Friday, December 1, 7:00 p.m.
XL Center, Hartford, CT
Lehigh Valley (9-6-3) vs. Hartford (12-4-2)
The Phantoms open a three-road New England road swing with the first of back-to-back games at the Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. The Phantoms are on a six-game point streak (5-0-1) entering tonight’s contest while the second place Wolf Pack have won four straight. Tonight is the fourth meeting of the season between Lehigh Valley and Hartford with the Pack having taken two out of three so far but Lehigh Valley won the most recent encounter via Samu Tuomaala’s overtime goal on November 3.
Alexis Gendron and Tanner Laczynski each scored a pair of goals while Samu Tuomaala had one goal and two assists as the Phantoms rallied from behind to defeat visiting Rocheter 5-4 in a topsy-turvey and see-saw game at PPL Center last Saturday. AHL veteran goalie Dustin Tokarski kept his team alive for as long as he could with several incredible and acrobatic stops to limit the Phantoms. Lehigh Valley out-shot Rochester 49-15 to establish a new season-high for shots as well as a new season standard for shots against. But despite controlling the play for long stretches, this one would go down to the wire.
The Phantoms six-game point streak coincides with a six-game streak of scoring at least one power-play goal. The Phantoms have gone 9-for-18 on the power play during that stretch including a 3-for-5 performance on Saturday against Rochester. The Phantoms’ power play on the season is clicking at 25.8% (17/66) which is good for second-best in the AHL and is also tops in the conference.
Lehigh Valley’s 17 power-play goals is good for most in the AHL (tied with Hartford) and Olle Lycksell is tied for the league-lead at six power-play markers (with Adam Gaudette of Springfield).
Tanner Laczynski (3-5-8), Cooper Marody (2-7-9) and Samu Tuomaala (2-5-7) also have multiple power-play goals.
The Phantoms have gone 5-0-1 in their last six games, representing the longest point streak since the team-record nine-game point streak in the 2021-22 season. Lehigh Valley compiled a 7-0-2 record from December 11, 2021 through January 14, 2022 during Ian Laperriere’s first season as head coach.
Defenseman Mason Millman has been reassigned to Lehigh Valley from the Reading Royals.
Goaltender Parker Gahagen has been loaned to the Reading Royals by Lehigh Valley.
Garrett Wilson has been suspended for one game by the American Hockey League as the result of a roughing incident during the Saturday game against Rochester. The Phantoms captain will be required to miss the team’s upcoming Friday game at Hartford.
- Olle Lycksell (12-6-18) is tied for third in the AHL with 12 goals and is tied for first in power-play goals at 6 (with Adam Gaudette of Springfield). Lycksell is third in the AHL with 69 shots on goal. Lycksell is also on a six-game point streak (4-5-9)
- Samu Tuomaala (4-13-17) has racked up three points in a game three times this season including scoring one goal and two assists on Saturday vs. Rochester. The 20-year-old rookie is tied for the AHL lead for most assists by a rookie with 13 (also Brandt Clarke of Ontario) and is tied for fourth in AHL Rookie Points.
- Tanner Laczynski is on a five-game point streak (5-4-9) with a pair of multi-goal games in the streak.
- The Phantoms are 8-0-1 when scoring three or more goals
- Lehigh Valley’s power play is second in the AHL at 25.8% (Texas is 26.2%) which is also good for first in the conference. The Phantoms have gone 9-for-18 in their current streak of six straight games with a power-play goal.
- The Phantoms have the second-most goals scored in the second period in the AHL with 24 goals and are second in total shots in the second period with 204 (Springfield has 207).
- The Phantoms are also the most penalized team in the AHL at 19.8 average PIM per game which includes a league-leading 106 minor penalties. 88 times on the penalty kill this season is also most in he AHL
HEADING TO HARTFORD
Hartford (12-4-2) is on a four-game win streak to take a sold hold of second place in the Atlantic Division with a five-point lead over third-place Lehigh Valley. The New York Rangers affiliate beat Belleville in overtime on Saturday 4-3 following a 4-2 win at Springfield on Friday. The Wolf Pack are 2-0-1 against the Phantoms this season but Lehigh Valley knocked them off in their last meeting on November 3 via Samu Tuomaala’s overtime winner. Veteran captain Jonny Brodzinski (11-14-25) leads the AHL in scoring but was recalled to the Rangers on Tuesday. First-rounder Brennan Othmann (5-8-13) has shaken out of a slump with three goals in the last three games after not scoring any since his two-goal performance on Opening Night. 34-year-old Riley Nash (7-10-17) has 627 games of NHL experience and also had a two-goal game against the Phantoms on October 29. Louis Domingue (6-1-0, 1.72, .937) is now third in the AHL in goals-against average while prospect Dylan Garand (6-2-2, 2.80, .906) has been solid as well. Hartford’s defense allows just 2.4 goals per game which is second-best in the AHL behind only Hershey.
Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Olle Lycksell 12-6-18
Tanner Laczynski 6-11-17
Samu Tuomaala 4-13-17
Cooper Marody 5-10-15
Garrett Wilson 4-7-11
Wolf Pack Scoring Leaders
x – Jonny Brozinski 11-14-25
Alex Belzile 11-7-18
Riley Nash 7-10-17
Mac Hollowell 1-16-17
Brennan Othmann 5-8-13
Lehigh Valley PP, 25.8% (2nd)
Lehigh Valley PK 83.0% (18th)
Hartford PP 21.8% (7th)
Hartford PK 88.0% (3rd)
The Phantoms and Wolf Pack rematch on Saturday night and then the Phantoms wrap up the road trip on Sunday afternoon at the Providence Bruins. The Phantoms are back at PPL Center on Friday, December 8 against the Providence Bruins to open a five-game homestand which includes the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night on Saturday, December 9 when the Phantoms host the Charlotte Checkers.
Friday, December 1 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hartford Wolf Pack
Saturday, December 2 (7:00 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hartford Wolf Pack
Sunday, December 3 (3:05 p.m.) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Providence Bruins
Friday, December 8 (7:05 p.m.) – Providence Bruins at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, December 9 (7:05 p.m.) – Charlotte Checkers at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Teddy Bear Toss presented by Big Woody’s!