Rivalry Renewed - Phantoms Stun Penguins 5-2 in Season Opener

Saturday, October 11, 2014
The Penguins and Phantoms renewed their rivalry at Mohegan Sun Arena tonight in what was the season opener for both teams. Photo credit: @PensFans4Ever
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms started their season (and franchise) with a big win over rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tonight at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The Phantoms got ahead early and never looked back, adding two power play goals in the final three minutes to take the 5-2 win on what was opening night for both teams.

Chris Vandevelde led the Phantoms with two goals, while Nick Cousins and Brandon Alderson added a goal and an assist each. Rookies Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary tallied goals for the Penguins, while Dominik Uher added two assists in a losing effort.

The Phantoms (1-0) return home for their home opener next Friday night, while the Penguins (0-1) get right back at it tomorrow afternoon with a 4:05 p.m. ET face-off against the Manchester Monarchs.

The first period was more or less a feeling out process for both teams. Bobby Farnham and Darroll Powe dropped the gloves 12:39 into the frame, and it wasn't until after a Jayson Megna interference penalty late in the opening frame that the first goal was scored.

Robert Hagg's shot from the point was blocked down by the WBS penalty killers in front, but Petr Straka was able to find the loose puck and nudge it over to Vandevelde. Vandevelde caught Pens' netminder Jeff Zatkoff going the wrong way and fired a puck to the top right corner to put the Phantoms in front 1-0.

The Phantoms came out for the 2nd period with the decided edge in play. After a Taylor Chorney turnover from behind the WBS net, Brandon Alderson picked up a puck inside the left face-off circle and blasted a slap shot past Zatkoff to extend the Phantoms lead to 2-0 at the 7:50 mark of the middle frame.

The Phantoms weren't done there, scoring on their next shot to break open the game to a 3-0 lead. Mark Alt's shot from the point eluded Zatkoff amidst heavy traffic in front of the net, resulting in Penguins head coach John Hynes taking his timeout. Cousins and Hagg added assists on Alt's second period tally.

The Phantoms appeared to be taking a 3-0 lead into the third period, but the Penguins tallied a buzzer beater to cut the lead to 3-1. Bryan Rust fired a shot between the face-off circles that eluded Phantoms netminder Rob Zepp to get the Penguins on the board heading into the second intermission.

That's about as close as the Penguins would get, however, as the Phantoms quick-strike power play netted them two more goals - first from Cousins then Vandevelde's second of the game - late in the third period to break the game open at a 5-1 score.

The Penguins added a goal from Sheary with 57.3 left to make it 5-2 and that's how the game would end, but not before one final scrum in corner as time expired. These two teams will face each other 11 more times in the regular season, with the next meeting between the teams on October 29th at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa.


1st Period

4:19: WBS - (PP) Kostopoulos, minor (interference)
7:36: LV - Hextall, minor (holding)
7:36: WBS - Megna, minor (high-sticking)
12:39: LV - Powe, major (fighting)
12:39: WBS - Farnham, major (fighting)
17:26: WBS - (PP) Megna, minor (interference)
18:50: LV - (PPG) Vandevelde (1) - Straka, Hagg

2nd Period

7:50: LV - Alderson (1) - unassisted
9:11: LV - Alt (1) - Straka, Hagg
12:11: LV - (PP) Alderson, minor (hooking)
14:57: WBS - (PP) Leblond, minor (roughing)
14:57: WBS - Leblond, major (fighting)
14:57: WBS - Leblond, 10-minute misconduct
14:57: LV - Stortini, major (fighting)
14:57: WBS - McNeill, minor (unsportsmanlike)
14:57: LV - Manning, minor (unsportsmanlike)
19:59: WBS - Rust (1) - Uher, Goers

3rd Period

3:37: WBS - Ruopp, minor (roughing)
3:37: LV - Hextall, minor (unsportsmanlike)
10:53: LV - (PP) Goumas, minor (slashing)
16:39: WBS - (PP) Rust, minor (hooking)
17:06: LV - (PPG) Cousins (1) - Manning, Stortini
17:47: WBS - (PP) Farnham, minor (unsportsmanlike)
18:07: LV - (PPG) Vandevelde (2) - Alderson, Powe
18:07: WBS - Farnham, ten minute misconduct
19:02: WBS - Sheary (1) - Uher, Dumoulin
20:00: LV - Rosehill, ten minute misconduct
20:00: WBS - Uher, minor (cross-checking)
20:00: WBS - Uher, ten minute misconduct

ROSTER NOTES - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Jeff Zatkoff (15 saves - 20 shots) got the start in net for the Penguins, with Matt Murray backing him up.

Josh Archibald, who injured himself at the tail end of Friday's practice, was seen at the game with his shoulder in a sling.

Other scratches were Alex Boak, Nick D'Agostino, Tom Kuhnhackl and Adam Payerl




ROSTER NOTES - Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Rob Zepp (21 saves - 23 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms, with rookie Anthony Stolarz backing him up.

Scratches: Steven Deslisle and Austin Fyten





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