PREVIEW: Phantoms vs. Penguins, Game #62

Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 4:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (31-24-6) vs. WBS Penguins (24-26-10)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms conclude their five-game homestand with a Sunday matinee confrontation against the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Lehigh Valley (31-24-6) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division as the team closes in on a Calder Cup Playoff berth.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (24-26-10) has three out of four points this weekend and has their work cut out for them in order to make up a six-point deficit on Bridgeport for the last playoff spot.
There are just 11 games remaining for the Phantoms with six at home.

Friday, March 17, 2023
Bears 2 – Phantoms 1
Ronnie Attard notched his 11th goal of the season but Lehigh Valley couldn’t break Hunter Shepard again as the Phantoms went 0-for-5 on the power play in a 2-1 setback on St. Patrick’s Day. Sam Anas struck with less than ten minutes remaining for the tie-breaking power-play marker in his first game back in three months following an injury.

The top six teams in the Atlantic Division qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs and the fourth-place team will receive home-ice advantage for the first round of the postseason. Lehigh Valley is in fifth place in the division and just two points back of fourth-place Springfield for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Phantoms are five points ahead of seventh-place Hartford at the playoff cut-line.
Lehigh Valley’s Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is now 18 points (which is points acquired by Lehigh Valley and also points missed by Hartford) and the Phantoms.
The current standings would have the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Springfield Thunderbirds meeting in the first round in the 5 vs. 4 series in a Best of 3 matchup. The winner would advance to a Best of 5 division semifinals series.

Tyson Foerster has had a big week with the Philadelphia Flyers including his first NHL assist on a Joel Farabee goal on Friday against Buffalo and then his first NHL goal on Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have racked up three hat tricks in the last month including two within the last week. Garrett Wilson recorded hat tricks on February 20 and March 15 while Cooper Marody had a dramatic game-tying hat trick goal with just 48.5 seconds left on March 11. There have been nine Phantoms hat tricks all-time at PPL Center and three of them have come within the past month!
Wilson is the first ever to record two hat tricks at PPL Center in the same season. Nick Cousins had two hat tricks in 2014-15 in different arenas and Danick Martel had three career hat tricks, including two in Allentown, but not in the same season.
It is the second time Lehigh Valley has recorded hat tricks less than a week apart; Danick Martel and Taylor Leier notched trifectas on February 5, 2016 and February 10, 2016.


Philadelphia Phantoms:
Mike Maneluk (1999-00)
Kirby Law (2002-03)
Tony Voce (2005-06)
Pat Maroon (2008-09)
Rob Sirianni (2008-09)

Adirondack Phantoms
Michael Ryan (2010-11)
Denis Hamel (2010-11)

Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Nick Cousins (2014-15)
Garrett Wilson (2022-23)

22 – Danick Martel (2015-16)
21 – Elliot Desnoyers (2022-23)
19  Connor Bunnaman (2018-19)

Garrett Wilson has scored 10-7-17 in the last 12 games in a stretch that has included a five-game point streak as well as two hat tricks (Feb 20 and Mar 15).
Cooper Marody has scored 6-6-12 in the last five games including three assists on Wednesday following his nine-point explosion in three games last weekend that earned him AHL Player of the Week honors. Marody has a five-game points streak with 6-7-13 in the stretch.
– Adam Brooks has scored 2-7-9 in the last six games. He had a four-game point streak ended on Wednesday.
Since making his NHL debut on December 23, Sam Ersson has gone 10-5-0 with the Phantoms and also 6-1-0 with the Flyers for a combined record of 16-6-0.
– Elliot Desnoyers has scored 7-9-15 in his last 13 games since February 1. The 21-year-old center was named AHL Rookie of the Month for February scoring 5-9-14 in just eight games played last month while also making is NHL debut.
– The Phantoms are….
24-8-5 when scoring 3 or more goals
22-2-1 when allowing 2 goals or fewer
17-6-6 in one-goal games
15-3-6 when scoring the first goal
19-2-4 when leading after two periods
5-3 in overtime and 3-3 in shootouts

Lehigh Valley is 5-3-1 against the Baby Pens entering Game 10 out 12 in the season series. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (24-26-19) has stayed alive with points in three of the last four games to end a three-game losing skid. The Baby Pens trail Bridgeport by six points for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Leading scorer Alex Nylander (25-25-50) has been summoned to Pittsburgh. Valtteri Puustinen (21-27-48) and Drake Caggiula (15-27-42) provide the bulk of their scoring punch but that has definitely been lacking overall for a Penguins team that is last in the conference in total offense at just 2.7 goals per game and has been especially weak at 5-on-5. They are hoping veteran goalie Dustin Tokarski (11-11-6, 2.49, .916) can make up for their lack of goals.
The Phantoms took the most recent matchup 4-1 on a pair of Cooper Marody goals on Friday, March 10 in Wilkes-Barre.

SEASON SERIES vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins: (5-3-1)

10/15/22                    Away         W             3-2 (OT)
10/28/22                    Home        L              1-3
11/25/22                    Away         SOL           2-3 (SO)
12/31/22                    Home        L              1-4
1/20/22                      Away         W             5-2
1/27/22                      Home        W             4-2
2/18/22                      Home        W             4-3 (SO)
2/22/22                      Away         L              3-4
3/10/22                      Away         W             4-1
3/19/22                      Home
3/25/22                      Away
3/31/22                      Home

Top Performers in Season Series:
Lehigh Valley – Tyson Foerster (5-3-8), Max Willman (3-3-6), Olle Lycksell (1-5-6), Sam Ersson (3-1-0, 2.00, .937)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – Valtteri Puustinen (4-4-8), Alex Nylander (3-5-8), Drake Caggiula (4-2-6), Dustin Tokarski (3-1-1, 2.15, .921)

Phantoms Scoring Leaders
Elliot Desnoyers 21-18-39
x Tyson Foerster 19-20-39
Olle Lycksell 10-28-38
Garrett Wilson 15-21-36
Cooper Marody 12-22-34
Artem Anisimov 16-12-28

Penguins Scoring Leaders
x Alex Nylander 25-25-50
Valtteri Puustinen 21-27-48
Drake Caggiula 15-27-42
Filip Hallander 10-22-32
Tyler Sikura 8-21-29

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Lehigh Valley Power Play – 21.2%, 11th (vs. WBS 5/34, 14.7%)
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 72.8%, 32nd
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Power Play – 20.3%, 13th (vs. LV 9/37, 24.3%)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penalty Kill – 81.9%, 12th

The Phantoms are off until next weekend when they travel up to Wilkes-Barre for a Saturday rematch against the Penguins. The next home games for Lehigh Valley are Friday, March 31 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Saturday, April 1 against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

Sunday, March 19 (4:05) vs. WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS
Saturday, March 25 (7:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Sunday, March 26 (5:00) at Hershey Bears
Friday, March 31 (7:05) vs. WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS
Saturday, April 1 (7:05) vs. HERSHEY BEARS


Sunday, March 19 (4:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Prospect Pack Trading Card Sets for First 5,000 Fans

Friday, March 24 – NCAA Tournament Hockey Allentown Regional Doubleheader Hosted by Penn State

Sunday, March 26 – NCAA Tournament  Hockey Allentown Regional Final playing for Berth in the Frozen Four

Friday, March 31 (7:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Berks $1 Hot Dogs

Saturday, April 1 (7:05) vs. Hartford Wolf Pack – Saturday Night Hockey Live!



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.”

Service Electric Network again provides exclusive television coverage of all Phantoms home games with veteran announcer Steve Degler and Phantoms’ alum Steven Swavely on the call from the booth. Kristi Fulkerson reports from ice level and also from the Chickie’s and Pete’s studio with Dan Fremuth for pregame, intermission and postgame show analysis.