Saturday's Morning Skate 1/31

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Phantoms need a win against the Penguins tonight to stop their divisional woes.
The first weekend since the All-Star break saw all five teams in the East Division in action last night, with a pair of division matchups between Lehigh Valley and Hershey and Binghamton vs. Norfolk.

Last night in Allentown, the Phantoms dropped their fifth game in their last six outings in blowout fashion to the Hershey Bears. The team held a bit of a players-only meeting after the game.

Tonight, I'll be live from the Mohegan Sun Arena as the Phantoms look to bounce back with a win over their other rival in Pennsylvania, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. You can follow the latest on tonight's game right here or on Twitter (@H_P_Hockey) with live in-game updates. Check back here post-game for a recap of the action.

The Home News - keeping you covered for all of your Penguins' and Phantoms' needs. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m. EST, but I'll have full coverage starting around 6:00 ET.

East Division Standings (through 1/30's games)
1. Hershey Bears: 42GP, 24-13-4-1, 53 points
2. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 45GP, 24-17-1-3, 52 points
3. Lehigh Valley: 43GP, 20-18-4-1, 45 points
4. Binghamton: 42GP, 17-20-4-1, 39 points
5. Norfolk: 44GP: 17-22-3-2, 39 points

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 5, Springfield - 0 

In Springfield, the Penguins dominated in their first game after the break - getting goals from five different skaters and a 28-save shutout from Matt Murray to keep pace with Hershey in the divisional standings.

Jayson Megna, Tom Kostopoulos, Taylor Chorney, Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust all tallied goals for the Penguins who, with the win, have now won four straight games after a six-game winless streak.

The Penguins host a slumping Lehigh Valley tonight at 7:05 p.m. EST, while Springfield looks to get back on track in Hartford against the Wolfpack.

Hershey - 6, Lehigh Valley - 1

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms were blown out at home for the second straight night and have now lost five out of their last six games. The win by Hershey keeps them one point ahead of the Penguins for first place in the division with one game in hand.

Connor Carrick (1G-1A) and Casey Wellman (0G-2A) paced the Bears offensively, while Philipp Grubauer stopped all but one of the 25 shots that came his way for Hershey. Taylor Leier scored the lone Phantoms goal, while starter Anthony Stolarz was pulled late in the second period after allowing four goals on 22 shots.

The Phantoms look to right the ship in Wilkes-Barre tonight against the Penguins, while Hershey returns home to host Northeast Division leading Syracuse.

Norfolk - 5, Binghamton - 3

In a battle of the bottom two teams in the division, it was the Admirals gaining two points and tying the BSens for fourth place in the East Division. Emerson Etem led the way with a hat trick, while John Gibson stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced in a game Norfolk never trailed.

Aaron Johnson led the Bsens offensively with a pair of assists in the loss. Ex-Penguins goaltender Peter Mannino was peppered with 44 shots, stopping 39 of them to keep his team in the game.

These two teams play again tonight in Binghamton.

Other Eastern Conference Scores

St. John's - 4, Albany - 1
Hartford - 8, Bridgeport - 6
Manchester - 3, Portland - 1
Syracuse - 6, Rochester - 4
Providence - 5, Worcester - 4

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

St. John's @ Albany, 5:00 p.m. EST
Portland @ Bridgeport, 7:00 p.m. EST
Springfield @ Hartford, 7:00 p.m EST
Syracuse @ Hershey, 7:00 p.m. EST
Providence @ Worcester, 7:00 p.m. EST
Norfolk @ Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. EST
Lehigh Valley @ Wilkes-Barre/Scanton, 7:05 p.m. EST


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