Saturday's Morning Skate 1/17

Saturday, January 17, 2015
The Binghamton Senators scored four goals in the first period last night against Syracuse.
Both the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears enjoyed a rare Friday night off, while the Phantoms had a chance to gain ground in the East Division standings at home against Albany.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference last night, Lake Erie Monsters goaltender Reto Berra became just the 11th goaltender in the AHL's 79-year history to score a goal himself. Check out the video below to see Berra's goal and celebration after. What are your thoughts? Did he 'celly' too hard or c'mon, a goalie scored a goal. Personally, I'm fine with the celebration. Congrats Reto Berra on your first pro goal!

Last night I was back at PPL Center for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms first home game since December 27th. It was the team's third consecutive sellout as they announced another standing-room-only sellout crowd of 8,701 fans. Tonight's Phantoms game is already sold out and no tickets are available - the 4th straight sellout (8,420 or higher) and 9th overall in 16 home games in the team's first year as an AHL franchise in downtown Allentown.

Tonight, I'm back in Allentown as the Phantoms host the Binghamton Senators at 7:05 p.m. ET with full coverage both on Twitter with live in-game updates and here post-game with a full recap of events as well as player reaction and the latest roster notes and news.

East Division Standings (through 1/16's games)

1. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (20-15-1-3) - 44 points
2. Hershey (19-13-4-1) - 43 points
3. Lehigh Valley (18-13-4-1) - 41 points
4. Binghamton (16-17-3-1) - 36 points
5. Norfolk (15-20-2-2) - 34 points

Albany - 3, Lehigh Valley - 2

After a low-scoring, tight-checking affair in the first 40 minutes the flood gates (and the penalty box doors) opened up in the third period. The Phantoms handed the Devils four power plays in the final frame and they scored on two of them in route to a third period comeback win over the Phantoms in their first home game since December 27th.

Nick Cousins and Andrew Gordon tallied a goal and an assist each for the Phantoms and rookie netminder Anthony Stolarz stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced, but it wasn't enough for Lehigh Valley in a game with the top two teams in the division idle and a chance to move into second place.

Ex-Penguins forward Paul Thompson tallied his 19th goal of the season last night for the Devils after tallying four goals in 39 games with the AHL Penguins last season, later being traded to Springfield mid-season. I caught up with the former Penguin to talk about his rough 2013-14 season and his incredible start to 2014-15. Check back after the weekend for a feature on Thompson.

The Phantoms look to bounce back with a win tonight at home against the Binghamton Senators, while Albany travels to Hershey for a face-off against the Bears at Giant Center.

Binghamton - 5, Syracuse - 0

In Binghamton, the BSens offense caught fire - scoring five goals in the first 22:53 of play in route to a blowout win over rival Syracuse. The BSens had five different goal scorers, while both Chris Wideman and Ryan Dzingel led the way with two assists each.

Rookie goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots. It was just the Crunch's 10th regulation loss on the season.

Binghamton looks to take the momentum from last night's big win on the road with them to Allentown when they take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tonight. The Crunch look to rebound from just their 10th regulation loss of the season with a Saturday night match up in Connecticut against Bridgeport.

Hartford - 3, Norfolk - 2 (OT)

In Norfolk, the Admirals came back from a 2-0 deficit as Emerson Etem scored with 1:20 left in regulation to force overtime but ultimately fall short in an overtime loss to Hartford.

Ryan Haggerty played hero for Hartford with his seventh goal of the season. He also tallied an assist on the Wolfpack's second goal of the game back in the middle frame.

The two teams rematch tonight at The Scope Arena at 7:15 p.m. ET

Other Eastern Conference Scores

Portland - 3, St. John's - 0
Providence - 3, Bridgeport - 2 (OT)
Worcester - 5, Manchester - 4 (SO)

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

Portland @ St. John's, 6:00 p.m. ET
Syracuse @ Bridgeport, 7:00 p.m. ET
Albany @ Hershey, 7:00 p.m. ET
Providence @ Manchester, 7:00 p.m. ET
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton @ Worcester, 7:00 p.m. ET
Binghamton @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. ET
Hartford @ Norfolk, 7:15 p.m. ET


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