading to a turnover and breakaway, empty net goal for Marody to open a 3-1 cushion at 18:09. Max Willman added a second empty net goal only 64 seconds later to round out a 4-1 victory and extend Lehigh Valley’s winning streak to three games. Lehigh Valley improves to 5-3-1 in their season-series against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Brooks’ two helpers on Friday marks consecutive multipoint games totally five points (2g, 3a).
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms will look for their 30th win of the regular season and add more standings points to the bank when returning to action on Saturday, March 11 against the Belleville Senators. It’s a Hockey Fiesta Weekend and Saturday Night Hockey Live at PPL Center. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m.
1st 3:37 – LV R. Attard (9) (C. Marody, G. Wilson) (PP) 1-0
2nd 2:35 – WBS S. Houde (11) (M. Friedman, N. Legare) (PP) 1-1
2nd 19:35 – LV C. Marody (7) (K. Connauton, A. Brooks) 2-1
3rd 18:09 – LV C. Marody (8) (A. Brooks) (EN) 3-1
3rd 19:13 – LV M. Willman (8) (A. Ginning) (EN) 4-1
LV 26 – WBS 26
LV 0/3, WBS 1/3
LV – S. Ersson (W) (18-11-1) (25/26)
WBS – D. Tokarski (L) (10-11-5) (22/24)
Lehigh Valley (29-22-6)
Phantoms Tickets are available HERE
Saturday, March 11 (7:05) vs. BELLEVILLE SENATORS
Sunday, March 12 (4:05) vs. UTICA COMETS
Wednesday, March 15 (7:05) vs. HERSHEY BEARS
Saturday, March 11 (7:05) vs. Belleville Senators – Hockey Fiesta Weekend and Saturday Night Hockey Live
Sunday, March 12 (4:05) vs. Utica Comets – meLVin Youth Jersey Day (first 2,000 kids age 14 and younger) and Hockey Fiesta Weekend
Wednesday, March 15 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – Truist Night. Chamber of Commerce Night. $2 Pregame Happy Hour Beers
Friday, March 17 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – St. Patrick’s Day! Whiteout Night. $1 Hot Dogs
Sunday, March 19 (4:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Prospect Pack Trading Card Sets for First 5,000 Fans