PREVIEW: Phantoms vs. Penguins, Game #39

Friday, January 26, 7:05 p.m.
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Lehigh Valley (17-15-6) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (22-14-5)

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms open a stretch of six consecutive home games, their longest homestand of the season, as they host the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the first time in the 2023-24 season.
This is Game 2 out of 12 in the season series. The Phantoms won the first meeting on January 6 at Wilkes-Barre on a Samu Tuomaala overtime winner after Lehigh Valley trailed 3-1 in the third period.
Tonight’s game can be seen on NHL Network courtesy of Service Electric Network.

The Comeback Phantoms did it again in a 4-3 win at the first-place Cleveland Monsters last Saturday. Trailing 3-2 into the third period, Olle Lycksell got a piece of an Emil Andrae drive to equalize and then Andrae scored the winner with 7:06 remaining as the Phantoms downed the first-place Cleveland Monsters 4-3. Rhett Gardner notched a goal and an assist early in the contest and Ronnie Attard cranked home his eighth of the season.

Jan 22 – Delete Olle Lycksell (F) – Recalled to PHI
Jan 22 – Add Bobby Brink (F) – Loaned to LV by PHI
Jan 23 – Delete Cal Petersen (G) – Recalled to PHI
Jan 23 – Delete Mason Millman (D) – Reassigned by PHI to Reading from LV
Jan 23 – Delete Adam Karashik (D) – Loaned to Reading by LV
Jan 23 – Delete Jordy Bellerive (F) – Traded to San Jose (AHL)
Jan 23 – Add Parker Gahagen (G) – Recalled to LV from Reading

The Philadelphia Flyers have loaned forward Bobby Brink to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms who is set to make his Phantoms’ season debut this weekend.
Brink, 22, joins the Phantoms for the first time this season after scoring seven goals with 11 assists for 18 points in 38 games played with Philadelphia. 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.
He also played 10 games with Philadelphia in 2021-22 for a combined total of 48 games in the NHL.
Brink won an NCAA title in the Frozen Four with the University of Denver in 2022 and led the nation in scoring with 14-43-57 in just 41 games with the Pioneers. The 5-foot-8 forward with a right-handed shot was a Round 2 selection (#34 overall) of the Flyers in 2019.


  • Garrett Wilson played in his 800th career pro game on Saturday at Cleveland. That includes 615 career AHL games with San Antonio, Portland, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Toronto and Lehigh Valley and also 84 NHL games with Florida and Pittsburgh. This is his fourth season with the Phantoms where he has played 202 games.
  • Garrett Wilson leads the AHL with 111 penalty minutes.
  • Samu Tuomaala (12-19-31) rates third among AHL rookies in points and in assists.
  • Olle Lycksell (16-12-28) has already eclipsed his rookie campaign mark of 14 goals scored. The Round 6 selection of the Flyers in 2017 leads the Phantoms in goals and has been recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers where he has played in nine career games including one this season
  • 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
    – Overtime: 4-5 / Shootout: 1-1

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (22-14-5) has vaulted to third place in the Atlantic Division largely on the strength of goaltender Joel Blomqvist (13-5-3, 2.09, .923) who rates second in the AHL in GAA behind only Clay Stevenson of Hershey. Blomqvist will join fellow Finland product Samu Tuomaala of the Phantoms at the AHL All-Star Classic in San Jose.
It had been a never-ending series of nailbiters for the Baby Pens who played in nine consecutive one-goal decisions which is a franchise record. They finally ended the streak on Wednesday with a 4-1 victory over Hartford. The Penguins are 13-6-3 since December 1 and also 7-2-2 in January.

Defenseman Ty Smith (6-22-28) leads the Penguins in scoring. The former New Jersey first-rounder earned NHL All-Rookie Team accolades in 2021. Jesse Puljujärvi and Vinnie Hinostroza are relatively recent additions who both have over 300 games of NHL experience.
The Phantoms won at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4-3 on January 6 with an overtime winner by Samu Tuomaala serving as the difference-maker. Tuomaala and Ronnie Attard scored back-to-back in the third to overcome a 3-1 deficit.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Cooper Marody 9-25-34
Samu Tuomaala 12-19-31
x – Olle Lycksell 16-12-28
Tanner Laczynski 8-18-26
Ronnie Attard 8-13-21

Penguins Scoring Leaders
Ty Smith 6-22-28
Alex Nylander 13-10-23
Peter Abbandonato 5-12-17
Corey Andonovski 2-13-15
Xavier Ouellet 1-13-14

Lehigh Valley PP, 20.1% (9th)
Lehigh Valley PK 80.6% (20th)
WBS PP 16.5% (27th)
WBS PK 85.2% (3rd)

The homestand continues against the Toronto Marlies on Saturday with Racing Night plus a Youth Winter Hat Giveaway for the first 2,000 kids age 14 and younger.

Friday, January 26 (7:05) – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Lehigh Valley
Saturday, January 27 (7:05) – Toronto at Lehigh Valley – Racing Night and Youth Winter Hats from Reilly Children’s Hospital of Lehigh Valley

Wednesday, January 30 (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