Phantoms Shutout For First Time This Season

Saturday, November 28, 2015
The Phantoms simply spent too much time in their defensive zone tonight against Providence. Photo: Nina Weiss
As head coach Scott Gordon put it after the game, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms simply didn't have it tonight against the Providence Bruins. One night after playing a high-paced emotional 6-5 shootout win over rival Hershey, the Phantoms didn't give the home crowd at the PPL Center - a standing room only sellout of 8,423 fans - much to cheer about.

The 3-0 loss tonight marked the first time the Phantoms have been shutout this season. They had a few chances - most notably two hit posts by Jesper Pettersson and Davis Drewiske in the second period and an early 3rd period flurry that saw Pavel Padakin robbed of his first pro goal and the subsequent rebound by Danick Martel put just wide - but overall the Phantoms spent much of the night in their own zone.

The team has a few days to sit on this loss as they have a scheduled day off tomorrow and two practices this week before a return trip to Utica on Wednesday night. Post-game reaction from Tim Brent, Sam Morin and Scott Gordon after the jump.

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Saturday's Morning Skate 11/28

Kevin Sundher was playing well before his unfortunate injury in overtime Friday night. Photo: Nina Weiss
There was no shortage of action in last night's match up between rivals Lehigh Valley and Hershey. The two teams combined for 10 goals, which matched the scoring output of the rest of the Atlantic Division games last night combined.

Still, the Phantoms injuries continue to deplete the roster. Last night both defenseman Mark Alt and forward Kevin Sundher were lost to lower body injuries. Alt left in the 2nd period after a knee-on-knee collision by the Phantoms bench and never returned. Sundher went down in OT and his leg caught the post, causing him to spin around and appear to hyper extend his knee the opposite way it normally bends. Sundher had to be helped off the ice and wasn't putting any weight on his leg.

As a result, the Phantoms recalled forward Brandon Alderson from Reading (ECHL) and also signed forward Cam Reid to a professional tryout (PTO) from the Phantoms' ECHL affiliate. Both are expected to be in the lineup for Lehigh Valley tonight against Providence.

Atlantic Division Standings (through 11/27's games)

1. W-B/Scranton: 17 games played, 15-2-0-0 = 30 points (.882 PCT)
2. Bridgeport: 20 games played, 13-6-1-0 = 27 points (.675 PCT)
3. Hershey: 19 games played, 10-5-0-4 = 24 points (.632 PCT)
4. Springfield: 17 games played, 9-7-1-0 = 19 points (.559 PCT)
5. Lehigh Valley: 20 games played, 9-10-1-0 = 19 points (.475 PCT)
6. Hartford: 20 games played, 8-10-2-0 = 18 points (.450 PCT)
7. Portland: 16 games played, 7-9-0-0 = 14 points (.500 PCT)
8. Providence: 19 games played, 4-10-4-1 = 10 points (.342 PCT)

Phantoms Survive in Shootout Win over Hershey

Friday, November 27, 2015
Connor Knapp had an unorthodox win in his Phantoms debut tonight against Hershey.
The Phantoms and Bears combined for 10 goals in regulation, but it seemed neither team could find a game-winning goal in both the overtime and the shootout. After a scoreless overtime period sent the 5-5 game to the shootout, Phantoms goaltender Connor Knapp stood tall - stopping all five shots and getting just one goal from his teammates to hold on for the win.

Knapp was called up from Reading (ECHL) today and was thrown right into the lineup after Anthony Stolarz was injured Wednesday night in Utica. Stolarz, per Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon, got an MRI today and was waiting to confer with the doctors about a time-table for his return.

Post-game reaction from Taylor Leier and Connor Knapp after the jump, as well as a recap of a bunch of goals.

Phantoms Frozen By Comets on Thanksgiving Eve

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
As evidenced by this in-game action shot, it was a chippy game tonight in Utica. Photo: Nina Weiss
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms were unable to get much going in Utica tonight. A four-goal second period for the Comets, including three in a span of 3:24, broke open the game in a 7-1 blowout of the Phantoms on Thanksgiving Eve

The biggest news of the game comes in the form of an apparent injury Anthony Stolarz suffered in the 1st period of the game. Stolarz appeared to be fine after some late period contact in his crease, finishing the first period before Martin Ouellette led the the team out for the second period. Ouellette saw his first AHL action of the season, playing the remaining 40 minutes and while he allowed six goals tonight it's hard to blame him for the outcome. The Phantoms' team defense hung him out to dry.

Aaron Palushaj scored the Phantoms' lone goal off a forced turnover by Danick Martel. The Phantoms four-game road swing is over with a 2-2 record during their time away from home. Lehigh Valley returns to action Friday night at the PPL Center against Atlantic Division rival Hershey.

Phantoms Prevail Over Providence With Three-Goal Third Period

Sunday, November 22, 2015
Phantoms were back in Providence to finish off a three-game weekend.
Editor's Note: I hope everyone enjoyed my coverage of the Phantoms this weekend on the three-game trip to the Northeast. Would you like to see the coverage of the team while they're on the road continue? Please lend a helping hand to keep me providing live coverage of the team while they're on the road this season by making a secure donation to my GoFundMe page.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms finished off a successful three-game weekend with a big 5-2 win over the Providence Bruins Sunday afternoon.

The Phantoms jumped ahead to a 1-0 lead on Sam Morin's 1st career professional goal, and after the PBruins twice tied things up the Phantoms broke the 2-2 tie with three third period goals - including an empty netter by Petr Straka (his 6th straight game with a goal).

Post-game reaction from Scott Gordon and Tim Brent after the jump.