|Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
ALLENTOWN - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (34-17-3) have crept up to within eight points of first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (38-15-3) with two games in hand on the Penguins and seven head-to-head meetings left - continuing March 8th at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
While they've tightened the gap in the Atlantic, third and fourth place are now closing in as well. In fact, the Phantoms are no longer in 2nd place in the division.
Providence, with the pair of regulation wins over Bridgeport and a shutout of Springfield Sunday, moved up to 2nd place in the division - four points behind first place Penguins and two points ahead of third place Lehigh Valley while also having played two more games than the Phantoms.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers went on a seven-game win streak before a pair of one-goal losses to the Providence Bruins over the weekend. Despite a win Sunday against Hershey, the Sound Tigers are fighting for their playoff lives currently in the 4th and final playoff spot in the division - three points ahead of Hershey with two games in hand on the Bears.
The Philadelphia Flyers have seen their top minor league affiliate miss the postseason seven consecutive seasons and while qualifying for the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is anything but a guarantee in an Atlantic Division that currently boasts the five best teams in the Eastern Conference, this year's Phantoms team has not only the confidence but the will and determination to make the 2016-17 campaign one to remember for hockey fans in the Lehigh Valley.