Phantoms Close Out Preseason With 2-1 Loss to Albany

Saturday, October 4, 2014
Phantoms home opener is October 17th vs. Adirondack.
In a scrappy preseason game at the PPL Center, the Albany Devils held onto a 2-1 lead to end the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' preseason schedule on a losing note. The next time the puck drops for the Phantoms - Saturday, October 11th in Wilkes-Barre - will mark the start of the 2014-15 regular season.

The offensive pressure was there for the Phantoms tonight, but credit Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood with some keys saves (28 on 29 shots) to help preserve the win for Albany.

The Phantoms had the edge in play to begin tonight's contest - drawing a penalty 4:43 into the opening period - but were unable to muster much offense on the power play. The play also resulted in the first fight of the preseason for the Phantoms as 6-4 Zack Stortini had his way with Brandon Burlon after Burlon crosschecked Petr Straka.

After a Brandon Manning slashing minor, the Albany Devils took a 1-0 lead with a late power play goal. Roman Hrabarenka corralled the rebound of a Tim Sestito shot and beat Rob Zepp with 10 seconds left on the man advantage. Burlon added an assist on the play at 15:10.

The physical play continued in a second period dominated by post-whistle confrontations and some fantastic saves from goaltenders Rob Zepp (Phantoms) and Scott Wedgewood (Devils). Both teams traded chances, but the netminders were up to the task in the middle frame.

The Phantoms started to generate consistent offensive pressure in the tail end of the second period, with the top line of Andrew Gordon, Scott Laughton and Tayloe Leier leading the way. You could see the chemistry forming between the trio and it should be a sign of good things to come this upcoming season - the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' first year as an AHL franchise.

Albany cashed in on their 2nd power play goal of the evening to take a 2-0 lead in the third period - a lead they would not surrender.

The Phantoms cut the lead in half at 2-1 after a nice bank pass in the neutral zone from Brandon Manning connected with Mark Alt in stride. Alt sprung himself down the wing and centered to an open Kevin Goumas for a pretty tap-in goal with 10:04 left in regulation. Unfortunately for the Phantoms, that would be as close as they would get as the Devils held on for the 2-1 preseason win.


1st Period

4:43: ALB - (PP) Brandon Burlon, minor (crosschecking)
4:43: ALB - Brandon Burlon, major (fighting)
4:43: LV - Zack Stortini, major (fighting)
13:20: LV - (PP) Brandon Manning, minor (slashing)
15:10: ALB - Raman Hrabarenka (2) PPG - Tim Sestito, Brandon Burlon 
18:28: LV - (PP) Zack Stortini, minor (boarding)

2nd Period

2:43: LV - (PP) Oliver Lauridsen, minor (crosschecking)
16:11 ALB - (PP) Graham Black, minor (hooking)

3rd Period

2:23: LV - (PP) Petr Straka, minor (highsticking)
2:31: ALB - Graham Black (1) PPG - Joe Whitney, Brandon Burlon
4:00: ALB - (PP) Reece Scarlett, minor (hooking)
8:06: LV - Oliver Lauridsen, minor (unsportsmanlike)
8:06: ALB - Alexandre Carrier, minor (unsportsmanlike)
9:56: LV - Kevin Goumas (1) - Mark Alt, Brandon Manning
18:32: LV - (PP) Brandon Manning, minor (boarding)
19:18: ALB - (PP) Joe Whitney, minor (holding)

Phantoms Power Play: 0-for-4
Phantoms Penalty Kill: 3-for-5


Rob Zepp got the start in net for the Phantoms (26 saves on 28 shots) and was backed up by Anthony Stolarz.

Scratches: Martin Ouellette, Connor Knapp, Steven Deslisle, Andrew Johnston, Matt Hatch, Maxim Lamarche, Chris Vandevelde, Derek Mathers and Jay Rosehill.






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