PREVIEW: Phantoms at Penguins, Game #15

Friday, November 25 at 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (7-6-1) at W-B/S Penguins (8-5-2)
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre, PA

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms make a Black Friday visit to northeast Pennsylvania for a rivalry clash against the Penguins. Tonight is the finale of a four-game road stretch for the Phantoms. Lehigh Valley is 1-1-0 against the Penguins this year and won in overtime in their lone visit to Wilkes-Barre so far this season with a 3-2 triumph on Louie Belpedio’s buzzer-beating strike with just 1.4 seconds left in the season opener on October 15.  This is Game 3 out of 12 in the season series.

Ronnie Attard and Jackson Cates both posted two-point games but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Thunderbirds as Lehigh Valley’s five-game win streak came to an end at Springfield on Sunday evening. Anthony Angello recorded his second career hat trick against the Phantoms to lead the T-Birds. Angello also scored a hattie at Lehigh Valley in 2019 when he played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Garrett Wilson had a goal and a fight and Jackson Cates scored for a second consecutive game. The Phantoms had a 2-1 lead in the first period and the game was tied at 3-3 a few minutes into the third before Springfield took the lead for good. Springfield blasted out 46 shots on goal and had a 4-for-6 power play attack while the Phantoms had 41 shots in the see-saw affair.

Lehigh Valley’s current five-game win streak is the team’s longest since January 11-18, 2020 when Lehigh Valley last won five in a row. The last time the Phantoms had a longer win streak was Oct 14-27, 2017 when Lehigh Valley won six straight.
Lehigh Valley’s record longest win streak (since becoming the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2014) was eight straight from November 2-18, 2016.
The Phantoms’ franchise record was a 17-game win streak for the Philadelphia Phantoms from October 22 – November 27, 2004. That was AHL record at the time but has since been broken by the Norfolk Admirals who had 28-game win in 2012

The Phantoms have cranked up 35 or more shots on goal in each of the last three games as well as five of the last seven.
Lehigh Valley had 41 and 46 shots on goal in its last two games representing only the second time ever that Lehigh Valley has had back-to-back 40+ shot performances which they also did on December 7, 2016 and December 9, 2016 at Syracuse (50 shots) and vs. Rochester (48 shots).
The team’s 46 shots on goal at Providence last Saturday is tied for the fifth-most shots on goal in a game since the team arrived in Allentown in 2014.

Lehigh Valley Most Shots on Goal
63 – December 4, 2019 at Springfield
50 – December 7, 2016 at Syracuse
48 – December 9, 2016 vs. Rochester
48 – March 15, 2017 vs. Syracuse
46 – November 19, 2022 at Providence
46 – November 15, 2017 at Belleville
46 – February 12, 2016 vs. Portland

Tanner Laczynski benefitted from his bevy of minutes on the ice during his quick two-game stretch with the Phantoms on Friday and Saturday. The 25-year-old center, and new father of son Leo, had a goal and two assists plus a shootout winner on the weekend. He was rewarded for his performance with a recall back up to the Philadelphia Flyers where he proceeded to score his first career NHL goal on Monday against Calgary. Congrats, Tanner!

Sam Ersson has thrived as the team’s everyday goalie and now has a five-game win streak on the heels of picking up his first career pro win on November 5 at Laval. The Flyers’ fifth-round selection in 2018 had a string of seven consecutive starts ended on Sunday. During his win streak and in his last five games since November 5, Ersson has gone 5-0-0 with a 1.76 GAA and .940 save percentage allowing nine goals on 151 shots.
Ersson was limited to just five total games last season due to injury (and did not finish two of those due to injury) but has come into his second season in North America re-energized while benefitting from his regular schedule between the pipes.

Nov 21 – Delete Tanner Laczynski (F) – Recalled to Philadelphia
Nov 21 – Add Egor Zamula (D) – Assigned from Philadelphia
Nov 22 – Delete Jackson Cates (F) – Recalled to Philadelphia
Nov 22 – Add Charlie Gerard (F) – Recalled from Reading (ECHL)
Nov 22 – Add Nolan Maier (G) – Recalled from Reading (ECHL)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-5-2) raced out of the gate with a 6-0-1 record and was the last team in the AHL to lose a game in regulation. But the Penguins have scuffled since then with a 2-5-1 mark in their last eight. The Penguins won 5-2 at Charlotte on Wednesday following a 5-4 shootout in their series opener down south on Monday.
Phantoms alum Dustin Tokarski remains the top goalie in the league at 6-2-2, 1.69, .940. The two-time Calder Cup winner (Norfolk 2012, Charlotte 2019) spent all of last season in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres. Penguins second-rounder Filip Hallander from Sweden leads the team with 6-8-14 and former Buffalo first-rounder Alex Nylander leads the team has 6-7-13. The Penguins are allowing just 2.4 goals per game, second-best in the AHL behind Hershey.
Former Phantoms defenseman Mark Friedman scored his first goal of the year in the team’s Wednesday win at Charlotte. Friedman played in 176 career games with Lehigh Valley from 2017-20 scoring 10-51-61 and also played in 11 games with the Philadelphia Flyers.

– Rookie forward Elliot Desnoyers leads the Phantoms with five goals
Tyson Foerster has a three-game point streak with one goal and two assists
– Four of the top five scorers on the Phantoms are either rookies or young prospects: Tyson Foerster (3-7-10), Cam York (3-7-10), Ronnie Attard (4-5-9), Elliot Desnoyers (5-2-7)
– Nine out of 14 games this season have been decided by one goal including four of the last five games.
– The Phantoms are 3-1 in decisions after regulation having gone 2-1 in overtime and 1-0 in shotoouts.
– Veteran center Artem Anisimov has played in 771 career NHL games and is expected to make his PPL Center debut this weekend. Anisimov played in two games at Providence last weekend representing his first games in the AHL in 13 years!

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cam York 3-7-10
Tyson Foerster 3-7-10
Ronnie Attard 4-5-9
Garrett Wilson 3-5-8
Elliot Desnoyers 5-2-7
x Jackson Cates 4-3-7
Cal O’Reilly 2-5-7

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Scoring Leaders
Filip Hallander 6-8-14
Alexander Nylander 6-7-13
Valtteri Puustinen 4-8-12
Drew O’Connor 5-4-9
Ty Smith 4-5-9
Xavier Ouellet 0-9-9

Lehigh Valley Power Play – 19.6% (20th)
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 66.7% (32nd)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Power Play – 19.7% (19th)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penalty Kill – 79.3% (18th)

Lehigh Valley returns to PPL Center Saturday night against the Rochester Americans featuring a Postgame Skate with the Phantoms players.

Friday, November 25 (7:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Saturday, November 26 (7:05) vs. ROCHESTER AMERICANS
Wednesday, November 30 (7:05) vs. HERSHEY BEARS
Friday, December 2 (7:00) at Charlotte Checkers
Saturday, December 3 (6:00) at Charlotte Checkers

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
Fans can also watch the games on or can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.”