Laughton Preserves Phantoms Victory in Overtime

Saturday, October 25, 2014
Phantoms squander two-goal lead late, but prevail in overtime. Photo credit: Bob Howard - @PPPShow.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (4-1-0-0) showed resiliency and battle in a wild one at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena tonight against the Binghamton Senators.

The Phantoms saw themselves up 4-2 late in the third period, but with BSens goaltender Andrew Hammond off for the extra attacker in the final minute they rallied for two goals roughly nine seconds apart in the final 15 seconds to force overtime.

Luckily for the Phantoms, Scott Laughton finished the overtime with the game-winning goal with 1:20 left to give the Phantoms two points and a chance to sweep the weekend tomorrow evening in Hershey. Laughton was flying out there tonight and despite being on the ice at the end of the third period for both BSens goals, he was a difference maker tonight by all accounts. His ability to wheel the puck into the middle of the ice in the offensive zone and consistently create offense is impressive.

The big news from the game is the loss of Mark Alt, who left the game early in the first period. Phantoms head coach Terry Murray confirmed Alt will sit out tomorrow night, but wasn't sure about a call up from ECHL Reading when he addressed the media post-game.

It was not the best of starts for the Phantoms tonight against the BSens. Alt left the game after an awkward collision in the corner with BSens defenseman Alex Grant. Grant was whistled for tripping on the play with 14:08 left in the first period. Alt did not return to the game.

The Phantoms failed to score on the power play and surrendered a goal against after BSens forward Buddy Robinson took a hit to make a play, and his pass sprung Shane Prince to the net for his second of the season. Aaron Johnson also added an assist on the play 8:28 into the period.

Then, things got heated. A scrum after a whistle between Jesper Pettersson and Matt Puempel turned ugly when Zack Stortini came to the defense of his teammate and was met with resistance from BSens defenseman Michael Sdao. All four received fighting majors, but Stortini was assessed a game misconduct halfway through the first period.

That put the Phantoms down two players in the first ten minutes of the game and 1-0 on the scoreboard, but after killing off a Robert Hagg high-sticking minor the Phantoms evened the game at 1-1.

Pettersson got the puck across the point to his defense partner, Hagg, who took a shot that Hammond stopped. Nick Cousins pounced on the rebound and fired a quick shot past Hammond to even things with 1:51 left.

The Phantoms nearly took a 2-1 lead late in the opening period after several chances - most notably Andrew Gordon's rebound attempt from a bad angle in a flurry of shots - but Hammond made some big saves and sprung the BSens to a goal off the rush at the other end.

Buddy Robinson fed Chris Wideman entering the offensive zone and Wideman put a perfect pass on the tape of Jean-Gabriel Pageau for an easy back-door tap in to re-establish the BSens' lead at 2-1 with 34.9 left in the first frame.

The Phantoms got to their game in the second period and it showed, as they tallied three unanswered in the middle frame to take a 4-2 lead to the third.

First, it was Robert Hagg slapping a point shot through traffic and past Hammond to tie the game at 2-2 about halfway through the period. It was the Phantoms' 2nd power play goal of the night.

About two and a half minutes later, Andrew Gordon finished off a great individual effort from Scott Laughton to pull the Phantoms ahead. Laughton flew into the offensive zone, did a spin-o-rama at the top of the face-off circle and fed Gordon with a great pass, with which he made no mistake - tallying his 1st of the season.

The Phantoms took a 4-2 lead with 3:44 left in the 2nd after a great shift by the fourth line. Jay Rosehill fed Austin Fyten, whose quick shot eluded Hammond to break the game open.

Lehigh Valley looked well on their way to a 4-2 win with less than 20 seconds left, but that's why they play until the clock reads 0.0 on the scoreboard. Luckily for the Phantoms, they were able to come away with an overtime win.


1st Period

5:52: BNG - (PP) Grant, minor (tripping)
8:28: BNG - Prince (2) - Robinson, Johnson
9:30: LV - Stortini, major (fighting)
9:30: LV - Stortini, game misconduct (third man in)
9:30: BNG - Sdao, major (fighting)
9:30: LV - Pettersson, major (fighting)
9:30: BNG - Puempel, major (fighting)
10:29: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (high-sticking)
16:33: BNG - (PP) Sdao, minor (boarding)
18:09: LV - PPG - Cousins (2) - Hagg, Pettersson
19:25: BNG - Pageau (1) - Wideman, Robinson
19:44: LV - (PP) Manning, minor (boarding)

2nd Period

7:50: BNG - (PP) Sdao, minor (roughing)
9:25: LV - PPG - Hagg (1) - Pettersson, Cousins
12:01: LV - Gordon (1) - Laughton, Delisle
16:16: LV - Fyten (1) - Rosehill, Manning
17:08: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (roughing)

3rd Period

9:47: BNG - (PP) Mullen, minor (hooking)
15:12: LV - Laughton, minor (boarding)
15:12: BNG - Mullen, minor (unsportsmanlike)
19:45: BNG - D. Grant (2) - Puempel, Prince
19:54: BNG - D. Grant (3) - Prince


5:40: LV - Laughton (5) - Manning

ROSTER NOTES - Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Rob Zepp (36 saves - 40 shots) led the Phantoms out of the tunnel for warm ups for his 4th start of the season. The win put Zepp's personal record to 4-0. Anthony Stolarz backed him up and will get his 2nd pro start tomorrow in Hershey.

No changes on defense in terms of the personnel used, but the pairings were all re-configured.

Up front, Brett Hextall missed his second straight game with an upper body injury.

Petr Straka, who capped the Phantoms scoring surge last night, was out of the lineup. Coach Terry Murray confirmed Straka missed the game with an injury, but noted that he will take the morning skate with the team tomorrow and a decision will be made about his status for Sunday's game then.

With the opening in the lineup, forward Matt Hatch was recalled from the ECHL and made his 2014-15 Phantoms debut.


Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Andrew Gordon
Darroll Powe - Andrew Johnston - Brandon Alderson
Austin Fyten - Nick Cousins - Zack Stortini
Matt Hatch - Kevin Goumas - Jay Rosehill

Jesper Pettersson - Brandon Manning
Mark Alt - Oliver Lauridsen
Robert Hagg - Steven Delisle

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz


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