Samu Style Rings in 2024

Two for Tuomaala in Overtime Win at Wilkes-Barre

January 6, 2024

Wilkes-Barre, PA – The fantastic rookie season for right wing Samu Tuomaala took yet another step forward as the talented 20-year-old blasted home his second overtime goal of the season in a 4-3 comeback win at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night. Tuomaala (9th, 10th) scored a pair of goals including a vital tally in the third period when Lehigh Valley trailed 3-1. The winner was Tuomaala’s second overtime goal of the season along with a November 3 strike against the Hartford Wolf Pack at PPL Center.

Lehigh Valley (14-13-15) improved to 4-4 in overtime games and also received goals from Ronnie Attard (7th), who tied the game barely more than a minute after Tuomaala started the comeback push, and Cooper Marody (9th) who scored in the first period. Louie Belpedio offered nice setups on both Tuomaala goals in the third period and in the overtime. Tuomaala recorded his first career two-goal game.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (17-12-4) opened the scoring in the first meeting of the season between the Keystone State rivals when Matt Filipe (4th) deflected a Jack St. Ivany point shot for a 1-0 lead with 7:41 remaining in the first period.

The Phantoms counted on Marody’s goal at the doorstep after Olle Lycksell rushed up the left wing and carried deep to set up his linemate for the point-blank slam past Magnus Hellberg.

The Penguins took the lead again late in the second period off a faceoff win when Ty Smith set up Alex Nylander (12th) at the top of the right circle who snapped a shot that beat Felix Sandstrom on the short side past the glove with 3:03 left in the second period to provide Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 2-1 lead at the second break.

Lehigh Valley was down 3-1 with 16:10 left when a St. Ivany point shot bounced off traffic in front of traffic and over to an open Peter Abbandonato (6th) in the left circle who scored before Sandstrom could recover to his right.

But the Phantoms weren’t done and showed similar resilience to what they offered in several of their impressive comebacks a season ago.

Belpedio connected with Tuomaala flying up the right wing who offered a rocket to the upper-far corner past the shoulder of Hellberg rattling around the top of the cage with 11:28 remaining to pull the Phantoms back to within a goal.

Barely more than a minute later, it was Attard from close to the same spot who also scored to the upper-left corner after some wizardry in the middle by J.R. Avon whose behind-the-back pass in the high slot set up the tying drive. Jacob Gaucher began the sequence with a win of the puck on the forecheck. Attard’s equalizer with 10:16 remaining made it 3-3.

Avon almost put the Phantoms ahead with 6:05 to go but his open opportunity in the high slot was barely fought off by Hellberg who got a piece of it with the edge of the glove.

After a pair of saves for Sandstrom to open the overtime, Lehigh Valley finally secured the puck with an out-of-breath Olle Lycksell neatly fighting off the pressure to maintain possession. Belpedio received a drop from Marody and looked like he might be ready to try for his third career overtime goal with the Phantoms. But the sharp, puck-moving defenseman instead opted to pass from the high slot over to an open Tuomaala in the left circle who rocketed home the winner into the upper-corner on the short side, again past the right shoulder of Hellberg.

The Phantoms are 3-0 in overtime games since December 13 (not including one shootout loss at Charlotte on December 22) with extra-period winners by Ronnie Attard, Tanner Laczynski and Samu Tuomaala.

Tuomaala becomes the first Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward to score two overtime goals in a single season. Four other Lehigh Valley players with two overtime goals in a season are all defensemen (Louie Belpedio, Andy Welinski, T.J. Brennan, Brandon Manning).

The Phantoms return to action Sunday at 3:00 p.m. at the first-place Hershey Bears.

1st 12:19 – WBS, M. Filipe (4) (J. St. Ivany, C. Andonovski) (0-1)
1st 13:58 – LV, C. Marody (9) (O. Lycksell) (1-1)

2nd 16:57 – WBS, A. Nylander (12) (T. Smith, V. Hinostroza) (1-2)

3rd 3:50 – WBS, P. Abbandonato (6) (J. St. Ivany, A. Rueschhoff) (1-3)
3rd 8:32 – LV, S. Tuomaala (9) (L. Belpedio) (2-3)
3rd 9:44 – LV, R. Attard (6) (J. Avon, J. Gaucher) (3-3)

OT 1:30 – LV, S. Tuomaala (10) (L. Belpedio, C. Marody (4-3)

LV 33 – WBS 28

LV 0/2, WBS 0/3

LV – F. Sandstrom (W) (25/28) (5-3-2)
WBS – M. Hellberg (OTL) (29/33) (5-5-1)

Lehigh Valley (14-13-5)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (17-12-4)

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

RING IN 2024
The Phantoms have pair of home games the following weekend and fans can Ring in 2024 with a 2-for-24 special for either night. The Phantoms host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday, January 12 and then take on the rival Hershey Bears on Saturday, January 13.

Sunday, January 7 (3:00) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hershey Bears

Friday, January 12 (7:05) – Hartford Wolf Pack at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, January 13 (7:05) – Hershey Bears at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Valley Youth House Night presented by Air Products

Wednesday, January 17 (7:05) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Rochester Americans
Friday, January 19 (7:00) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Cleveland Monsters
Saturday, January 20 (7:00) – Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Cleveland Monsters