PREVIEW: Phantoms at Checkers, Game #18

Friday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (8-7-2) at Charlotte Checkers (11-5-3)
Bojangles’ Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms travel south for the first of eight meetings this season against the Charlotte Checkers, AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers.
Lehigh Valley (8-7-2) is 6-2-1 in its last nine games. The Checkers recently had a four-game win streak and have points in six of their last seven games going 5-1-1.
The Phantoms and Checkers will meet four times over the next five games and also in the next nine days from December 2-10. Tonight is the first of three consecutive away games for the Phantoms.

Bears 4 – Phantoms 2
Olle Lycksell and Garrett Wilson both scored tying goals in the second period but Hershey broke a 2-2 deadlock in the third period, amidst some controversy, on a winning goal for Mike Sgarbossa. The winning tally with 16:32 left resulted from a scramble for the puck in the crease and appeared to possibly have gone off Sgarbossa’s hand. Hershey also received goals from first-rounders Hendrix Lapierre and Connor McMichael. Sam Ersson made 31 saves on 34 shots.

Nov 28 – Delete Egor Zamula (D) – Recalled to Philadelphia (NHL)
Nov 29 – Delete Nolan Maier (G) – Loaned to Reading (ECHL)
Nov 29 – Delete Charlie Gerard (F) – Loaned to Reading (ECHL)
Nov 29 – Add Jackson Cates (F) – Assigned from Philadelphia (NHL)

The Phantoms found their stride throughout November posting a 6-3-1 mark in the first full calendar month of the season. That included a five-game win streak from November 5-19 that also involved a weekend sweep at first-place Providence.
Olle Lycksell led the Phantoms in November scoring with 4-5-9 in just six games played last month while also missing four games due to injury. Elliot Desnoyers also scored four goals in November while Cam York registered 2-6-8 and Tyson Foerster scored 3-4-7 including a five-game point streak.
Between the pipes, Sam Ersson and Nolan Maier both notched their first career AHL wins. Ersson was 5-2-0, 2.12, .931 and had a stretch of seven consecutive starts as well as five consecutive wins.
The Phantoms had 34 or more shots on goal in seven of the ten games played last month and had 39 shots or more in five of those games. Lehigh Valley produced 40+ shots in consecutive games on November 20 at Providence and November 25 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton marking only the second time in nine seasons Lehigh Valley has accomplished that feat.

The AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers is coming off a split of OT games against the Utica Comets in which they traded 3-2 decisions. The Checkers lead the league with nine overtime games. NHL veteran Riley Nash (5-11-16) paces the offense. The 33-year-old center has played in 627 career NHL games with Carolina, Columbus and Boston among other teams. Another veteran, Zac Dalpe (10-4-14), leads the Checkers in goals. Nash and Dalpe were teammates in 2010-11 when the Charlotte Checkers debuted in the AHL.
Four former Phantoms or Flyers are on the Charlotte roster including Alex Lyon, Connor Bunnaman, Gerry Mayhew and Michael Del Zotto. Lyon (6-3-1, 2.75, .908) won the Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves last year and is Lehigh Valley’s all-time winningest goalie over parts of five seasons accumulating 85 victories from 2017-21 in 149 career games for the Orange and Black. Lyon will make his first appearance back at PPL Center next weekend.

– Lehigh Valley has points in seven of the last nine games with a 6-2-1 mark.
– Olle Lycksell scored a goal in his second consecutive game while extending his point streak to three games since his
– Rookie Elliot Desnoyers had a two-game goal streak and has scored four goals in the last seven games. He leads the Phantoms with seven goals.
– Tyson Foerster had his five-game point streak snapped on Wednesday. It’s the longest for the Phantoms this season.
– Lehigh Valley’s top five scorers are all rookies or young prospects: Tyson Foerster (5-7-12), Cam York (5-7-12), Olle Lycksell (4-8-12), Elliot Desnoyers (7-2-9), Ronnie Attard (4-5-9)
– The Phantoms are 6-2-2 in one-goal games.
– The Phantoms are 3-2 in decisions after regulation having gone 2-1 in overtime and 1-1 in shotoouts.
– The Phantoms have 40 shots or more in three of the last five games. They had a streak of 34 or more shots in five consecutive games that was ended on Wednesday.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Tyson Foerster 5-7-12
Olle Lycksell 4-8-12
Cam York 5-7-12
Elliot Desnoyers 7-2-9
Ronnie Attard 4-5-9
Garrett Wilson 4-5-9

Charlotte Scoring Leaders
Riley Nash 5-11-16
Zac Dalpe 10-4-14
Anton Levtchi 7-6-13
Chris Tierney 3-9-12
Michael Del Zotto 2-7-9

Lehigh Valley Power Play – 21.0% (16th)
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 67.6% (32nd)
Charlotte Power Play – 24.3% (8th)
Charlotte Penalty Kill – 83.3% (8th)

Lehigh Valley and Charlotte rematch on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. at Bojangles’ Coliseum then the Phantoms head to Hartford for a Wednesday night matchup against the Wolf Pack. The next home games for the Phantoms are December 9-10 against Charlotte.

Friday, December 2 (7:00) at Charlotte Checkers
Saturday, December 3 (6:00) at Charlotte Checkers
Wednesday, December 7 (7:00) at Hartford Wolf Pack
Friday, December 9 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS
Saturday, December 10 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS

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

Saturday, December 31 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – New Year’s Eve Celebration presented by Penn Community Bank. Including festivities after the game right outside the arena to ring in 2023!



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.”