Jones, Leier & Manning Lead Phantoms Past Norfolk

Saturday, November 29, 2014
Brandon Manning extended his points scoring streak to eight games in the Phantoms win over Norfolk tonight.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms always seem to make things interesting in front of their home fans. They didn't disappoint tonight against Norfolk, using a three-goal burst in a span of 2:57 in the 2nd period to turn the tides of a 2-1 deficit into later a 4-3 win, holding off a furious barrage of Admirals pressure in the waning seconds to hold on for the two points.

Blair Jones continues to be a difference maker at the AHL level for the Phantoms (9-8-2-0), leading the way with two goals and an assist tonight while also picking up his first fight of the season. With tonight's performance, Jones is the first player in Lehigh Valley Phantoms history with a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Brandon Manning extended his points scoring streak to eight games with three assists tonight. Taylor Leier tallied a goal and an assist and now has power play tallies in each of his last three games. Anthony Stolarz bounced back after a rough outing in Atlantic City in last night with 35 saves tonight to pick up his second win of the season. Lots of good things coming out of the Philadelphia Flyers' top minor league affiliate tonight.

The Phantoms got to work right off the hop, taking a 1-0 lead on the Admirals 1:06 into the contest after hard work from Austin Fyten to follow his shot in a high-traffic area. He was rewarded for his troubles with a rebound goal - his 2nd of the season - to get things going for the home team.

After back-to-back power play chances for the Phantoms produced no extra offense, the Admirals evened things up with a power play goal of their own after a Jason Akeson slashing minor at 13:08 of the first period. Max Friberg won a puck battle in the corner and threw it out in front to a wide-open William Karlsson in the slot, who quickly one-timed a puck past Stolarz to make it a 1-1 game with 6:22 before the first intermission.

The physical play quickly picked up following Norfolk's game-tying power play goal as a pair of fights between Zack Stortini and Jared Nightingale and Blair Jones and Chris Wagner broke out 35 seconds apart late in the first frame.

The Phantoms appeared to let off the gas temporarily in the middle frame, as the Admirals took a 2-1 lead on a puck-handling gaffe by Stolarz. The Phantoms netminder left his net to play a puck in behind him and sent a blind backhand pass right to Norfolk's John Kurtz, who quickly flicked a pass across to Joseph Cramarossa for an easy empty net tap in goal 6:49 into the 2nd period.

The Phantoms tied things up at 2-2 about five minutes later as Blair Jones got to a loose puck just inside the offensive blue line and sent a wrist shot past Danis for his first goal as a Phantom, with Leier and Manning picking up the assists at 11:25. Manning extended his points scoring streak to eight games with an assist on what was at the time the game-tying goal, but the home team was just getting started.

From there, the Phantoms offense took over - capitalizing on a full two-minutes of 5-on-3 power play time shortly after tying the game - to break the game open. Leier tallied a power play goal for the third straight game, putting the Phantoms ahead 3-2. Jones and Manning added assists on Leier's 7th of the season.

On the next shift, Jones finished off a one-timer for his 2nd of the period to extend the Phantoms lead to 4-2. Manning picked up his third assist of the period, while Mark Alt also tallied a helper on the play. Three goals in 2:57 of play turned the tides from a deflating 2-1 deficit to a two-goal lead heading into the third period.

The Admirals didn't pack it in down two goals in the third period. In fact, they made it a one-goal game 5:48 into the final period after Brendan Bell set up Karlsson for his second goal of the night. That's as close as the Admirals would come, but they nearly tied it in the final seconds as Chris Wagner fanned on an empty net chance.


1st Period

1:06: LV - Fyten (2) - unassisted
2:48: LV - (PP) Lauridsen, minor (high-sticking)
7:24: NOR - (PP) Cramarossa, minor (tripping)
10:04: NOR - (PP) MacDonald, minor (delay of game)
13:08: LV - (PP) Akeson, minor (slashing)
13:38: NOR - PPG Karlsson (1) - Friberg
13:49: LV - Stortini, major (fighting)
13:49: NOR - Nightingale, major (fighting)
14:24: LV - Jones, minor (kneeing)
14:24: LV - Jones, major (fighting)
14:24: NOR - Wagner, minor (roughing)
14:24: NOR - Wagner, major (fighting)
19:36: NOR - (PP) Cantin, minor (hooking)

2nd Period

2:35: LV - (PP) Straka, minor (interference)
4:37: LV - (PP) Fyten, minor (slashing)
6:49: NOR - Cramarossa (3) - Kurtz
9:14: NOR (PP) - Wagner, minor (interference)
11:25: LV - Jones (1) - Leier, Manning
13:29: NOR - (PP) Pistili, bench minor (unsportsmanlike conduct)
13:29: NOR - (PP) Yip, minor (tripping)
13:33: LV - PPG Leier (7) - Jones, Manning
14:22: LV - PPG Jones (2) - Manning, Alt

3rd Period

2:43: NOR - (PP) MacDonald, minor (interference)
5:48: NOR - Karlsson (2) - Bell, Yip
8:41: NOR - (PP) Steckel, minor (goaltender interference)
14:06: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (holding)


Anthony Stolarz (35 saves - 38 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms tonight, one night after being pulled 20 minutes into action. Martin Ouellette served as back up with Rob Zepp (lower body) still recovering from tweaking something during Wednesday's warm up skate against Springfield.

Zepp is not expected to miss any considerable time with his injury and could return as soon as next Friday night when the Phantoms travel to Wilkes-Barre to take on the rival Penguins.

With Brett Hextall suspended for one game as a result of picking up a fight instigator penalty in the final five minutes of Friday night's game in Atlantic City, Derek Mathers slotted back into the lineup on the fourth line.

No changes on defense as Jesper Pettersson took warmups but was the 7th defenseman & a healthy scratch.

Scratches: Rob Zepp (lower body), Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Shayne Ghostisbehere (ACL injury) and Brett Hextall (suspended)


Taylor Leier - Blair Jones - Zack Stortini
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Andrew Gordon
Austin Fyten - Darroll Powe - Jason Akeson
Jay Rosehill - Kevin Goumas - Derek Mathers

Mark Alt - Brandon Manning
Robert Hagg - Steven Delisle
Oliver Lauridsen - Brett Flemming

Anthony Stolarz - Martin Ouellette


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