Phantoms Crunched By Syracuse 6-1

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Phantoms drop their fourth straight game in blowout fashion to Syracuse tonight.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms were up against it tonight from the opening face-off on through to the final horn - falling behind 2-0 for the fourth straight game and losing their fourth in a row in an ugly 6-1 blowout loss to the Syracuse Crunch, eerily similar to last Saturday night's loss to Worcester.

It's been the same old story for Lehigh Valley these last four games after a three-game win streak gave hope of a push towards the postseason. Tonight's loss leaves the Phantoms with just 12 games left to make up a 10-point deficit on 8th place Springfield (idle tonight).

Post-game player reaction from Brett Hextall after the jump.

GAME PREVIEW: Phantoms Host Crunch at 7:05 p.m. ET

Darroll Powe (left) and Austin Fyten (right) are the latest additions to the Phantoms' injured list.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (29-27-6-1) enter the final four weeks of the regular season 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and while they have three games in hand on current 8th place Springfield, 9th place Worcester is only one point behind Springfield with the same number of games played (63) as the Phantoms.

They have their work cut out for them with three games this week against three of the top four teams in the conference to close out the month of March, starting tonight at home against the Syracuse Crunch.

Up Next:

Wednesday (3/25) vs. Syracuse at 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday (3/28) vs. W-B/Scranton at 7:05 p.m. ET
Sunday (3/29) vs. Manchester at 3:05 p.m. ET

Follow all of tonight's action between the Phantoms and Crunch with live in-game updates on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock_TCG and stay tuned here online after the game for a full recap complete with post-game player reaction from the locker room.

After the jump, a preview of both teams and the latest Lehigh Valley Phantoms roster news/notes. 

Penguins Shutout Phantoms 3-0 To Conclude Three-Game Weekend

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Phantoms playoff hopes fading fast after third straight loss.
It feels like it's been the same old story for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms all weekend long. Fall behind 2-0 despite largely outplaying their opponent and unable to recover.

Tonight against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Phantoms came out firing - registering the first eight shots on goal and heading to the first intermission in a scoreless tie.

The tides turned in the middle frame and two Penguins goals 63 seconds apart proved to be the difference. First, it was Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos picking a corner on Phantoms goaltender Rob Zepp 11:15 into the 2nd period. Then, on the next shift, Bobby Farnham picked up a nicely placed chip into the zone by Brian Dumoulin and blasted a slap shot past Zepp.

The Phantoms out shot the Penguins 14-2 in the third period but were unable to get one past the brick wall that is Matt Murray, who recorded his 10th shutout of the season making 32 saves in the game. Scott Harrington added an empty net goal with 0.8 seconds left to cap the scoring at 3-0.

Post-game thoughts from Taylor Leier and Brett Hextall after the jump.

Shark Attack: Worcester Hands Lehigh Valley 6-1 Loss

Saturday, March 21, 2015
A disappointing end to the Phantoms' five-game road trip.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms knew coming into this three-game weekend that it was crucial for their push towards the postseason to pick up some wins and that it was going to be no easy task. After a disappointing final result last night in Hartford that had you thinking the score could have gone the other way with a bounce or two, there was no way around tonight's 6-1 loss to Worcester.

The Phantoms fell behind early much like Friday night in Hartford, except tonight their opponent didn't lay off the pressure and continued to capitalize on Lehigh Valley's mistakes. It seemed anytime the Phantoms made a mistake, the Sharks were there to capitalize.

After the jump, some interesting post-game player reactions from Brandon Manning, Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier.

All three were asked the same question, and all three had something a little different to say when asked about how the team re-focuses on their 5-hour overnight bus ride home to Allentown before they take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Sunday evening at 5 p.m. ET.

Cole Bardreau Making Good First Impression With Lehigh Valley

Cole Bardreau has played well in his first two games at the pro-level in AHL with the Phantoms.
The Philadelphia Flyers made a splash in the annual post-deadline college free agency period where you sometimes see undrafted college hockey players signed to professional contracts. The Flyers added the ECAC's Defensive Forward of the Year - a four-year player at Cornell University - to an entry level deal that kicks in next season.

While not the biggest guy on the ice - listed at 5-10, 194 pounds - Cole Bardreau has come in and played well in his pro debut with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms - skating two days at practice during the week with the team and impressing the coaching staff.

"If he was out of place, I wouldn't have played him," Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said of Bardreau, adding, "I got a look at him in two days of practice and he's skating and he looks very comfortable so I gave him an opportunity to go out and play."

Friday night in Hartford, Bardreau played an effective two-way game - getting in on the forecheck in a bottom six role while also tallying his first pro goal on a net-front deflection.