Phantoms Sweep St. John's Following Shootout Win

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Phantoms/IceCaps from Mile One Centre Wednesday night. Photo courtesy Scott Walsh (@scottwalsh_)
Lehigh Valley steals four points in franchise's final visit to Newfoundland

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook


The story of the 2016-17 season for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms continued to ring ever true this week for the team's pair of games in St. John's, Newfoundland.

In back-to-back nights, the Phantoms found themselves trailing late in regulation. On Tuesday night, it was a 4-0 deficit late in the second period turned into a 5-4 overtime win. Wednesday night, the Phantoms trailed 2-1 into the final 90 seconds of regulation.

It doesn't seem to matter the score or circumstances. The Phantoms simply find ways to win games and at this time of year, that's all that matters.

A big part of the reason why Lehigh Valley earned two points tonight was the play in net by Anthony Stolarz, earning starts in back-to-back nights - stopping 42 of the 44 shots he faced plus all four shooters he saw in the shootout.

Corban Knight tallied the lone shootout goal in the bottom half of the fourth round to give the Phantoms the 3-2 win in the shootout, setting up another battle for first place when Lehigh Valley hosts Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday night.
Phantoms' Playoff Update - The Phantoms' shootout win Wednesday night gives Lehigh Valley a pair of wins to start the week with a pair of home games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport looming this weekend on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The Phantoms currently trail the first place Penguins by one point. Elsewhere in the division, Hershey took care of Binghamton to remain three points behind the Phantoms in third place. Bridgeport held on and defeated Albany 3-1 to move into a tie for fourth place with 81 points.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' magic number to clinch a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is currently at 16 points. You can also keep track of the playoff races in the AHL's daily Playoff Primer.

Game 65 Preview: Lehigh Valley at St. John's

Photo courtesy Scott Walsh (@scottwalsh_)
Editor's Note - I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the St. John's IceCaps, live from Highland Park Hockey HQ!
The puck drops at 6:00 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following along on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock and Facebook (like the Facebook page!) for all the latest updates and information. 
Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action. Don't forget to subscribe to Highland Park Hockey's YouTube channel for post-game interviews with players.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (41-19-4) are in Newfoundland, Canada for a pair of games in St. John's against the IceCaps this week and will look for the clean sweep after last night's improbable comeback from a 4-0 deficit.

St. John's is still playing good hockey, and was largely noticeable in the opening 40 minutes of Tuesday night's game against the Phantoms as well. In the heat of the North Division's playoff race clinging on to the fourth and final playoff position, The IceCaps won't be an easy out heading down the stretch.

For Lehigh Valley, the Phantoms are looking to continue to chip away at their magic number to clinch the franchise's first Calder Cup Playoffs berth - down to 18 points with 12 games left entering Tuesday's game with the IceCaps.

After the jump, a full preview of everything you need to know in advance of tonight's game.

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Shocker in St. John's - Phantoms Win 5-4 in OT

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Photo courtesy Scott Walsh (@scottwalsh_)
Five unanswered goals leads Lehigh Valley past St. John's

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (41-19-4) pulled off the unthinkable Tuesday night in Newfoundland, Canada at the Mile One Centre in St. John's - the eastern most point on the North American continent.

Down 4-0 to the St. John's IceCaps (31-25-8-1) late in the second period, Travis Sanheim nudged a puck from the left-wing to the inside of the left-wing face-off circle to Cole Bardreau for a quick shot past IceCaps goaltender Charlie Lindgren with 1:00 left before the second intermission.

Not only did Bardreau's 9th of the season break snap the shutout, but it gave the Phantoms life heading into the final frame. Though it wasn't known at the time in a 4-1 game, Bardreau's goal proved to be the turning point.

The Phantoms went on to tally five unanswered goals - scoring three in the third period and one in overtime to complete the comeback and defeat the IceCaps 5-4.

Max Lamarche took a pass from Sanheim at the right point and his attempted shot on net deflected off of an IceCaps forward and blooped in with 12:15 left in regulation to make it a 4-2 game.
Just over four minutes later, Nicolas Aube-Kubel made it a one-goal game - deflecting Sam Morin's point shot in past Lindgren with 8:06 left in regulation.

The Phantoms forced overtime on a game-tying goal from T.J. Brennan one-timer from the right point with 1:44 left to play - the defenseman's 19th of the season. Brennan, who began his QMJHL career with the St. John's Fog Devils in 2006, wasn't finished there either.

After IceCaps' leading scorer Chris Terry took a frustration penalty in the final minute of regulation on a hit away from the play on Taylor Leier at the team benches, Lehigh Valley began overtime with a 4-on-3 power play - their 4th of the night.

It didn't take long - just 34 seconds into the extra session - for the Phantoms' power play to cash in and complete the comeback in thrilling fashion. It was Brennan again lighting the lamp, taking a pass at the left-wing circle from Andy Miele and firing one home to give the Phantoms two points heading into tomorrow night's rematch against St. John's.
Phantoms' Playoff Update - The Phantoms' come from behind overtime win in St. John's provides an important two points in the standings, extending their lead over idle third place Hershey to three points with also one game in hand on the Bears. The only other Atlantic Division team in action Tuesday night was the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who took care of Hartford 5-2 and maintain their three-point lead over the Phantoms for first place in the division.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' magic number to clinch a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is currently at 18 points. You can also keep track of the playoff races in the AHL's daily Playoff Primer.

Game 64 Preview: Lehigh Valley at St. John's

Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Editor's Note - I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the St. John's IceCaps, live from Highland Park Hockey HQ!
The puck drops at 6:00 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following along on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock and Facebook (like the Facebook page!) for all the latest updates and information. 
Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action. Don't forget to subscribe to Highland Park Hockey's YouTube channel for post-game interviews with players.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (40-19-4) are in Newfoundland, Canada for a pair of games in St. John's against the IceCaps starting Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. ET (7:30 NT).

The IceCaps are riding a four-game win streak entering tonight's game, making a push towards the postseason in the North Division - currently in the fourth and final spot one point ahead of fifth place Utica entering Tuesday night's games.

For Lehigh Valley, the Phantoms are looking to continue to chip away at their magic number to clinch the franchise's first Calder Cup Playoffs berth - down to 20 points with 13 games left entering Tuesday's game with the IceCaps.

After the jump, a full preview of everything you need to know in advance of tonight's game.

Phantoms' Playoff Update - The Phantoms enter Tuesday's game three points behind the first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Behind the Penguins and Phantoms are three teams - Providence, Bridgeport and Hershey - in the middle of a dog fight for one of four playoff positions atop the Atlantic Division. 

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' magic number to clinch a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is currently at 20 points. You can also keep track of the playoff races in the AHL's daily Playoff Primer.

The Great Escape - Lehigh Valley Leaves Wilkes-Barre With Win

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms hang on for 3-2 win over rival Penguins

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

WILKES-BARRE - Coming off a 4-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins less than 24 hours prior, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms knew that another regulation loss to the Penguins probably meant their hopes of nabbing the top spot in the Atlantic Division for the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs would be an unrealistic mindset to have.

After all, sitting at five points behind the Pens for first place entering Saturday night's game at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza the proverbial four-point game changes things regardless of the outcome. The difference between seven points back and three points back is monumental.

Luckily for Lehigh Valley, an opportunistic Phantoms team took an early 3-0 lead into the third period and held on for dear life in the final frame - escaping the Penguins' relentless attack and holding on for a 3-2 win to cap the weekend series with a split against the Pens.

Anthony Stolarz was a big part of the Phantoms' ability to stay in front as he stopped 37 of the 39 shots he faced in what was just his second start in the team's last eight games. Lehigh Valley got goals from Tyrell Goulbourne, Reece Willcox and Danick Martel in the win but it was a special night for Taylor Leier who returned to the lineup after missing the last 19 games with lingering symptoms of a concussion he said occurred in the games leading up to the AHL All-Star Classic.

Full recap of tonight's game complete with post-game reaction from head coach Scott Gordon along with video interviews with goaltender Anthony Stolarz and forward Taylor Leier.

Phantoms' Playoff Update - The Phantoms' regulation win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton cuts the gap to first place down to five points with 13 games remaining in the regular season. Elsewhere in the Atlantic Division, no outside help for Lehigh Valley as all three of the other teams in the playoff race - Providence, Hershey and Bridgeport - all won to keep pace in the division.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' magic number to clinch a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is currently at 22 points. You can also keep track of the playoff races in the AHL's daily Playoff Primer.