PREVIEW: Game #69, Los Fantasmas v. Isleños

Saturday, April 13, 7:05 p.m.
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Lehigh Valley (29-30-9) vs. Bridgeport (24-37-8)

It’s a Hockey Fiesta at PPL Center as Los Fantasmas de Lehigh Valley (29-30-9) host Los Isleños de Bridgeport. Vamos Fantasmas!!

The Push for the Playoffs is presented by Provident Bank. Lehigh Valley’s Magic Number to clinch a spot in the postseason is down to just five points with only four games remaining.
Lehigh Valley is 2-2-0 against Bridgeport in a series that has seen the visiting team in all four matchups so far. Additionally, all four games have been decided by one goal.
Tonight’s game is also the beginning of a longer-range home-and-home series between the two teams. Lehigh Valley’s next game will see the Phantoms travel to Bridgeport next Friday for a rematch.

Goaltender Alexei Kolosov, 22, has joined the Phantoms from the Minsk Dinamo of the KHL. Philadelphia’s Round 3 selection in the 2021 NHL Draft was 22-21-3, 2.39, .907 with four shutouts for his hometown team in Minsk, Belarus. His resume also includes representing Belarus in international play, starting with his being named the top goaltender at the IIHF World Junior Championship Division I-A tournament in 2021.

Garrett Wilson (8th) cut Hershey’s lead to 2-1 in the second period but the Phantoms were unable to find the equalizer against Hunter Shepard and eventually the Bears put the game on its home ice in a 4-1 final. Matthew Phillips (2nd), Ethen Frank (29th), former Phantom Logan Day (5th), and Joe Snively (12th) all struck for the Chocolate and White.
Cooper Marody briefly thought he had scored in the first period which would have tied the game at 1-1. But, upon video review, the officials determined there was no proof the puck had crossed the line.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms continue their Push for the Playoffs, presented by Provident Bank. The Phantoms now lead the slumping Springfield Thunderbirds by four points in the battle for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with just four games remaining in the concluding two weeks of the regular season.
Lehigh Valley’s Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is five points and the Phantoms could clinch as early as Sunday…even though Lehigh Valley isn’t playing a game! If the Phantoms win on Saturday and then Springfield also loses on Saturday AND on Sunday then it will be official and Lehigh Valley will be in!

The top six teams in the Atlantic qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs. The first round is a Best of 3 series and right now would see the Phantoms take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 6 vs. 3 rivalry matchup in late April.
After that, Lehigh Valley’s potential second-round matchup would be against first-place Hershey in a Best of 5 series.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are proud to announce that Adam Brooks has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Lehigh Valley community during the 2023-24 season. This is the second consecutive season he has won the award for the Phantoms. Adam Brooks embodies the qualities of a true leader both on and off the ice, exemplifying the values of sportsmanship and community engagement.

Los Fantasmas hit the ice on Hockey Fiesta Night at PPL Center against former Phantoms Cole Bardreau and Carsen Twarynski and the Bridgeport Islanders (24-37-8). The B-Isles are in the cellar of the Atlantic Division and have dropped three straight including a 5-2 decision on Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The away team has won each of the first for meetings of the season series as Lehigh Valley as gone 2-0-0 at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport while the B-Isles are 2-0-0 in downtown Allentown with some great goaltending performances including a 24-save gem by Ken Appleby on March 23 when Bridgeport won 2-1 in the last meeting. Rick Kowalsky’s crew is led by second-rounder Ruslan Ishakov (18-31-49) who has four overtime goals this season. Matt Maggio (16-9-25) is a talented rookie fifth-rounder who racked up an OHL-leading 54 goals and 11 points last year with the Windsor Spitfires. Ever-feisty Cole Bardreau (10-12-22) is in his fifth season with the Islanders after spending five years with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms where he was one of the team’s most popular players. Carsen Twarynski (4-4-8) joined Bridgeport in January after beginning the season in Austria. The former Philadelphia third-rounder in 2016 played parts of four seasons with the Phantoms and Flyers including 107 games with Lehigh Valley and 22 games for Philadelphia.
Bridgeport is last in the AHL at just 2.2 goals per game and the Isles are also at the bottom on the power play at just 13.0%.
The Phantoms and Islanders will rematch next Friday in Connecticut as part of a head-to-head two-game set stretched across a week.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cooper Marody 18-34-52
Samu Tuomaala 15-28-43
x – Olle Lycksell 19-19-38
Tanner Laczynski 14-24-38
Emil Andrae 5-27-32

Islanders Scoring Leaders
Ruslan Ishakov 18-31-49
Brian Pinho 7-24-31
Otto Koivula 9-21-30
Dennis Cholowski 7-22-29
Matthew Maggio 16-9-25

Lehigh Valley PP, 18.3% (19th)
Lehigh Valley Valley PK 80.0% (25th)
LV vs. BRI PP 3/11, 27.3%

Bridgeport PP 13.0% (32nd)
Bridgeport PK 83.4% (8th)
BRI vs. LV PP 40/7, 0%

Feb 10 – WIN – Lehigh Valley 2 at Bridgeport 1 (SO)
Mar 2 – LOSS – Bridgeport 2 at Lehigh Valley 1
Mar 10 – WIN – Lehigh Valley 4 at Bridgeport 3
Mar 23 – LOSS – Bridgeport 2 at Lehigh Valley 1
Apr 13 – Bridgeport at Lehigh Valley
Apr 19 – Lehigh Valley at Bridgeport

Lehigh Valley
Rhett Gardner 2-2-4
Emil Andrae 0-2-2
Brendan Furry 0-2-2
Parker Gahagen 1-1-0, 1.41, .961

Ruslan Ishakov 1-2-3
Dennis Chowloski 0-3-3
Matt Maggio 1-1-2
Tyce Thompson 1-1-2
Jakub Skarek 1-0-0, 1.00, .966

The Phantoms rematch with the Islanders in Bridgeport on Friday, April 19 in the final away game of the regular season.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms return to PPL Center for a rivalry matchup against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins next Saturday, April 20 and then play the season final on Sunday, April 21 at 3:05 p.m. against the Charlotte Checkers.

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Saturday, April 13 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders

Friday, April 19 (7:00) at Bridgeport Islanders
Saturday, April 20 (7:05) vs. W-B/Scranton Penguins
Sunday, April 21 (3:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers – Our Valley, Our Home Day – End of Regular Season!