Third Period Penalties Prove Costly For Phantoms

Friday, January 16, 2015

With Rob Zepp recalled by Philadephia, Anthony Stolarz is the number one goaltender with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms had a chance tonight against the Albany Devils to really put pressure on the East Division teams ahead of them in the standings, making up one of four games in hand on division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Instead, they see a 1-0 lead slip away in the third period in a loss so frustrating that head coach Terry Murray declined comment post-game.

"Games in hand are a romantic thought," forward Andrew Gordon said. "It's a pillow you can lay your head on and feel good - Ah, we got a few games in hand," Gordon said, "But if you don't win your games in hand, they're nothing."

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. That's your ballgame.

The Phantoms will look to rebound tomorrow night at home against division rival Binghamton in what will be the fourth consecutive sellout at the PPL Center.

The first frame went by without any goals despite the teams trading power plays in the second half of the period. The Phantoms had three straight power plays in a span of 5:55 but were unsuccessful in creating much of anything with the man advantage.

After the teams traded power plays in the first period, the first bout of four-on-four hockey in the middle frame provided the game's first goal. Andrew Gordon fed Nick Cousins a pass on the left-wing and Cousins did the rest, flying down the wing and letting go a cannon of a slap shot wired to the top shelf to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.

That's how things stayed heading into the third period, before an even strength goal, a penalty parade and a pair of power play tallies by the Devils lifted them to the two points tonight.

First, Rod Pelley tallied his 4th of the season to tie the game up at 1-1 early in the third. Stefan Matteau and Dan Kelly tallied the assists.

About five minutes later,  Paul Thompson caught an outlet pass from Reece Scarlett and got a step on a Phantoms penalty-killer en route to a breakaway goal to mak it a 2-1 game. The power play goal was Thompson's 19th goal of the season, and for Penguins fans who remember the end of his stint in Wilkes -Barre/Scranton, it's a far cry from the four goals he tallied in 39 games with WBS last season before being traded to Springfield mid-season. More on Thompson's resurgence in a feature here on the website sometime next week.

Gordon scored his team-leading 11th of the season just over a minute later to tie the game back up at 2-2 on assists for Adam Comrie and Cousins, but the Phantoms continued taking unnecessary penalties and the Devils made them pay again with 6:43 left in regulation.

Steffan Matteau tallied his third of the season and the Devils' second power play goal of the period to re-gain the lead at 3-2 for the Devils - a lead they would hold onto in route to the points.


1st Period

7:54: LV - (PP) bench minor (too many men)
10:23: ALB - (PP) Faust, minor (tripping)
13:05: ALB - (PP) Thompson, minor (tripping)
16:18: ALB - (PP) Helgeson, minor (delay of game)
19:17: LV - (PP) Delisle, minor (hooking)

2nd Period

5:20: LV - Leier, minor (roughing)
5:20: ALB - Thompson, minor (roughing)
6:29: LV - Cousins (10) - Gordon, Lauridsen
7:36: ALB - (PP) Zajac, minor (high-sticking)
8:54: LV - (PP) bench minor (too many men)
11:40: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (slashing)
13:34: ALB - (PP) Matteau, minor (high-sticking)
14:30: LV - (PP) Cousins, minor (hooking)19:53: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (boarding)
20:00: ALB - D. Zajac, major (fighting)
20:00: LV - Delisle, major (fighting)

3rd Period

2:44: ALB - (PP) Kelly, minor (tripping)
3:01: LV - (PP) Akeson, minor (elbowing)
5:05: ALB - PPG Pelley (4) - Matteau, Kelly
7:11: ALB - (PP) Faust, minor (hooking)
9:49: LV - Delisle, major (fighting)
9:49: ALB - Thomson, major (fighting)
9:49: LV - (PP) White, minor (roughing)
10:12: ALB - PPG Thompson (19) - Scarlett, Clemmensen
11:30: LV - Gordon (11) - Comrie, Cousins
12:06: LV - (PP) Fyten, minor (holding)
12:17: ALB - PPG - Matteau (3) - Wohlberg, Helgeson
14:16: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (holding)


Anthony Stolarz (33 saves - 36 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms. With Rob Zepp still on recall in Philadelphia, Martin Ouellette joined the Phantoms and backed up Stolarz tonight.

On defense, Mark Alt remains out with a broken hand suffered earlier this month.

Robert Hagg has since returned from juniors and with the mid-December addition of Eric Comrie to the blue line, the Phantoms had seven healthy defenders for the night. Jesper Pettersson was the lone healthy scratch on defense.

Up front, Kevin Goumas was re-assigned to the ECHL's Reading Royals earlier this week. Darroll Powe remains out with an upper body injury.

Blair Jones left early in the third period and did not return. Head coach Terry Murray declined to have a post-game news conference with reporters after the game, so there is no update on his status heading into tomorrow's game against Binghamton.

Scratches: Mark Alt (broken hand), Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL surgery), Derek Mathers (healthy) and Darroll Powe (upper body).


Taylor Leier - Blair Jones - Jason Akeson
Zack Stortini - Nick Cousins - Brandon Alderson
Petr Straka - Ryan White - Brett Hextall
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Brandon Alderson

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

Anthony Stolarz - Martin Ouellette


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