Friday, November 18 at 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (5-5-1) at Providence Bruins (10-1-2)
Amica Mutual Pavilion, Providence, RI
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms open a four-game road-swing with a visit to the Providence Bruins in the first of a two-game weekend series. The Phantoms have won three straight including a pair of one-goal decisions last weekend over Springfield and Laval. Providence (10-1-2) has the best record in the AHL and carries a five-game winning streak into tonight as well as an eight-game point streak (7-0-1). This is the first of six meetings for the Atlantic Division foes in the 2022-23 season.
Cam York scored the winner against the Laval Rocket for the second time in barely more than a week as the Phantoms won their third straight. Ronnie Attard and Elliot Desnoyers scored in the first two periods for a 2-0 lead but Laval rallied to even the score in the third. Just 90 seconds later came York’s blast with 11:22 remaining that held up as the game winner. York had scored in overtime at Laval the previous Saturday. Sam Ersson had 31 saves in the win.
The Phantoms have added NHL veteran center Artem Anisimov on a PTO and have received center Tanner Laczynski on loan from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Forward Max Willman has been recalled to Philadelphia from Lehigh Valley.
Goalie Pat Nagle has been recalled from the Reading Royals (ECHL) while goalie Nolan Maier was loaned by the Phantoms back to Reading.
Patrick Brown was briefly with the Phantoms on a conditioning loan but only participated in practices with the Phantoms before he was recalled by the Flyers and activated from injured reserve.
NHL veteran Artem Anisimov has joined the Phantoms on a PTO (professional tryout). The 34-year-old center signed with the Philadelphia Flyers in the preseason on a PTO but was injured on a blocked shot on September 24. Anisimov has played in 771 career NHL games with the New York Rangers, Columbus, Chicago and Ottawa scoring 180 goals with 196 assists for 376 points. The left-handed shooter has four seasons in the NHL scoring 20 or more goals. He has not played in the AHL since 2008-09 when he represented the Hartford Wolf Pack at the AHL All-Star Classic and rated fourth in the league with 37 goals and fifth in points with 81.
Sam Ersson has thrived as the team’s everyday goalie and carries a three-game win streak into the upcoming road trip. The Flyers’ fifth-round selection in 2018 has started the last five games. In his last three, Ersson has allowed five goals on 92 shots to post a 1.64 GAA and .946 save percentage. Ersson was limited to just five total games last season due to injury but has come into his second season in North America re-energized while benefitting from his regular schedule between the pipes. He excelled right from the start with 35 saves in the Flyers vs. Rangers Rookie Game at PPL Center on September 17 followed by an outstanding training camp with the Flyers in which he posted a .947 save percentage in the preseason.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
The Phantoms play a pair of games at the first-place Providence Bruins (10-1-2) who are the top team in the AHL. Providence is on a five-game winning streak and an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) and boasts the second-best defense in the league averaging just 2.23 goals-allowed per game with goaltending tandem Brandon Bussi and Kyle Keyser both holding down sub-two goals-against averages. But with different injuries, the Bruins have added goalies Keith Kinkaid and Mike DiPietro. Three young prospects rate among the league’s top 10 in Rookie Scoring with first-rounder Fabian Lysell (4-7-11) and undrafted talents Georgii Merkulov (4-8-12) and Luke Toporowski (5-5-10) all off to strong starts.
– Cam York has five points in the last three games (2-3-5) including two-game winning goals, both against Laval.
– Max Willman was recalled to the Flyers for the first time this season. He has scored 2-2-4 in 11 games with Lehigh Valley this year. He played in 41 games with Philadelphia last season scoring 4-2-6.
– Tanner Laczynski returns to the Phantoms as a new Dad after the birth of his son in October. He scored 7-10-17 in 28 games with the Phantoms last season and has played in 12 games with Philadelphia this year.
– Eight out of 11 games this season have been decided by one goal including the last four games in a row.
– Lehigh Valley’s power play on the road is clicking at 27.8% which is third-best in the conference.
– The Phantoms have outshot their opponents in four of the last six games.
– The Phantoms are 2-1 in overtime games.
Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cam York 3-6-9
Tyson Foerster 2-5-7
Cal O’Reilly 2-5-7
Elliot Desnoyers 4-2-6
Ronnie Attard 3-3-6
Olle Lycksell 2-4-6
Garrett Wilson 2-4-6
Providence Bruins Scoring Leaders
Vinni Lettieri 7-6-13
Georgii Merkulov 4-8-12
Fabian Lysell 4-7-11
Luke Toporowski 5-5-10
Connor Carrick 1-7-8
Joona Koppanen 1-7-8
Lehigh Valley Power Play – 21.4% (15th)
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 66.7% (32nd)
Providence Power Play – 18.2% (23rd)
Providence Penalty Kil – 82.7% (13th)
The Phantoms and Bruins rematch Saturday night in Providence and then Lehigh Valley wraps up the busy weekend with a Sunday afternoon game at 3:05 p.m. at the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Lehigh Valley’s next home game is Saturday, November 26 against the Rochester Americans featuring a Postgame Skate with the Phantoms players. Fans must bring their own skates to be allowed onto the ice to meet the players after the game.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE –
Friday, November 18 (7:05 ) at Providence Bruins
Saturday, November 19 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Sunday, November 20 (3:05) at Springfield Thunderbirds
Friday, November 25 (7:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS –
Saturday, November 26 (7:05) vs. Rochester Americans – Postgame Skate with Phantoms Players
Wednesday, November 30 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – Military Appreciation Night Presented by Netizen
Friday, December 9 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers – Berks $1 Hot Dogs!
Saturday, December 10 (7:05) vs. Charlotte Checkers – Phantoms Hat Giveaway Presented by Service Electric
Saturday, December 17 (7:05) vs. Providence Bruins – Teddy Bear Toss Presented by Big Woody’s
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 phantomshockey.com
Fans can also watch the games on AHLTV.com or can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.”