PREVIEW: Phantoms at Checkers, Game #49

Sunday, February 25, 1:00 p.m.
Bojangles’ Coliseum Charlotte, NC
Lehigh Valley (22-19-7) at Charlotte (24-20-6)

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (22-19-7) aim for a weekend sweep down south in a 1:00 p.m. clash with the Charlotte Checkers, AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers. Lehigh Valley has won four of its last five games with all four wins coming in overtime or shootout. Charlotte is on a five-game point streak (3-0-2).
Lehigh Valley is 4-1-1 against Charlotte this season having played six out of the eight games in the season series so far. This is the third game in a stretch of four straight on the road. There are 24 games remaining in the regular season.

The comeback Phantoms did it again! Lehigh Valley rallied from a two-goal deficit to post its sixth overtime win of the season and also its sixth victory when trailing at the second intermission. Down 3-1 and 4-2 in the third period, the Phantoms truck for four goals in the final frame and Bobby Brink’s winner clinched a 6-5 triumph in the highest scoring game of the year. Brink (5th, 6th) had a pair of goals for Lehigh Valley. Olle Lycksell returned for his first game with the Phantoms in slightly over a month and scored his 17th and 18th including the 6-ion-5 tying goal with 42 seconds left. Ronnie Attard (10th) had a big shorthanded goal and Cooper Marody (13th) struck on the power play in the wild comeback effort.

Lehigh Valley has won consecutive games in overtime for only the second time in team history. The Phantoms also won back-to-back overtime contests on November 28 and November 29, 2019 with a 6-5 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on T.J. Brennan’s winning strike and a 2-1 victory over Hartford with Andy Welinski scoring the winning goal.
In is the sixth time in franchise history for the Phantoms to win consecutive games in overtime with the Philadelphia Phantoms having achieved the feat four times between 1997 through 2007.
This is the first time in 20 years for the Phantoms franchise to win consecutive overtime games on the road. The Philadelphia Phantoms also did it in November 2004 at the Albany River Rats and at the P{rovidence Bruins with back-to-back 4-3 decisions.
Only once in franchise history have the Phantoms won three straight games in overtime. In December, 1997 the Philadelphia Phantoms won in extra time against Hartford, Providence and Kentucky in back-to-back-to-back games.

The Phantoms are second in the AHL with 16 overtime games this season out of 48 games total games played. IOnly Rochester has more at 18 overtime games.
Lehigh Valley is 6-5 in overtime decisions and 3-2 in games that advance to a shootout for a combined record of 9-7 after regulation.
Samu Tuomaala (2), Ronnie Attard, Tanner Laczynski, Cooper Marody and Bobby Brink have all struck for overtime winners for the Phantoms.
Samu Tuomaala is the first-ever Lehigh Valley rookie and also the first-ever forward for Lehigh Valley to score two overtime goals in a season. Tuomaala’s two overtime goals is also tied for the AHL Rookie lead along with Brett Berard (Hartford) and Joe Carroll (Syracuse). He’s the first rookie in franchise history to accomplish the feat since Kyle Greentree of the Philadelphia Phantoms had two OT goals in 2007-08.

Never count out the Phantoms!
Lehigh Valley has won six times when trailing at the second intermission which is tied for most comeback wins in the AHL with Grand Rapids. Additionally, the Phantoms have points in 10 games when trailing after two periods including four losses in overtime or shootout. That is second-highest in the AHL.

The Phantoms record when:
– Score 4 or more goals: 14-0-2
– Allow 3 or fewer goals: 15-4-3
– Lead After 1st period: 7-1-2
– Lead After 2nd period: 12-1-1
– One-Goal Games: 15-4-7
– Overtime: 6-5 / Shootout: 3-2

Charlotte (24-20-6) has gone on a four-game point streak (3-0-2) to move up in the standings. But the Phantoms are only three points back of the team they met in the postseason a year ago and the Phantoms have two games-in-hand as they enter this important showdown series in North Carolina.
The Phantoms are 4-1-1 against Charlotte this season and four of the six meetings have gone to overtime. Ronnie Attard, Tanner Laczynski and Bobby Brink have both posted overtime winners against the Checkers this year.
Lucas Carlsson (14-23-37) is on pace to lead AHL defensemen in goals for a second consecutive season. First-rounder from the University of Michigan Mackie Samoskevich (13-19-32) is thriving in his rookie season and has scored five goals against the Phantoms. He has also been up with the Florida Panthers for seven games this year. Former Phantom and Flyer Gerry Mayhew (11-12-23) has not been as potent this year but is coming off a two-goal and one-assist game against Springfield his last time out and has three overtime goals this season.

Dec. 9 – Win – Charlotte 1 at Lehigh Valley 4
Dec. 13 – Win – Charlotte 2 at Lehigh Valley 3 (OT)
Dec. 21 – Win – Lehigh Valley Valley 3 at Charlotte 2 (OT)
Dec. 22 – SOL – Lehigh Valley 4 at Charlotte 5 (SO)
Dec. 31 – Loss – Charlotte 5 at Lehigh Valley 2
Feb. 24 – Win – Lehigh Valley 6 at Charlotte 5 (OT)
Feb. 25 Lehigh Valley at Charlotte 1:00 pm
Apr. 21 Charlotte at Lehigh Valley 3:05 pm

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cooper Marody 13-28-41
Samu Tuomaala 13-24-37
Olle Lycksell 18-14-32
Emil Andrae 4-23-27
Tanner Laczynski 8-18-26
Ronnie Attard 10-15-25

Checkers Scoring Leaders
Lucas Carlsson 14-23-37
Mackie Samoskevich 13-19-32
Rasmus Asplund 6-21-27
Justin Sourdif 11-16-27
Patrick Khodorenko 7-17-24

Lehigh Valley PP, 21.5% (5th) – LV vs. CLT 6/26, 23.1% – Lehigh Valley PK 80.1% (24th)
Charlotte PP 17.0% (24th) – CLT vs. LV 3/26, 11.5% – Charlotte PK 83.9% (9th)

Lehigh Valley
20 Cooper Marody 2-5-8
6 Emil Andrae 1-6-7
9 Tanner Laczynski 2-3-5
28 Olle Lycksell 2-3-5
27 Samu Tuomaala 2-2-4
12 Ronnie Attard 2-2-4

11 Mackie Samoskevich 5-2-7
15 Patrick Khodorenko 1-4-5
4 Casey Fiztergald 0-4-4
21 Zac Dalpe 3-0-3
25 Wilmer Skoog 2-1-3
24 Justin Sourdif 2-1-3
30 Spencer Knight 1-0-2, 2.62, .914

Lehigh Valley concludes its four-game road stretch on Friday, March 1 at the Utica Comets.

The Phantoms return to PPL Center on Saturday, March 2 against the Bridgeport Islanders on Hockey is for Everyone Night and then host the Hershey Bears on Sunday, March 3 at 3:05 p.m. on meLVin’s Birthday!

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Saturday, February 24 (4:00) – Phantoms at Charlotte Checkers
Sunday, February 25 (1:00) – Phantoms at Charlotte Checkers

Friday, March 1 (7:05) – Phantoms at Utica Comets
Saturday, March 2 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders—Hockey is for Everyone, SNHL ft. DJ Brad Scott
Sunday, March 3 (3:05) vs. Hershey Bears—meLVin’s Birthday, Post-game skate with players presented by NJM Insurance, Faith Night