PREVIEW: Phantoms vs. Checkers, Game #21

Friday, December 9 at 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (9-9-2) vs. Charlotte Checkers (12-7-3)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms return to PPL Center for a weekend series against the Charlotte Checkers, AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers. The Phantoms are Checkers are playing each other four times in a nine-day stretch between December 2-10. The two teams split their series in North Carolina last weekend with the Phantoms winning on Friday 3-2 and then the Checkers bouncing back on Saturday in a 6-4 final.
Tonight’s game features Berks $1 Hot Dogs.
The Saturday rematch includes a Phantoms hat giveaway presented by Service Electric.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Wolf Pack 3 – Phantoms 2
Lehigh Valley had a third-period rally with goals from Garrett Wils0n (5th) and Tyson Foerster (7th) but the Wolf Pack hung on for a 3-2 win. Jackson Cates was robbed by Louie Domingue on the backdoor with eight minutes left and Kieffer Bellows hit the post with five minutes remaining. Hartford had initially raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes and were able to make it hold up.

Dec 2 – Add Kieffer Bellows (F) – Loaned to LV from Philadelphia (NHL)
Dec 5 – Delete Pat Nagle (G) – Loaned to Reading (ECHL)
Dec 5 – Add Nolan Maier (G) – Recalled by LV from Reading (ECHL)
Dec 8 – Add Egor Zamula (D) – Loaned to LV from Philadelphia (NHL)
Dec 8 – Delete Cam York (D) – Recalled to Philadelphia (NHL)

The Philadelphia Flyers recalled defenseman Cam York and have loaned defenseman Egor Zamula to the Phantoms. York is second on the Phantoms in scoring at 3-10-13 in 18 games. The Flyers’ first-round selection in 2019 played in 33 career games with Philadelphia but none so far this season. The Flyers are next in action on Saturday night at the Vegas Golden Knights.
Zamula has played in 11 games with the Flyers this season among his 23 total NHL appearances. He played in two games with the Phantoms on November 25-26. The slick moving third-year pro has played in 85 career games with Lehigh Valley scoring 4-31-35.

20-year-old center Elliot “The Destroyer” Desnoyers has certainly impressed in his rookie professional season. The Flyers’ fifth-round selection in 2020 has the led Phantoms in goals since the very beginning of the season and now has nine to his credit including four goals in the last six games as well as goals in six of the last ten games. Desnoyers began his pro career with goals in each of the team’s first three games, the first time ever that a Lehigh Valley player had done that. He won a gold medal with Canada at the World Juniors in August and previously racked up 43 goals last year as captain of the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms power play has gone 7-for-14 in the last five games including a 3-for-4 performance last Saturday at Charlotte. The Phantoms have vaulted all the way up to seventh overall in the AHL at 24.7%.
Tyson Foerster has scored 3-5-8 on the power play while Cam York has contributed 2-6-8 on the power play and Cal O’Reilly is 1-6-7. Six players have two or more power-play goals this season; Brooks, Desnoyers, Foerster, Lycksell, Wilson, York.

Charlotte (12-7-3) and Lehigh Valley will continue their stretch of four games in nine days against each other.
Last weekend in Charlotte, the Phantoms won 3-2 on Friday with Jordy Bellerive’s bank-shot off the back of the leg of Alex Lyon with six minutes left holding up as the game-winner. The Checkers stormed back in the rematch in a 6-4 final. Adam Brooks and Elliot Desnoyers scored in both games for the Phantoms. Logan Hutsko paced the Checkers with 2 goals and 1 assist in the weekend set.
The Checkers lost a 4-2 decision at Hershey on Tuesday while former Phantom Connor Bunnaman scored his third of the season.
NHL veteran Riley Nash (6-13-19) paces the offense and scored 1-2-3 against Lehigh Valley in the recent weekend split. The 33-year-old center has played in 627 career NHL games with Carolina, Columbus and Boston among other teams. Other experienced vets Chris Tierney and Zac Dalpe were both recently recalled to Florida.

Five former Phantoms or Flyers are on the Charlotte roster including Alex Lyon, Connor Bunnaman, Gerry Mayhew and Michael Del Zotto as well as Charlotte’s third goalie J-F Berube who has only played in one game this year.
But the highly anticipated return of popular goalie Alex Lyon won’t happen after all. Lyon was recalled to the Florida Panthers and thus will not get to play in his first game at PPL Center as a member of an opposing team.
Lyon won the Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves last year. Lyon returns to PPL Center for the first time this weekend and is Lehigh Valley’s all-time winningest goalie over parts of five seasons accumulating 85 victories from 2017-21 in 149 career games for the Orange and Black.

Tyson Foerster has a two-game goal streak and has scored 5-2-7 in the last nine games.
– Rookie Elliot Desnoyers leads the Phantoms with nine goals and has four goals in the last six games as well as six goals in the last ten games.
– Lehigh Valley’s top five scorers are all rookies or young prospects: Tyson Foerster (7-8-15), Cam York (3-10-13), Olle Lycksell (4-8-12), Elliot Desnoyers (9-2-11), Ronnie Attard (4-7-11)
– The Phantoms are 7-for-14 on the power play in the last five games and are 7th in the AHL at 24.7%.
– The Phantoms are 7-3-2 in one-goal games. Lehigh Valley is 6-0-2 when leading after two periods.
– The Phantoms are 3-2 in decisions after regulation having gone 2-1 in overtime and 1-1 in shootouts.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Tyson Foerster 7-8-15
x Cam York 3-10-13
Olle Lycksell 4-8-12
Elliot Desnoyers 9-2-11
Ronnie Attard 4-7-11

Charlotte Scoring Leaders
Riley Nash 7-14-21
x Chris Tierney 3-13-16
x Zac Dalpe 10-5-15
Anton Levtchi 6-5-11
Logan Hutsko 6-5-11
Michael Del Zotto 2-8-10

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Lehigh Valley Power Play – 24.7% (7th)
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 68.6% (31st)
Charlotte Power Play – 23.5% (9th)
Hartford Penalty Kill – 80.3% (17th)

The Phantoms return to PPL Center Saturday night for a rematch against the Charlotte Checkers.
Next weekend is a home-and-home against the Providence Bruins beginning with a Rhode Island clash on Friday and then a PPL Center showdown on Saturday on Teddy Bear Toss Night presented by Big Woody’s.


Friday, December 9 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS
Saturday, December 10 (7:05) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS

Friday, December 16 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Saturday, December 17 (7:05) vs. PROVIDENCE BRUINS
Sunday, December 18 (5:00) at Hershey Bears

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

Saturday, December 31 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – New Year’s Eve Celebration presented by Penn Community Bank. Including festivities after the game right outside the arena to ring in 2023!




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.”