Point Streak Ends at Hartford

Goals for Avon, Attard, Tuomaala Not Enough

December 1, 2023

Hartford, CT – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms fell behind in the first period and didn’t have enough in the tank to overcome the deficit as the team’s six-game point streak ended in a 7-3 loss at the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday night at XL Center. J.R. Avon (4th), Ronnie Attard (4th) and Samu Tuomaala (5th) all registered lamplighters for the visitors but Hartford received two goals apiece from veteran Riley Nash (8th, 9th) and prospect Adam Sykora (3rd, 4th) as part of an attack that included four power-play goals.

It was the most goals the Phantoms have allowed this season and was the most since a game at Charlotte on November 6, 2021 which was also a 7-3 loss.

Lehigh Valley (9-7-3) missed its captain, Garrett Wilson, who was sitting out for a one-game suspension. But that didn’t stop the Phantoms from mixing it up with the Wolf Pack to express their displeasure with the result during several skirmishes and altercations especially in the third period.

Cal Petersen went the distance between the pipes at the beginning of a busy weekend. He made perhaps the save of the year on a Brennan Othmann one-timer from the right circle when he reached across with only his paddle to squarely knock away the monster drive. But just barely more than one minute later, Riley Nash cut in from the right boards on a break and stuffed a backhander past the right skate of Petersen to the far post for the first of three goals in the closing minutes of the first period. His shorthanded marker was just the second allowed by the Phantoms this season.

A few minutes later would come consecutive power-play goals for the Pack including a rebound deposited back to the far post by Sykora from the right slot and then an Anto Blidh (4th) rebound from behind the cage that he might have banked in off the back of Petersen for a 3-0 lead at the intermission.

Nash scored again early in the second period on a power-play pass from the opposite circle by Brennan Othmann to make it 4-0.

But then the Phantoms made it interesting with consecutive goals of their own and a close-call that almost made it a one-goal game.

J.R. Avon’s fourth of the year came after some hard work by defenseman Adam Ginning and Ethan Samson cycling and puck-handling around the Wolf Pack zone. Ginning connected with Avon at the top of the left circle who adeptly navigated around his defender to work his way into an open look and strike past Louis Domingue to get the Phantoms on the board at 4-1 with 9:09 remaining in the second.

Less than a minute-and-a-half later it was Ronnie Attard speeding up the right wing and connecting with Cooper Marody on the right boards on a give-and-go to set up his blast on the rush and pull the Phantoms to within two goals at 4-2.

Shortly thereafter, the Phantoms received a power play with a chance to continue the momentum. And Jordy Bellerive almost converted on the doorstep on an Attard set up at 4-on-4. But Domingue held the Phantoms out which ultimately set up back-to-back goals for Hartford in the closing minutes of the second frame.

Othmann was open on the backdoor after the Wolf Pack dug the puck away in the left corner. He carried to the slot and buried his blast to the upper left corner for a goal that came just three seconds after a Hartford power play had expired. Sykora would strike on a scramble less than a minute later for a 6-2 lead at the second break.

Ryder Korczak finished his first-career multi-point game with the team’s seventh goal with 8:25 remaining to push the score to 7-2

Samu Tuomaala blasted home his fifth of the season from the right circle in the power play with 7:00 left for the last tally of the night.

Both teams engaged in several scrums and skirmishes in the closing minutes perhaps as a prelude for the XL Center rematch to come on Saturday night.

The Phantoms allowed four power-play goals in a game for the first time since October 29, 2022 against the Bridgeport Islanders. They also surrendered 39 shots in the contest which is a new season high.

Lehigh Valley scored a power-play goal to extend its streak to seven consecutive games with a man-advantage marker. The Phantoms moved into first in the league on the power play at 25.4% (tied with Texas) and have gone 10-for-23 (43.5%) on their current seven-game streak.

The Phantoms are now 1-3-0 against the Hartford Wolf Pack with two games remaining in the season series.

After the finale of the two-game weekend set in Hartford, the Phantoms will conclude their New England sojourn with a Sunday matinee at the Providence Bruins.

The Phantoms open a five-game homestand on Friday, December 8 against the Providence Bruins and then have their annual Teddy Bear Toss on Saturday, December 9 against the Charlotte Checkers.


1st 14:56 – HFD, R. Nash (8) (B. Scanlin, B. Hillman) (SH) (0-1)
1st 17:12 – HFD, A. Sykora (3) (R. Korczak, M. Hollowel) (PP) (0-2)
1st 19:36 – HFD, A. Blidh (4) (R. Korczak, A. Sykora) (PP) (0-3)

2nd 5:51 – HFD, R. Nash (9) (B. Othmann, N. Brouillard) (PP) (0-4)
2nd 10:51 – LV, J. Avon (4) (E. Samson, A. Ginning) (1-4)
2nd 12:10 – LV, R. Attard (4) (C. Marody, V. Mete) (2-4)
2nd 17:41 – HFD, B. Othmann (6) (A. Belzile, N. Brouillard) (2-5)
2nd 18:26 – HFD, A. Sykora (4) (A. Blidh, M. Robertson) (2-6)

3rd 11:35 – HFD, R. Korczak (2) (A. Sykora, M. Robertson) (PP) (2-7)
3rd 13:00 – LV, S. Tuomaala (5) (O. Lycksell, E. Andrae) (PP) (3-7)

LV 39 – HFD 39

LV 1/5, HFD 4/6

LV – C. Petersen (L) (32/39) (3-4-0)
HFD – L. Domingue (W) (36/39) (7-1-0)

Lehigh Valley (9-7-3)
Hartford (13-4-2)



Saturday, December 2 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hartford Wolf Pack
Sunday, December 3 (3:05 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Providence Bruins

Friday, December 8 (7:05 p.m.) – Providence Bruins at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Berks $1 Hot Dogs Night
Saturday, December 9 (7:05 p.m.) – Charlotte Checkers at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Teddy Bear Toss presented by Big Woody’s

Wednesday, December 13 (7:05) – Charlotte Checkers at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Military Appreciation Night
Friday, December 15 (7:05) – Laval Rocket at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, December 16 (7:05) – Springfield Thunderbirds at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Hispanic Heritage Night, Los Fantasmas!!