Fast Start Propels Phantoms Past Binghamton

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Petr Straka and Andrew Gordon got things started for the Phantoms tonight in an eventful first 36 seconds. 
Tonight at the PPL Center, fans and media alike witnessed history in the opening minute of the first period. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms came out and scored three goals in the first 36 seconds of play (in a span of 21 seconds) to put the home team ahead 3-0 before some fans made it to their seats.

The Phantoms' three goals 21 seconds apart at least ties the AHL record for the fastest three goals scored by one team. The AHL cannot confirm or deny if it is in fact the record for a single team, but the record for the fastest three goals by two teams is three goals in a 20-second span that occurred an AHL game between Springfield and Worcester in 1997.

"I've never even done it in a video game," Andrew Gordon said with a laugh when asked about the wild start to the game. "It's crazy. Maybe I'll watch the first 30 seconds of tape tomorrow and try to  squeeze this for all it's worth."

If you want to see each of the three goals four times in a row (from all angles), the AHL put this up on YouTube.

The fast start propelled the Phantoms (12-10-3-1) to a 5-3 win over Binghamton (12-11-2-1), while also leapfrogging the Phantoms ahead of the BSens to 3rd place in the East Division.

Gordon led the way offensively for the Phantoms, figuring in on two of the three first period goals and finishing the night with a goal and two assists. Nick Cousins added a pair of power play tallies, while defensemen Brandon Manning and Robert Hagg added two assists each in the win for the Phantoms.

Despite the early 3-0 lead, the BSens didn't pack it in. They fired 44 shots on Phantoms goaltender Rob Zepp, but the veteran turned aside 41 of those for his 8th win of the season.

Petr Straka got things started 15 seconds in finishing off a nice feed from defenseman Steven Delisle, who had joined the rush. On the next shift, Andrew Gordon got a puck over to Jason Akeson at the right wing face-off circle for a quick wrist shot and a goal 12 seconds later to make it a 2-0 game. Brandon Manning added a second assist on the play.

Just nine seconds after that, Gordon entered the zone and with a defender in front of him, flung a puck on net that took a weird bounce and eluded goaltender Andrew Hammond to make it a 3-0 game. Manning added his second assist of the period, while Mark Alt also added an assist on the play. The third goal chased the BSens netminder Andrew Hammond (0 saves - 3 shots). Scott Greenham came on in relief of Hammond at 0:36 of the first period.

From there, the BSens dominated the shot count at 15-3 the rest of the period but were unable to get anything past Zepp.

The Phantoms scored an early 2nd period power play goal to take a 4-0 lead, with Nick Cousins getting credit for his 5th of the season. Gordon tallied his third point of the night with an assist on the play, and rookie Robert Hagg added a power post assist as well.

Binghamton broke the shutout with 5:54 left in the 2nd while on a power play. Alex Grant took a pass from Shane Prince and blasted a shot past Zepp that appeared to hit the post and bounce out, but after a review the referees confirmed it was indeed a goal. After the game, Grant said the puck went through the net and out the other side.

Heading to the third period with a 4-1 lead, the Phantoms didn't need to score any more goals but play tight defensively and stay out of the penalty box. Just 44 seconds into the final frame, Brett Hextall was whistled for goaltender interference and the BSens made the Phantoms pay on the ensuing power play as Chris Wideman blasted home his 12th goal of the season.

Wideman's goal made it a 4-2 game, but that's as close as the BSens would get tonight. Cousins tallied his 2nd power play goal of the game with 4:23 left to preserve the two points for the Phantoms, before a late power play goal by Derek Grant completed the 5-3 final score.

The Phantoms have two more games this weekend, starting Friday night at home when another East Division opponent - rival Hershey Bears - comes to town for a 7:05 p.m. ET face-off.


1st Period

0:15: LV - Straka (7) - Delisle
0:27: LV - Akeson (3) - Gordon, Manning
0:36: LV - Gordon (8) - Manning, Alt
12:49: BNG - Dziurzynski, major (fighting)
12:49: LV - Lauridsen, major (fighting)
13:28: LV - (PP) Delisle, minor (roughing)
13:54: BNG - (PP) D. Grant, minor (slashing)
17:21: LV - (PP) Powe, minor (hooking)
18:20: BNG - (PP) Camper, double minor (high-sticking)

2nd Period

2:11: LV - PPG Cousins (5) - Gordon, Hagg
10:25: BNG - (PP) Mullen, minor (hooking)
13:13: LV - (PP) Flemming, minor (hooking)
14:06: BNG - PPG A. Grant (3) - Johnson, Prince
14:37: LV - (PP) Gordon, minor (hooking)

3rd Period

0:44: LV - (PP) Hextall, minor (goaltender interference)
2:33: BNG - PPG Wideman (12) - Mullen, Puempel
7:52: LV - (PP) Hextall, minor (high-sticking)
11:10: BNG - (PP) Dzingel, minor (tripping)
14:02: BNG - (PP) Kramer, minor (high-sticking)
15:37: LV - PPG Cousins (6) - Hagg, Flemming
17:45: LV - (PP) Delisle, minor (cross-checking)
19:39: BNG - PPG D. Grant (10) - Prince, New


Rob Zepp (41 saves - 44 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms, with rookie Anthony Stolarz backing him up.

On defense, no changes as Brett Flemming was again on the third pairing with Oliver Lauridsen. Jesper Pettersson sat as a healthy scratch for the 3rd straight game.

Up front, Blair Jones returned to the lineup after exiting Sunday's warmups in Atlantic City. Derek Mathers went back to being the 13th forward and a healthy scratch up front.

Scratches: Jesper Pettersson (healthy) Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL surgery) and Blair Jones (ill), Derek Mathers (healthy)


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

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

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz


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