Stolarz Shuts Out Sharks 4-0

Friday, November 21, 2014
Rookie goaltender Anthony Stolarz stole the show.
The good fortunes at the PPL Center continued tonight as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (8-6-1-0) shutout the Worcester Sharks (8-7-1-0) behind a 39-save shutout for rookie goaltender Anthony Stolarz - his first pro win.

The Phantoms scored an early goal in each period to lift them to a 4-0 win tonight, with four different goal scorers - Taylor Leier, Robert Hagg, Brandon Manning and Andrew Gordon. Recently re-assigned Blair Jones continues to impress, centering the top line and setting up the Phantoms' first two goals, but Stolarz stole the show tonight.

Up 4-0 late in the third period, the Phantoms got into penalty trouble and surrendered a 5-on-3 power play to the Sharks. Stolarz stood on his head in the final 1:49, going from post-to-post at least three times to stave off the Sharks shooters to preserve the shutout.

With the win, the Phantoms are now a perfect 3-0 on the team's current home stand, which continues tomorrow night when the St. John's IceCaps come to town. At 5-1-1 on home ice, the Phantoms are certainly hoping the trend continues.

The Phantoms got off to a good start tonight, taking a 1-0 lead just 1:44 into play after Blair Jones won a puck battle in the corner. Jones dug out a puck and fed Taylor Leier in the slot for a quick shot and goal - the 4th on the year for the rookie Leier - to put the Phantoms in front early.

The Sharks had some nice chances on their first power play midway through the first frame but after an icing call gave the Phantoms an offensive zone face-off, Jones again set up the Phantoms for success.

Jones won the ensuing face-off to the point to Robert Hagg and the Swedish-born defenseman let loose a cannon wired to the top shelf on Sharks netminder J.P. Anderson. The Phantoms' 2nd shorthanded goal of the season gave the home team a 2-0 lead with 8:45 left in the opening period.

The Sharks - despite being out-scored 2-0 - had plenty of chances on Stolarz in the first period, firing 16 shots at the Phantoms rookie goaltender. Stolarz stopped everything that came his way in the first 20 minutes of play, including two big pad saves right after the Phantoms took the 2-0 lead and a skate save after a defensive zone turnover late in the period.

The Phantoms took a 3-0 lead early in the 2nd period after a weird bounce. Brandon Manning took a pass from Steven Delisle and fired a point shot on net. The shot was partially blocked at the top of the face-off circle by the shoulder of a Sharks defender, but the puck popped up into the air and eluded Anderson - blooping into the net 1:30 into the middle frame. The goal was Manning's 4th straight game with a goal.

From there, Stolarz continued to stop everything that came his way. He didn't face too many Grade A chances, but nonetheless stopped the first 22 shots he faced through the first 40 minutes of play. He saved his best saves for the third.

Aaron Dell replaced J.P. Anderson to start the third period, but let in the first shot that came his way. Gordon picked off a Sharks clearing attempt in the opening minute of the final frame and waited out Dell before beating him low to the glove side to extend the Phantoms lead to 4-0.

Things got physical much as you would expect the third period of a 4-0 game would. Oliver Lauridsen had a good showing in a rematch of an earlier bout with Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley, and Jay Rosehill came to the defense of his teammates late in the third - racking up 14 penalty minutes on the night.


1st Period

1:44: LV - Leier (4) - Jones, Hagg
6:37: WOR - (PP) Taormina, minor (cross-checking)
9:33: LV - (PP) Hextall, minor (slashing)
11:15: LV - (SH) Hagg (2) - Jones
16:24: WOR - (PP) Haley, minor (roughing)

2nd Period

1:30: LV - Manning (5) - Delisle, Rosehill
3:41: WOR - (PP) Haley, minor (roughing)
3:41: WOR - Haley, minor (roughing)
3:41: LV - Lauridsen, minor (roughing)
9:53: WOR - (PP) Karlsson, minor (tripping)
11:15: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (tripping)
17:03: WOR - (PP) Haley, minor (tripping)

3rd Period

0:59: LV - Gordon (5) - unassisted
2:50: LV - Lauridsen, major (fighting)
2:50: WOR - Haley, major (fighting)
9:24: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (roughing)
12:17: WOR - Abeltshauser, minor (interference)
12:17: LV - Delisle, minor (holding)
14:56: LV (PP) - Cousins, minor (tripping)
18:11: LV (PP) - Rosehill, minor (roughing)
18:11: LV - Rosehill - ten minute misconduct


Anthony Stolarz (39  saves - 39 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms tonight, while veteran Rob Zepp backed him up. It was a night of firsts for Stolarz as he not only picked up his first win at the pro level, but his first pro shutout as well.

No changes on defense as the Phantoms are currently only carrying six healthy defensemen with Mark Alt and Shayne Gostisbehere both out.

Forward Andrew Johnston was re-assigned to ECHL Reading after sitting the last three games as a healthy scratch. With forward Brett Hextall returning from injury on Wednesday night, the team was carrying 14 forwards.

Derek Mathers sat out as the lone healthy scratch.

Scratches: Mark Alt (upper body), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL) and Derek Mathers (healthy)


Taylor Leier - Blair Jones - Andrew Gordon
Petr Straka - Nic Cousins - Zach Stortini
Jay Rosehill - Daroll Powe - Brett Hextall
Austin Fyten - Kevin Goumas - Brandon Alderson

Brandon Manning - Steven Delisle
Robert Hagg - Jesper Pettersson
Oliver Lauridsen - Brett Flemming

Anthony Stolarz - Rob Zepp


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