Rangers Take Rookie Series Opener at PPL Center

Rematch Saturday at 5:05

September 15, 2023

Lehigh Valley, PA – The New York Rangers broke a third-period 2-2 tie on a goal by Ryder Korczak and then held off the Philadelphia Flyers the rest of the way en route to a 4-2 win at PPL Center in a showcase of the organizations’ top prospects as part of the 2023 Rookie Series.

The Rookie Series is presented by Ducati-Warhorse, Bethlehem Landfill and Visit Valley Forge.

Matt Brown and Alex Ciernik registered goals for the Philadelphia Flyers while the Rangers received strikes from Karl Henriksson, Dylan Roobroeck, Ryder Korczak and Matt Robertson.

Flyers and Rangers management and coaches packed the pressbox to get the early-season look at their up-and-coming players. While John Tortorella and Peter Laviolette as well as Daniel Briere and Chris Drury observed the game from above, the AHL head coaches in the respective organizations patroled the bench, Ian Laperriere and Kris Knoblauch.

The game marked the PPL Center debuts for several young prospects of the Flyers who could potentially suit up for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms one day. Four of the 2023 draft-picks who dressed for Philadelphia are 18 years old including first-rounder Oliver Bonk who had an opportunity to be paired with one of the more experienced players in the Rookie Camp, Adam Ginning.

The two teams exchanged some tremendous chances in a fast-paced first period which also saw four power plays. Tyson Foerster was robbed from the left-dot on the power play on a scintillating denial by New York goaltender Dylan Garand who got to his right in time.

Flyers goaltender Nolan Maier was perhaps even better throughout the period with a number of strong stops among his 12 saves in the opening frame.

The return of hockey also brought the return of feistiness with Philadelphia’s Zayde Wisdom successfully scrapping with giant forward Matt Rempe who is 6’7″ and listed as nine inches taller than Wisdom. But the undersized Wisdom held his own in the brief and spirited scrap and successfully connected with Rempe despite the size disadvantage.

Matt Brown scored on the power play with 1:01 remaining in the first period on a setup from the right boards by Bobby Brink who connected with Denver Barkey behind the goal quickly finding Brown out in front. The Boston University product who is a camp invite with a Lehigh Valley Phantoms contract slammed home the power-play goal in his first-ever game at PPL Center. Brown joined the Phantoms at the end of last season but did not see game action.

The Rangers regrouped and took the lead in the second period with Karl Henriksson striking in the early seconds of the period on the power play pretty much by accident. His pass from the left boards deflected off a Flyers defender and took an unlucky bounce past Maier to even the score at 1-1. First-rounder Brennan Othmann earned the primary assist on the equalizer.

New York took its first lead of the night past the midway point of the contest when Dylan Rooroeck buried his chance from the slot with 4:54 left in the second period to put the Rangers ahead 2-1.

Philadelphia tied the score with just 31 seconds left in the second period on a strong assist by Jacob Gaucher on the end board finding Austin Ciernik in front for the tally. Adam Ginning began the sequence from the point that tied the game at 2-2 after 40 minutes.

The Rangers took the lead for good with 10:04 remaining in the third period  on Korczak’s goal from Brett Berard and Adam Sykora. And Robertson’s drive down ice glanced off the fingertips of Bobby Brink and into the empty-net with 1:02 left to finish the victory.

The Flyers and Rangers will meet again on Saturday night at PPL Center at 5:05 to conclude the Rookie Series. 2023 second-rounder Carson Bjarnsson is projected to receive the start between the pipes for Philadelphia.


1st 18:59 – PHI, M. Brown (D. Barkey, B. Brink) (PP) (1-0)

2nd 0:41 – NYR, K. Henriksson (B. Tohmann, M. Robertson) (PP) (1-1)
2nd 15:06 – NYR, D. Roobroeck (1-2)
2nd 19:29 – PHI, A. Ciernik (J. Gaucher, A. Ginning) (2-2)

3rd 9:56 – NYR, R. Korczak (B. Berard, A. Sykora) (2-3)
3rd 18:58 – NYR, M. Robertson (EN) (2-4)

PHI 13 9 12 = 34
NYR 12 7 7 = 26

PHI 1/4
NYR 1/4

PHI – N. Maier (23/26)
NYR – D. Garand (32/34)