Lehigh Valley Wins 2-1 to End Bruins 11-Game Home Win Streak
March 13, 2015
Providence, RI – Rookie Scott Laughton scored in the third round of the shootout for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms who prevailed at Providence 2-1 on Friday night. Rob Zepp stole the show with 33 saves to hold off the Bruins’ attack. Lehigh Valley ended an 11-game home-ice win streak for Providence who had not lost at the Dunkin Donuts Center in over two months.
Adam Comrie scored a huge goal for the Phantoms late in the first period on his 5-on-3 power-play blast that knocked the water bottle with just 1.1 seconds showing on the clock. His tally came just a couple of minutes after a Colin Stuart deflection goal of a Steve Eminger shot on a Providence power play.
It was the 20th game of the season to be decided in overtime or shootout for the Phantoms, 2nd most in the AHL trailing only the St. John’s IceCaps who played past regulation on 21 occasions. The Phantoms are now 6-1 in shootouts and are 13-7 overall when tied at the end of 60 minutes (including a 7-6 record in overtime verdicts). More recently, the Phantoms have had even more frequent late-night dramatics having now gone to overtime or shootout in eight out of the last 13 contests.
Lehigh Valley is 2-0 in the early proceedings of their five-game away-swing and now appear to be road warriors as well with a stellar 5-1 performance in their last six occasions away from home. The Phantoms are an impressive 10-4 on the road since the calendar turned to 2015.
The Bruins raced off to a quick start in the game with a 6-0 shots advantage but Zepp was ready from the start and made several fine stops. Eventually, the Phantoms defense would buckle down and would limit the Bruins chances as the game seemed to be clogged up in various stretches without as much action. The Phantoms had a tough time getting their offense going through much of the night with a season-low 17 shots on goal in regulation including only six shots in the first and then just four drives in the second period.
Everything changed late in the third as the pace picked up. The Phantoms seemed to have finally worn down the tenacious guarding of the Providence Bruins with Lehigh Valley pushing on some of their best chances. Somehow the game would remain without any further scoring leading to yet another opportunity for overtime heroism.
Jason Akeson almost scored his second overtime goal in about a week but his drive clanged off the iron and away.
Scott Laughton’s score at the beginning of the third period was the only conversion for either side. Rookie talent Alexander Khoklachev had an opportunity to equalize in the third period but, after inducing Rob Zepp to commit and go down, his drive rang off the post to secure the Phantoms’ victory.
Lehigh Valley improved to 28-24-7 overall with 63 points in their efforts to claw their way back into playoff positioning in the stretch run of the 2014-15 regular season. The Providence Bruins moved to 32-20-9 with the conclusion of their five-game win streak and 11-game home-ice win streak.
The Bruins outshot the Phantoms 34-22. Both teams finished 1-for-3 on the power play. Lehigh Valley finished the season series with Providence with a 1-1 mark.
The Phantoms’ five-game road-swing continues Saturday at the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Be sure to catch each of Lehigh Valley’s next five games on Fox 1470 AM, online at www.fox1470.com or via the iHeartRadio app. Coverage begins at 6:20 p.m. with the Nazareth Pallet Countdown to Faceoff. Next week, the Phantoms are at the Hartford Wolf Pack and Worcester Sharks on Friday and Saturday in a pair of key Eastern Conference playoff-hopeful showdowns.
The Phantoms return to downtown Allentown on Sunday, March 22nd at 5:05 p.m. when they welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to town for another Pennsylvania rivalry encounter. Sunday’s contest features a FREE youth street hockey stick giveaway for the first 3,000 kids in attendance ages 14 and under. A limited number of tickets for Lehigh Valley’s next home game are available now at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX (8499) or in person at the Mealey’s Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (701 Hamilton).
Check it out! Reserve your season tickets now for the 2015-2016 season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town call the Phantoms front office today at 610-224-GOAL (4625)!
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2 (SO) at Providence Bruins 1
Friday, March 13, 2015 – Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Lehigh Valley 1 0 0 0 – 2
Providence 1 0 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Providence, Stuart 13 (Eminger, Khokhlachev), 17:06 (PP). 2, Lehigh Valley, Comrie 4 (Akeson, Gordon), 19:58 (PP). Penalties-Comrie Lv (tripping), 0:52; Hextall Lv (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:37; Florek Pro (slashing), 19:19; Sexton Pro (hooking), 19:44.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Cousins Lv (cross-checking), 4:56.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Randell Pro (tripping), 8:37.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Lehigh Valley 1 (Cousins NG, Akeson NG, Laughton G), Providence 0 (Phillips NG, Griffith NG, Khokhlachev NG).
Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 6-4-7-4-1-22. Providence 13-10-7-4-0-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 1 / 3; Providence 1 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Zepp 17-11-1 (34 shots-33 saves). Providence, Smith 16-8-2 (21 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Kendrick Nicholson (44).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Todd Whittemore (70).
Upcoming Home Games:
Sunday, March 22, 2015 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 5:05 PM
(Youth Street Hockey Stick Giveaway (first 3,000 kids ages 14 and under)! Charities Night!)
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Syracuse Crunch vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
($2 Beer Night! $2 Coors Light drafts available from the time doors open until the start of the 2nd period.)
Saturday, March 28, 2015 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7:05 PM
(Faith Night! Post-Game Concert!)
Sunday, March 29, 2015 Manchester Monarchs at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 3:05 PM
(Post-Game Skate with the Players! Legends Day and Poster Giveaway featuring Brian Boucher!)
In their 19th season of operation, the Phantoms are currently in the midst of their Inaugural Season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms playing at the brand-new PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum before re-locating to Glens Falls, New York in 2009 where the team spent the next five seasons as the Adirondack Phantoms. A new era of Phantoms hockey began in the fall of 2014 when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms began play at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Through 18 incredibly successful campaigns, the Phantoms have captured two Calder Cup Championships (1998, 2005), two Conference Championships (1998, 2005), two Regular Season Titles (1996-97, 1997-98) and four Division Championships (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2003-04).