Cousins' Hat Trick Carries Phantoms Past Binghamton

Saturday, January 17, 2015
Nick Cousins tallied the first hat trick on home ice in franchise history tonight with his team leading 11th, 12th & 13th goals of the season.
Tonight was the textbook definition of a bounce back win and a total team effort for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in a 5-1 win over division rival Binghamton.

Much like when Binghamton came to the PPL Center exactly one month ago on December 17th, the Phantoms jumped out to an early 1st period lead they would never look back on.

Nick Cousins tallied his first of three goals on the night just 14 seconds into the contest, while Zack Stortini and Jay Rosehill also tallied goals for the Phantoms. Brandon Manning tallied three assists and Andrew Gordon added two helpers of his own too. Martin Ouellette was strong in net for the Phantoms, stopping 28 of 29 shots and a third period penalty shot attempt by Binghamton's Alex Guptill. A total team effort.

Phantoms can tie first place Hershey in the East Division with a win against the Bears tomorrow evening at Giant Center, pending the outcome of Sunday afternoon's match up between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Providence.

Eerily similar to the start of the last game at PPL Center between these two teams, it was the Phantoms taking an early 1-0 lead on their first shot of the hockey game. Cousins got open in the slot and Gordon found him for Cousins' 11th of the season to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the contest.

The home team continued to ride the momentum from their early goal all the way through the first 16 minutes, taking a 2-0 lead on a power play re-direct goal from Zack Stortini. Brandon Manning and Cousins picked up the assists on Stortini's 4th of the season.

Interesting moment with 3:39 left before the first intermission. Lehigh Valley's Derek Mathers and Binghamton's Guillame Lepine dropped the gloves and were preparing to fight, but once they took their helmets off the two linesmen immediately stepped in and broke up the fight before it got started. The two ended up fighting just after their respective minor penalties for delay of game ended. If anything, the referee delayed the inevitable there.

The BSens played strong in the final minutes of the first frame and cut the Phantoms' lead in half, but that's as close as they would get as the Phantoms success in the opening minute of periods continued  in the 2nd period.

It was Cousins again - this time 33 seconds into the period - restoring the Phantoms' two-goal lead on the opening shift of the middle frame. Gordon added his second assist of the night, while Manning picked up his third assist of the game on the play.

The BSens opened things up from there, exchanging chances with the Phantoms in what was end-to-end action early in the second period. Martin Ouellette only faced eight shots in the period, but was sharp when he needed to be.

The Phantoms made it a three-goal lead 7:13 into the 2nd when Jay Rosehill deflected a spinning shot from Ryan White to put the Phantoms ahead 4-1.

The BSens had a chance to draw back within firing range 6:56 into the final frame when Guptill was granted a penalty shot after a hooking call on Steven Delisle, but Ouellette flashed the glove to keep it at a 4-1 score to that point.

Cousins added his hat trick goal with 5:16 left in the third period and after a bunch of post-whistle scrums, a line brawl and a near second line brawl the Phantoms concluded a 5-1 victory.


Martin Ouellette (28 saves - 29 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms tonight. Anthony Stolarz is expected to get the start in net tomorrow in Hershey.

No changes on defense from last night for the Phantoms. Jesper Pettersson remains the 7th defenseman and a healthy scratch.

Up front, two-thirds of the top line from last night were unavailable for the Phantoms tonight, creating some interesting line combos during warmups.

Jason Akeson was called up by Philadelphia, meanwhile Blair Jones missed tonight's game with a lower body injury sustained in the third period of last night's loss to Albany. Head coach Terry Murray said post-game he doesn't expect Jones to play tomorrow night in Hershey.

Scratches: Mark Alt (broken hand), Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL injury), Blair Jones (lower body) and Darroll Powe (upper body).


Taylor Leier - Kevin Goumas - Brandon Alderson
Zack Stortini - Nick Cousins - Andrew Gordon
Petr Straka - Ryan White - Brett Hextall
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Derek Mathers

Brandon Manning - Robert Hagg
Adam Comrie - Steven Delisle
Oliver Lauridsen - Brett Flemming

Martin Ouellette - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

0:14: LV - Cousins (11) - Gordon
15:41: BNG - (PP) Bench minor (too many men)
15:55: LV - PPG Stortini (6) - Manning, Cousins
16:21: LV - Mathers, minor (delay of game)
16:21: BNG - Lepine, minor (delay of game)
18:24: LV - Mathers, major (fighting)
18:24: BNG - Lepine, major (fighting)
19:07: BNG - Guptill (4) - Mullen, Dzingel

2nd Period

0:33: LV - Cousins (12) - Gordon, Manning
7:13: LV - Rosehill (3) - White, Mathers
10:10: LV - Fyten, minor (hooking)
12:44: LV - Comrie, minor (high-sticking)
19:20: BNG - New, minor (hooking)

3rd Period

1:28: LV - (PP) Straka, minor (hooking)
1:37: BNG - (PP) Johnson, minor (hooking)
4:17: BNG - New, minor (unsportsmanlike)
4:17: LV - Hextall, minor (unsportsmanlike)
7:54: BNG - Marshall, minor (high-sticking)
10:25: LV - (PP) Mathers, minor (roughing)
13:51: BNG - McCormick, major (fighting)
13:51: LV - Lauridsen, major (fighting)
13:51: BNG - Thompson, minor (roughing)
13:51: LV - Leier, minor (slashing)
14:44: LV - Cousins (13) - Comrie
15:55: BNG - Guptill, major (fighting)
15:55: LV - Goumas, major (fighting)
18:48: BNG - New, major (fighting)
18:48: LV - Hextall, major (fighting)
19:28: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (roughing)
19:28: LV - Rosehill, ten-minute misconduct


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