PREVIEW: Phantoms vs. Bears, Game #41

Wednesday, January 31, 7:05 p.m.
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Lehigh Valley (17-16-7) vs. Hershey (34-7-2)

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms continue their longest homestand of the season with the first of back-to-back showdowns with the defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears. The I-78 rivals will meet tonight and then will rematch on Friday for a Groundhog’s Day-inspired repeat. Tonight is Game 3 of six consecutive home games for the Phantoms. It is also Game 8 out of 12 in the season series against the crew from Chocolatetown.
Tonight’s game can also be seen on NHL Network courtesy of Service Electric Network’s coverage.

It was another impressive comeback for the Phantoms who scored consecutive goals in the third period to tie the game at 3-3 but eventually the Toronto Marlies escaped with a shootout win in a 4-3 decision as the Phantoms emerged with one standings point on Saturday night at PPL Center.
Bobby Brink (2nd, 3rd) capped a three-goal weekend in his triumphant return to Allentown. Brink and Allison (8th) struck for consecutive power-play goals in the third period to even the score. Former Phantom and Flyer Kieffer Bellows (18th) scored the first goal for the Marlies and Toronto captain Logan Shaw scored the shootout winner in the third round.

Forward Alex Kile has joined the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the first time since the preseason. The 29-year-old forward from the University of Michigan is leading the ECHL with 23 goals and is second in points with 48 in just 39 games. Kile has played in 46 career games with the Phantoms over the last two seasons scoring 6-5-11. One of his most recent games with the Phantoms was February 18, 2023 when he earned first Star of the Game honors with two go-ahead goals in the third period in a see-saw 4-3 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Attard has had a knack for goals in big moments of recent.
The last four goals he has scored have all been tying or winning goals. 3 of his last 4 goals have come in the 3rd period or overtime:

  • Dec 13 vs. Charlotte – Overtime winner
  • Jan 6  at W-B/Scranton – Tying goal with 10:26 left in 3rd period (LV won in OT)
  • Jan 13 vs. Hershey – Tying goal with 10:38 left in 3rd period (LV won in SO)
  • Jan 20 at Cleveland – Tying goal 2-2 in 2nd period (LV won 4-3)

Bobby Brink certainly is making the most of his opportunity with the Phantoms to log big minutes. Brink racked up three goals on nine total shots in his first two games last week. Playing on a line with fellow young prospect Samu Tuomaala and experienced center Rhett Gardner, the 22-year-old out of the University of Denver was developing chances all around the offensive zone.
Brink has scored seven goals with 11 assists for 18 points in 38 games played with Philadelphia before coming back to the Phantoms. Last year with Lehigh Valley, Brink joined the team in January following his recovery from hip surgery and played in 41 games scoring 12-16-28.


  • Samu Tuomaala (12-22-34) rates second among AHL rookies in points and third in assists.
  • Tuomaala is on a four-game point streak (1-4-5) and also has points in six of the last seven games (2-5-7)
  • The Phantoms went 4-for-7 on the power play last weekend to move up to sixth in the league at 21.8%. The power play is even stronger at home at 22.6%
  • The Phantoms are tied for second in the league with 12 overtime games trailing only Rochester who has played in 13 overtime contests. The Phantoms have gone to overtime in 4 out of 9 games played in January.
  • The Phantoms record when:
    – Score 4 or more goals: 12-0-2
    – Allow 3 or fewer goals: 13-3-3
    – Lead After 1st period: 7-1-2
    – Lead After 2nd period: 11-1-1
    – One-Goal Games: 11-3-7
    – Overtime: 4-5 / Shootout: 1-2

Hershey (34-7-2) is rolling again on a five-game win streak and eight-game point streak (6-0-2). The Phantoms got the better of the Bears in their last encounter on January 13 via J.R. Avon’s winning goal in the fourth round of the shootout after Ronnie Attard tied the game with 10:28 remaining. But the first-place Bears have gone 5-1-1 overall against the Phantoms this season and Lehigh Valley is 2-3-2 against Hershey. Since November 15, the Bears have gone an incredible 25-3-2. Hershey is on pace to break the AHL record for most wins in a 72-game season (51 by Calgary Wranglers) and the Bears’ .814 points percentage has them ahead of the AHL record .775 season of the Binghamton Rangers in 1992-93.
Last Sunday against Toronto, Jimmy Huntington scored the tying goal with just 20 seconds remaining and then Joe Snively struck for the overtime winner with only 1.2 seconds left in the extra period for a dramatic 4-3 comeback win.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cooper Marody 9-26-35
Samu Tuomaala 12-22-34
x – Olle Lycksell 16-12-28
Tanner Laczynski 8-18-26
Emil Andrae 4-18-22

Bears Scoring Leaders
Mike Sgarbossa 7-34-41
Ethen Frank 20-14-34
Joe Snively 9-25-34
Pierrick Dube 22-7-29
Alex Limgoes 10-18-28

Lehigh Valley PP, 21.8% (6th) / Lehigh Valley PK 80.1% (23rd)
Hershey PP 22.4% (4th) / Hershey PK 86.8% (1st)

Lehigh Valley vs. HER PP – 3/26, 11.5%
Hershey PP vs. LV – 2/26, 7.7%

Lehigh Valley
Olle Lycksell 2-2-4
Cooper Marody 1-3-4
Garrett Wilson 1-3-4
Emil Andrae 0-3-3

Bogdan Trineyev 2-3-5
Ivan Miroshnichenko 1-4-5
Mike Sgarbossa 1-4-5
Pierrick Dubé 4-0-4
Logan Day 1-3-4
Clay Stevenson 3-1-0, 1.00, .964

Oct. 28 – L – Lehigh Valley 0 at Hershey 4
Nov. 1 – OTL – Lehigh Valley 3 at Hershey 4 OT
Nov. 11 – L – Hershey 2 at Lehigh Valley 0
Nov. 12 – W – Lehigh Valley 4 at Hershey 1
Dec. 30 – L – Hershey 4 at Lehigh Valley 0
Jan. 7 – OTL – Lehigh Valley 2 at Hershey 3 OT
Jan. 13 – SOW – Hershey 3 at Lehigh Valley 4 SO
Jan. 31 Hershey at Lehigh Valley
Feb. 2 Hershey at Lehigh Valley
Mar. 3 Hershey at Lehigh Valley 3:05 pm
Apr. 2 Lehigh Valley at Hershey
Apr. 12 Lehigh Valley at Hershey

The Phantoms are back at home on Friday against Hershey and Saturday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as the Phantoms celebrate 10 Years in the Valley. Saturday’s game includes a Phantoms alumni reunion including the return of Colin McDonald, Sam Morin and more!

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Wednesday, January 31 (7:05) – Hershey at Lehigh Valley

Friday, February 2 (7:05) – Hershey at Lehigh Valley – 10th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

Saturday, February 3 (7:05) – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Lehigh Valley – 10th Anniversary Celebration Weekend – Alumni Reunion with Colin McDonald, Sam Morin and More!

Sunday, February 4 and Monday, February 5 – AHL All-Star Classic in San Jose, Cal. Samu Tuomaala will represent the Phantoms on the Atlantic Division All-Stars.

Friday, February 9 (7:05) – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Lehigh Valley