Saturday, November 26 at 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (7-6-2) vs. Rochester Americans (10-5-2)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms return to PPL Center for the first time in two weeks as the Rochester Americans make their lone visit to Center City Allentown. The Americans are the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres. The Phantoms just completed a four-game road-swing in which they went 2-1-1. Rochester (10-5-2) has won three straight and is in second place in the North Division behind the Toronto Marlies.
This is the opener of a quick two-game homestand for the Phantoms.
Tyson Foerster (4th) and Elliot Desnoyers (6th) provided the Phantoms with a 2-0 lead at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton but the Penguins rallied for a pair of goals in the last seven minutes to stage an improbable comeback in a 3-2 shootout decision. Drake Caggiula helped force a steal in the Phantoms zone and then buried the stunning shorthanded goal to tie the score with 2:01 left. Artem Anisimov almost won the game for the Phantoms with 1:15 to go but Dustin Tokarski saved his best for last with a remarkable save after Olle Lycksell’s drive and jarred his helmet off. Pat Nagle had a strong game with 33 saves on 35 shots including 53 shutout minutes.
NHL veteran Artem Anisimov is set to make his PPL Center debut in tonight’s game. The 34-year-old and accomplished center has played in 771 career NHL games beginning with the New York Rangers in 2009. Anisimov’s first game with the Phantoms last week at Providence marked his first game in the AHL since the 2008-09 season with the Hartford Wolf Pack when he was an AHL All-Str and finished fourth in the league with 37 goals. The big-bodied pivot posted four seasons of 20+ goals in the NHL and most recently played in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators two years ago. He signed a tryout contract with the Flyers but suffered a broken foot on a blocked shot in the preseason. Now he’s on a PTO with the Phantoms and has played three road games so far with Lehigh Valley.
Egor Zamula rejoined the Phantoms lineup on Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after beginning the season with the Philadelphia Flyers where he played in nine games. The 6’3″ defenseman played in 58 games with the Phantoms last year recording four goals with 25 assists while also suiting up in 10 NHL games with the Flyers. The 22-year-old is in his third season of professional hockey and has played in 84 career games with Lehigh Valley and 21 games with the Flyers.
Goaltender Nolan Maier was recalled from the Reading Royals to join Pat Nagle as the team’s available tandem while Troy Grosenick and Sam Ersson are sidelined. With the Reading Royals, Maier has gone 4-2-1, 2.36, .905 after recording his first career pro win on November 5 in a 30-save performance against Wheeling to begin a four-game win streak. Maier is the all-time WHL leader for career wins in the WHL racking up 122 victories with the Saskatoon Blades. He was terrific in a Phantoms preseason game at Wilkes-Barre on October 7 making 27 saves on 28 shots in 40 minutes of action. He debuted at PPL Center on September 16 in the Rookie Series making 11 saves on 12 shots for the Philadelphia Flyers against the New York Rangers.
The Phantoms have played one-goal decisions in 10 of their 15 games this season. Lehigh Valley is 6-2-2 in one-goal games. The Phantoms have also gone to overtime on five occasions this year including twice in the last three games. The Phantoms are 2-1 in overtime decisions and 1-1 in shootouts.
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)
ABOUT THE AMERICANS
Rochester (10-5-2) has won three straight to close to within one point of the first place Toronto Marlies in the North Division. Last night, the Amerks held off a furious third-period rally by the Bridgeport Islanders and eventually prevailed in overtime 6-5 on Brett Murray’s winning strike. Leading scorer Linus Weissbach had the overtime honors in their previous game on Wednesday with a 4-3 triumph over the Providence Bruins. Weissbach (7-7-14) is a seventh round selection of the Buffalo Sabres out of the University of Wisconsin. Isak Rosen (3-10-13) is a teenage talent from Sweden who was selected 14th overall in the 2021 Draft. The Amerks are especially dangerous on the power play at 25%, fourth-best in the AHL.
– Rookie forward Elliot Desnoyers leads the Phantoms with six goals
– Tyson Foerster has a four-game point streak with two goals and two assists
– The team’s top four scorers are all rookies or young prospects:
Tyson Foerster (4-7-11), Cam York (3-8-11), Ronnie Attard (4-5-9), Elliot Desnoyers (6-2-8)
– 10 out of 15 games this season have been decided by one goal including four of the last five games.
– The Phantoms are 3-2 in decisions after regulation having gone 2-1 in overtime and 1-1 in shotoouts.
Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cam York 3-8-11
Tyson Foerster 4-7-11
Ronnie Attard 4-5-9
Garrett Wilson 3-5-8
Elliot Desnoyers 6-2-8
x Jackson Cates 4-3-7
Cal O’Reilly 2-5-7
Rochester Americans Scoring Leaders
Linus Weissbach 7-7-14
Brett Murray 8-5-13
Isak Rosen 3-10-13
Lukas Rousek 4-8-12
Brandon Biro 3-9-12
Lehigh Valley Power Play – 18.6% (22nd)
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 67.6% (32nd)
Rochester Power Play – 25.0% (4th)
Rochester Penalty Kill – 74.5% (27th)
Lehigh Valley hosts the Hershey Bears on Wednesday, November 30 on Military Appreciation Night presented by Netizen.
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
Wednesday, December 7 (7:00) at Hartford Wolf Pack
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 phantomshockey.com
Fans can also watch the games on AHLTV.com or can listen on their Smart Speakers at: “Play Phantoms Radio 24/7.”