Phantoms Come Up Short, Springfield Wins Seventh In A Row

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Phantoms fell behind early and couldn't fully recover.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (8-7-2-0) ended their five-game home stand with a 3-2 loss to the red-hot Springfield Falcons (13-7-1-0) tonight, as the Phantoms fell behind early and couldn't recover from the slow start in a regulation loss.

Mike Hoeffel, Trent Vogelhuber & Jaime Sifers tallied goals for Springfield and put the Falcons up 3-0, before third period power play goals from Steven Delisle and Taylor Leier made it a one-goal game in the final 1:13 of play.

Rookie goaltender Anton Forsberg (23 saves) picked up his 7th win of the year for the Falcons, who have now won seven straight games.

For the Phantoms, it was rookie Anthony Stolarz (31 saves) picking up the start after finding out halfway through the warmup skate that the team's initial starter Rob Zepp tweaked something in the pre-game. After the game, head coach Terry Murray said he expects Zepp (lower body) to be out for the team's two games this weekend. EDIT: The Phantoms recalled goaltender Martin Ouellette from ECHL Reading Thursday afternoon.

The Phantoms will have tomorrow off for Thanksgiving before traveling to Atlantic City, New Jersey for a Friday night match against the Albany Devils. The Phantoms then return home on Saturday night to face East Division foe Norfolk at 7:05 p.m. ET.

In a fast-paced first period, it was the Falcons jumping out to a 1-0 lead on the Phantoms after a Brandon Alderson holding the stick minor. Mike Hoeffel took a pass from Michael Chaput low below the right wing face-off circle and picked a corner on Stolarz with 9:58 left in the opening frame.

The penalties continued for the Phantoms as Alderson was off again - this time for high-sticking at 13:11 - but a Ryan Craig goaltender interference penalty negated the Falcons power play. The Phantoms generated some pressure on the brief power play they had in the period, but were unable to get one past Forseberg.

The Falcons opened things up in the middle frame, dominating play and adding to their lead. First, it was Trent Vogelhuber cleaning up the rebound of a Thomas Larkin point shot at 4:01 to extend the Falcons lead to 2-0. Jerry D'Amigo added a secondary assist on the play.

Springfield made it 3-0 late in the 2nd period after a failed power play opportunity by the Phantoms. Jaime Sifers' point shot banked in past Stolarz off the post amidst heavy traffic in front of the Phantoms' goaltender.

The Phantoms got to their game in the third, but it was too little too late. With Brandon Manning and Kerby Rychel in the penalty boxes for an early third period fight, Steven Delisle stepped onto the ice for a Phantoms' power play and tallied his first of the season to get the home team on the board.

Delisle took a Nick Cousins feed at the top of the left-wing face-off circle and fired a wrist shot through a Darroll Powe screen in front and past Forsberg to cut the Falcons lead to 3-1 about five and a half minutes into the final frame.

From there the Phantoms continued to press the issue, but Forsberg made he necessary stops to preserve the Falcons victory. Taylor Leier picked a corner on a late third period power play with 1:13 left, but that's as close as the Phantoms would get in a 3-2 regulation loss.


1st Period

8:51: LV - (PP) Alderson, minor (holding the stick)
10:02: SPR - PPG Hoeffel (3) - Chaput, Oystrick
13:11: LV - (PP) Alderson, minor (high-sticking)
13:37: SPR - (PP) Craig, minor (goaltender interference)
20:00: LV - (PP) Delisle, minor (high-sticking)

2nd Period

4:01: SPR - Vogelhuber (1) - Larkin, D'Amigo
13:37: SPR - (PP) Madaisky, minor (interference)
17:45: SPR - Sifers (1) - unassisted

3rd Period

1:42: LV - Manning, minor (roughing)
1:42: SPR - Rychel, minor (roughing)
3:54: LV - Manning, major (fighting)
3:54: SPR - Rychel, major (fighting)
5:36: LV - PPG Delisle (1) - Cousins, Hagg
18:23: SPR - (PP) Oystrick, minor (kneeing)
18:47: LV - PPG Leier (5) - Manning, Jones


Rob Zepp led the team out for warmups but "tweaked" something in the pre-game which led to rookie Anthony Stolarz getting the start in net tonight for the Phantoms. Head coach Terry Murray expects Stolarz to start both games this weekend with a call up coming from Reading for a back up goaltender.

On defense, Mark Alt returned to the lineup after missing the last 11 games with an upper body injury suffered 10/25 in Binghamton. Brett Flemming took warmups but was scratched as the 7th defenseman.

No changes up front, with Derek Mathers as the lone healthy scratch.


Taylor Leier - Blair Jones - Andrew Gordon
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Zack Stortini
Jay Rosehill - Darroll Powe - Brett Hextall
Austin Fyten - Kevin Goumas - Brandon Alderson

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

Anthony Stolarz - Rob Zepp

Scratches for the Phantoms: Brett Flemming (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL injury) and Derek Mathers (healthy).


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