Attard and Desnoyers Also Strike in 3-2 Win
November 12, 2022
Lehigh Valley, PA – Cam York would probably like to play the Laval Rocket all season long if he had his choice. For the second time in eight days, York scored a late winner to defeat the Rocket 3-2, this time in regulation at PPL Center on Saturday night. Last week, York scored in overtime in a 3-2 win north of the border in Laval, Quebec.
Lehigh Valley (5-5-1) swept their weekend homestead and extended their win streak to three games, all of which were one-goal nailbiters. The youth movement found the net in this one with Ronnie Attard (3rd) and Elliot Desnoyers (4th) also scoring for the Phantoms while Sam Ersson (31 saves) picked up his third straight win as well.
The packed house of 8,472 at PPL Center on 90’s Night and Scout Night also marked the team’s second sellout of the season. The raucous contingent enjoyed their favorite 90’s tunes like La Macarena and even got a strong wave going across the building during the first period.
Laval (3-7-3) had goals from prospects Justin Barron and Jesse Ylonen with a pair of power-play conversions in the third period in a comeback effort that fell short. Barron hit the post with 6:30 left as he almost equalized the score again. The Phantoms had to scratch and claw to the finish line as they killed off almost four minutes of Laval having an extra man at the end of the game with the Rocket receiving a power play and then pulling their goalie for an extra attacker. Kevin Connatuon, Ronnie Attard and Zayde Wisdom all had key blocks and plays in the exciting finish that resembled the hard-fought 6-on-5 at the end of Friday’s 2-1 win over Springfield. The task was even more challenging with the Phantoms playing the last period and a half with only five defensemen after rAdam Karashik departed with an injury.
The Phantoms struck for the opening tally just four minutes into the game on a Ronnie Attard blast off the post from the top of the right circle that caromed in past Laval goalie Cayden Primeau, son of former Flyers captain Keith Primeau. Attard’s drive was set up on a nice drop by Jackson Cates after Zayde Wisdom held the line to keep the puck in the zone. Wisdom has four assists in the last four games.
Ersson was on top of his game with 10 saves in the first to protect the lead and was even stronger in the second period with 14 more denials to thwart the Laval attack.
The Phantoms extended their advantage less than five minutes into the second period on their second shorthanded goal of the year. With Laval backing off due to a delayed offside and also trying to sneak in a line change, Louie Belpedio saw the opportunity to connect with Desnoyers waiting on the opposite blue line and away from the benches. The Rocket gaffe allowed Desnoyers to waltz in with Garrett Wilson with a surprising 2-on-1. Desnoyers took the shot himself to eat Primeau for his team-leading fourth goal of the season. It was also the team’s second shorthanded goal of the year. Max Willman scored the team’s first shortie back in the home opening weekend against Cleveland. Cam York received an assist on the play as well for the first of his two points on the night.
Laval rallied in the third with a pair of power-play goals. Justin Barron’s drive from center-point less than 2:30 into the final frame finally got the Rocket on the board. He beat Ersson to the stick side just inside the left-wing post. Then Ylonen had a slam dunk on the back door on a cross-slot pass by Xavier Simoneau less than eight minutes into the final frame.
The Rocket had taken momentum in the game with their two-goal rally to tie the score, but the game remained even for only 90 seconds.
O’Reilly had a pick-off to send Cooper Marody zipping up the right wing with a 2-on-1. O’Reilly shot was punched away by the blocker of Primeau but York was there to offer a second try from the left circle through some chaos and bodies to put the Phantoms back on top. York’s third goal of the season was also his team-leading ninth point of the year.
But it wasn’t over yet. Justin Barron had a chance with 6:30 left but his blast hit the iron. Some other big blocks were needed in the last four minutes to prevent Laval from scoring another man-advantage marker. The Phantoms made it to the finish and hung on for the hard-earned 3-2 win.
The Phantoms open a stretch of four away games on Friday at the first-place Providence Bruins where Lehigh Valley will play two games. The next home game is Saturday, November 26 against the Rochester Americans featuring a Postgame Skate with the Phantoms players.
1st 4:02 – LV R. Attard (3) (J. Cates, Z. Wisdom) 1-0
2nd 4:50 – LV E. Desnoyers (4) (L. Belpedio, C. York) (SH) 2-0
3rd 2:22 – LAV J. Barron (3) (R. Harvey-Pinard, X. Simoneau) (PP) 2-1
3rd 7:08 – J. Ylonen (4) (X. Simoneau, R. Pitlick) (PP) 2-2
3rd 8:38 – C. York (3) (C. Marody, C. O’Reilly) 3-2
LV 25 – LAV 33
LV 0/5, LAV 2/7
LV: S. Ersson (W) (3-4-1) (31/33)
LAV: C. Primeau (L (2-4-2) (22/25)
Lehigh Valley (5-5-1)
Upcoming Schedule –
Saturday, November 12 (7:05) vs. Laval Rocket – 90’s Night! Saturday Night Hockey Live
Friday, November 18 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Saturday, November 19 (7:05) at Providence Bruins
Sunday, November 20 (3:05) at Springfield Thunderbirds
Friday, November 25 (7:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Saturday, November 26 (7:05) vs. Rochester Americans – POSTGAME SKATE WITH PHANTOMS PLAYERS!