PREVIEW: Phantoms at Americans, Game #31

Friday, January 6, 2023 at 7:0 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (14-13-3) at Rochester Americans (17-10-2)
Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY

It’s the first game of the new year as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms travel to western New York to tangle with the Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.
Lehigh Valley (14-13-3) is opening a stretch of three consecutive away games to begin 2023.
Rochester (17-10-2) is in second place in the North Division and had a six-game win streak snapped on Wednesday.
The Phantoms won the previous encounter at PPL Center on November 26 in a 5-1 rout in which Lehigh Valley outshot the Amerks 40-15. Olle Lycksell posted a four-point game on one goal and three assists while Artem Anisimov scored twice and contributed a helper.

Saturday, December 31, 2022
Penguins 4 – Phantoms 1
Cooper Marody scored a New Year’s Eve goal on the rebound of a Tyson Foerster power-play blast, his third goal in the last three games, but the Phantoms lost to the Penguins at PPL Center to conclude 2022. Lehigh Valley had its chances but, trailing 2-1 in the third, couldn’t find the equalizer. Valterri Puustinen, Alex Nylander and Drake Caggiula all scored big goals for the Penguins.

Felix Sandstrom returns to the Phantoms on a conditioning loan and is expected to get a lot of games between the pipes in his stay with Lehigh Valley.
Forward Bobby Brink has been activated from injured non-roster and is expected to make his AHL debut this weekend.
Forward Olle Lycksell returns to Lehigh Valley from the Philadelphia Flyers and defenseman Kevin Connauton is back from his trip to Switzerland with Team Canada at the Spengler Cup.
Forward Kieffer Bellows has been recalled to Philadelphia.

Rookie forward Bobby Brink is in line to make his potential AHL debut this weekend. The Flyers’ second-round selection in 2019 out of the University of Denver was the NCAA scoring champ last year scoring 14-43-57 in just 41 games making him a Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick finalist. He then made his NHL debut with the Flyers on April 22, 2022 and played in 10 games with Philadelphia.
Brink has been practicing and rehabbing in Allentown with the Phantoms and has been with the team since November before being officially activated and added to the roster on Tuesday.

– Elliot Desnoyers is fourth among AHL rookies with 12 goals and also leads the Phantoms in lamplighters
– Max Willman scored in his first game back with the Phantoms on Friday, December 30 at Utica. Willman had been with the Philadelphia Flyers since November 14. The December 30 game was also his 100th all-time with the Phantoms.
– Cal O’Reilly played in his 1,000th North American pro game on Friday, December 30 at Utica and also passed AHL Hall of Famer Jody Gage for 7th all-time in AHL history with his 545th career assist. O’Reilly had already achieved his 1,000th OVERALL pro game last year on March 26 (including pro games in the KHL).
– Cooper Marody has three goals in the last three games and four goals in his last six games. The University of Michigan product had back-to-back campaigns scoring 21 goals with the Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton) before joining the Phantoms.
– Lehigh Valley’s power play is fifth in the AHL at 24.8%.
– The Phantoms are….
11-4-2 when scoring 3 or more goals
10-2-1 when allowing 2 goals or fewer
11-3-3 in one-goal games
9-1-3 when scoring the first goal
9-0-3 when leading after two periods
3-2 in overtime and 2-1 in shootouts

Rochester (17-10-2) had its six-game win streak snapped on Wednesday getting trounced at home 5-1 by the Belleville Senators. The Amerks have closed to within six points of the first-place Toronto Marlies with three games-in-hand. The Phantoms crushed the Rochester 5-1 on November 26 at PPL Center while outshooting their opponents 40-15 in a dominating performance led by Olle Lycksell with four points on one goal and three assists and Artem Anisimov with two goals and one assist.
Penn State product Brandon Biro (9-19-28) leads the Amerks. 2021 First-rouders Isak Rosen (3-12-15) and Jiri Kulick (6-10-16) are both away from the team while competing at the World Juniors tournament in Halifax with Sweden and Czechia respectively. Malcolm Subban (7-2-1, 2.96, .905) has established himself as the team’s #1 goalie with five victories over the latest six-game win streak.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Tyson Foerster 8-11-19
Olle Lycksell 5-13-18
Elliot Desnoyers 12-6-18
Artem Anisimov 10-5-15
Garrett Wilson 5-9-14
Cal O’Reilly 3-10-13

Rochester Scoring Leaders
Brandon Biro 9-19-28
Linus Weissbach 12-11-23
Lukas Rousek 9-14-23
Brett Murray 12-10-22
x Jiri Julich 6-10-15

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Lehigh Valley Power Play – 24.8%, 5th
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 71.8%, 30th
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Power Play – 20.8%, 12th
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penalty Kill – 75.6%, 26th

The Phantoms continue their three-game road swing with a Saturday afternoon tilt at the Toronto Marlies at 4:00 p.m.
The next home games for the Phantoms are January 13-14 against the Bridgeport Islanders and Toronto Marlies.

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Friday, January 6 (7:05) at Rochester Americans
Saturday, January 7 (4:00) at Toronto Marlies
Wednesday, January 11 (7:00) at Bridgeport Islanders


Friday, January 13 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders – Berks Dollar Dog Night

Saturday, January 14 (7:05) vs. Syracuse Crunch – Valley Youth House Night Presented by Air Products – Toilet Paper Donation Drive with great prizes

Friday, January 27 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Flyers Night with Lou Nolan and GRITTY!!!

Saturday, January 28 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – meLVin Hat Night for the first 2,000 fans age 12 and under.






Broadcast coverage of all Phantoms games with Bob Rotruck is available on the Phantoms 365 app and on Real Oldies 1470-AM in Allentown. Also available on the Listen Live button at
Fans can also watch the games on or can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.”