Phantoms Earn Point in OT Loss To Albany

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Taylor Leier jump-started the Phantoms offense in the third period.

In Atlantic City, what appeared to be another low-scoring game for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms entering the third period against the Albany Devils turned into a offensive slug fest in the final period of a three-game weekend for the Philadelphia Flyers' AHL affiliate.

The Phantoms trailed most of the game but got three third period goals, one each from Taylor Leier, Zack Stortini and Andrew Gordon to take a brief lead before falling in overtime. The Devils twice tied the game in the third period on a pair of goals from speedy forward Joe Whitney before Tim Sestito's 2nd tally of the night proved to be the game winner.

All in all, not a bad finish to the weekend for the Phantoms, who earn three of a possible six points in the standings - including a point in tonight's game which they trailed through much of the first 47 minutes of play.

Some troubling news, however, developed during the pre-game warmup skate as forward Blair Jones exited a few minutes after the players took to the ice. Jones was scratched with an apparent injury and did not play. There was no update on his condition after the game.

The Phantoms (11-10-3-1) will likely have a day off tomorrow before hitting the ice for practice Tuesday in preparation for a Wednesday night home game against the Binghamton Senators (12-10-2-1). 

The Phantoms trailed 1-0 in the final frame before Taylor Leier's team-leading 8th goal of the season tied the game 7:17 into the 3rd. Less than three minutes later, Zach Stortini's good individual effort gave the Phantoms two unanswered goals and a 2-1 lead halfway through the third period despite trailing most of the afternoon.

Brett Hextall took a tripping minor after Stortini's 3rd of the season, and the Devils cashed in on the power play to tie the game at 2-2 on the first of two Joe Whitney goals in the period for Albany. Andrew Gordon answered 27 seconds later to re-gain the Phantoms' lead at 3-2 but it was short lived as Whitney tied the game back up less than two minutes later to force overtime.

In the extra session, Zepp made a nice save and kept the Phantoms in the hunt for two points, but Sestito's 2nd of the game proved to be the overtime winner 2:50 into the seven-minute sudden death period.


1st Period

5:33: LV - (PP) Gordon, minor (interference)
13:43: ALB - Sestito (5) - Thompson
15:03: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (interference)
17:52: LV - Flemming, major (fighting)
17:52: ALB - Thomson, major (fighting)

2nd Period

7:00: ALB - (PP) Matteau, minor (boarding)
10:20: LV - (PP) Hextall, minor (slashing)
13:48: LV - (PP) Goumas, minor (tripping)
18:08: ALB - (PP) Faust, minor (holding)
18:58: ALB - (PP) Zajac, minor (tripping)

3rd Period

7:17: LV - Leier (8) - Fyten
10:20: LV - Stortini (3) - Delisle, Hagg
10:46: LV - (PP) Hextall, minor (tripping)
12:00: ALB - PPG Whitney (9) - Scarlett, Boucher
12:27: LV - Gordon (7) - unassisted
14:19: ALB - Whitney (10) - Thompson, Sestito


2:50: ALB - Sestito (6) - Boucher, Fraser


Rob Zepp (33 saves - 37 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms, with rookie Anthony Stolarz serving as the team's backup.

No changes on defense as Brett Flemming stayed in on the third pairing for Jesper Pettersson.

Earlier this afternoon, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they will re-assign defenseman Robert Hagg to Team Sweden on December 21st for the World Juniors Tournament, which is hosted in Toronto and Montreal and runs 12/26-1/5.

Up front, Blair Jones left the warmup skate early and was scratched with an apparent injury. Derek Mathers was a last second addition to the forward lines, causing the lines to again be jumbled.


Jason Akeson - Kevin Goumas - Andrew Gordon
Taylor Leier - Nick Cousins - Zack Stortini
Peter Straka - Kevin Goumas - Brett Hextall
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Derek Mathers

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

Anthony Stolarz - Rob Zepp

Scratches: Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL-injury) and Blair Jones (undisclosed)


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