PREVIEW: Phantoms at Checkers, Game #19

Saturday, December 3 at 6:00 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (9-7-2) at Charlotte Checkers (11-6-3)
Bojangles’ Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms conclude their weekend series in Charlotte with a rematch against the Checkers. The Phantoms won 3-2 in the opening game last night.
Lehigh Valley (9-7-2) has points in eight of its last 10 games at 7-2-1. The Checkers recently had a four-game win streak and had a string of points in six of seven games before falling the Phantoms on Friday.
The Phantoms and Checkers are meeting four times over nine days from December 2-10.

Phantoms 3 – Checkers 2
Jordy Bellerive scored the winning goal from the corner with less than seven minutes remaining on a bank off of the leg of Alex Lyon as the Phantoms emerged with a 3-2 victory on Friday night in Charlotte, NC. Wyatte Wylie’s shot from the right boards opened the scoring and Adam Brooks gave the Phantoms the lead with a power-play goal in the third period in his first game back since October 16. Sam Ersson had another strong performance with 32 saves in his first game since November 19.

Kieffer Bellows is expected to potentially make his Phantoms debut tonight after being assigned to Lehigh Valley from the Philadelphia Flyers. Bellows was a first-round selection of the New York Islanders in 2016. He was claimed off waivers by the Flyers on October 27, 2022. He has played in 11 games with Philadelphia this year. Tonight would be his first game in the AHL since the 2018-19 season when he scored 22 goals with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The son of former three-time NHL All-Star Brian Bellows has played in 79 career NHL games scoring 11 goals.

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.

NHL veteran Riley Nash (5-11-16) paces the offense for the Checkers who stand in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. 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 (6-4-1, 2.80, .906) 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 eight of the last ten games with a 7-2-1 mark.
– 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 (4-6-10)
– The Phantoms are 7-2-2 in one-goal games.
– The Phantoms are 3-2 in decisions after regulation having gone 2-1 in overtime and 1-1 in shotoouts.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Tyson Foerster 5-7-12
Olle Lycksell 4-8-12
Cam York 5-7-12
Ronnie Attard 4-6-10
Elliot Desnoyers 7-2-9
Garrett Wilson 4-5-9

Charlotte Scoring Leaders
Riley Nash 6-11-17
Zac Dalpe 10-4-14
Chris Tierney 3-11-14
Anton Levtchi 7-6-13
Santtu Kinnunen 1-9-10

Lehigh Valley Power Play – 21.5% (15th)
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 68.8% (31st)
Charlotte Power Play – 23.4% (10th)
Charlotte Penalty Kill – 82.6% (9th)

The Phantoms next 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.

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.”