Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 7:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (29-22-6) vs. Belleville Senators (25-27-6)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Los Fantasmas return on Hockey Fiesta Weekend celebrating the region’s Hispanic heritage in the opener of a five-game homestand
Lehigh Valley (29-22-6) is on a three-game win streak entering tonight’s contests against the Belleville (Ontario) Senators, AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators. The fifth-place Phantoms trail Springfield by two points for home-ice advantage in the first-round of the playoffs while having created some separation from three teams chasing them in the standings who all lost yesterday.
Belleville (25-27-6) is on a four-game point streak (3-0-1) and has closed the gap to just two points on the fifth-place Laval Rocket for the North Division’s final playoff spot.
There are 15 games remaining in the regular season including 10 at PPL Center.
Friday, March 10, 2023
Phantoms 4 – Penguins 1
Cooper Marody (7th, 8th) had a three-point night for the second time this season with two goals and one assist while Adam Brooks had his second straight multi-point game and Ronnie Attard scored his ninth goal of the season as the Phantoms won in Wilkes-Barre 4-1. Sam Ersson with 25 saves came up big in the third period to thwart the Penguins’ push when the Phantoms were protecting a 2-1 lead. Marody and Max Willman (9th) sealed the win with late empty-net goals.
Tyson Foerster made his NHL debut for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night at the Caroline Hurricanes. The 21-year-old rookie was recalled along with Elliot Desnoyers who played in his third NHL game. Foerster has scored 18-20-38 this season and is tied with Desnoyers for the team lead in points. The 2020 first-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers becomes the fourth Lehigh Valley Phantom to receive a recall for his NHL debut joining Olle Lycksell, Sam Ersson and Elliot Desnoyers.
Foerster represented the Phantoms at the AHL All-Star Classic in Laval, Quebec along with defenseman Ronnie Attard.
While Foerster had played for the Phantoms prior to the 2022-23 season, the 2020 first-rounder has never played a full 72-game season at the pro level. He had just 24 games in the abbreviated 2020-21 season that started in February and last year, at 19, only played in nine games with Lehigh Valley before a shoulder injury in November derailed his season.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenseman Will Zmolek out of Bemidji State who now joins the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on an ATO for the remainder of the 2022-23 season. The 6-for-4 Zmolek scored 4-17-21 this season and led the Beavers with 64 blocked shots. He is the son of former NHL’er Doug Zmolek who played 467 NHL games in eight seasons (1992-2000) with San Jose, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The Philadelphia Flyers have released Chuck Fletcher from his duties as General Manager and President of Hockey Operations. Daniel Brière, currently serving as Special Assistant to the General Manager, has been named Interim General Manager.
– Garrett Wilson has scored 6-6-12 in the last nine games in a stretch that has included a five-game point streak as well as a hat trick on February 20 against Hartford.
– Adam Brooks has recorded consecutive multi-point games and has scored 2-3-5 in his last two outings.
– Artem Anisimov had another three-game goal streak from February 27 through March 5. The 13-year NHL veteran of 771 games has had three such streaks for the Phantoms this season.
– Sam Ersson is 6-1-0, 2.02. 920 with one shutout in his last seven games with the Phantoms since February 4. Since making his NHL debut on December 23, the rookie goaltender has gone 9-3-0 with the Phantoms and also 6-1-0 with the Flyers for a combined record of 15-4-0.
– Elliot Desnoyers has scored 6-9-15 in his last 11 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….
22-7-5 when scoring 3 or more goals
21-1-1 when allowing 2 goals or fewer
16-5-6 in one-goal games
14-3-6 when scoring the first goal
18-2-4 when leading after two periods
4-3 in overtime and 3-3 in shootouts
ABOUT THE SENATORS
Belleville (25-27-6) has climbed out of the North Division cellar due to a four-game point streak and has closed to within two points of the Laval Rocket for the playoff cut but the B-Sens lost in overtime at the Utica Comets last night. The resurgent Senators have responded to a coaching change to win to produce points in eight of their last 10. David Bell stepped in as interim head coach on February 3 for the ousted Troy Mann shortly before the team’s hot stretch. The B-Sens are led by 2020 second-rounder Egor Sokolov (18-32-50) and former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin Jake Lucchini (14-30-44) while rookie Angus Crookshank (22-16-38) is tops on the team in goals and also third among all AHL rookies. But Belleville is hemorrhaging 3.6 goals allowed per game, worst in the AHL, partly due to a rotating cast of goaltenders resulting from recalls and injuries.
Phantoms Scoring Leaders
x Elliot Desnoyers 20-18-38
x Tyson Foerster 18-20-38
Olle Lycksell 10-26-36
Garrett Wilson 11-19-30
Artem Anisimov 16-12-28
Senators Scoring Leaders
Egor Sokolov 18-32-50
Jake Luuchini 14-30-44
Angus Crookshank 22-16-38
Cole Cassels 7-24-31
Scott Sabourin 16-13-29
Phantoms Tickets are available HERE
Lehigh Valley Power Play – 21.4%, 11th
Lehigh Valley Penalty Kill – 72.4%, 32nd
Belleville Power Play – 20.4%, 13th
Belleville Penalty Kill – 77.0%, 28th
Los Fantasmas tangle with the Belleville Senators on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. to wrap up Hockey Fiesta Weekend as Lehigh Valley opens a five-game homestand.
Phantoms Tickets are available HERE
Saturday, March 11 (7:05) vs. BELLEVILLE SENATORS
Sunday, March 12 (4:05) vs. UTICA COMETS
Wednesday, March 15 (7:05) vs. HERSHEY BEARS
Friday, March 17 (7:05) vs. HERSHEY BEARS
Sunday, March 19 (4:05) vs. WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINs
Saturday, March 11 (7:05) vs. Belleville Senators – Hockey Fiesta Weekend and Saturday Night Hockey Live
Sunday, March 12 (4:05) vs. Utica Comets – meLVin Youth Jersey Day (first 2,000 kids age 14 and younger) and Hockey Fiesta Weekend
Wednesday, March 15 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – Truist Night. Chamber of Commerce Night. $2 Pregame Happy Hour Beers
Friday, March 17 (7:05) vs. Hershey Bears – St. Patrick’s Day! Whiteout Night. $1 Hot Dogs
Sunday, March 19 (4:05) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – Prospect Pack Trading Card Sets for First 5,000 Fans
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.”
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.