Binghamton Frustrates Lehigh Valley In Overtime

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Binghamton frustrates Lehigh Valley in Allentown yet again.
The home losing skid reaches five games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Binghamton Senators Wednesday night. BSens captain Aaron Johnson was the hero, blasting home a slap shot from between the face-off circles with 10.5 left in the extra session, to complete the BSens to a come-from-behind win.

Anthony Stolarz stopped 40 of the 44 shots he faced and Jason Akeson extended his points scoring streak to a league-high 10 games (eight goals, six assists), but it wasn't enough to lift the Phantoms to two points.

The overtime loss gives the Phantoms a point in the standings, but after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first 13:51 of play it was a frustrated group in the Phantoms locker room after the game.

"If you're going to be a playoff team, that can't happen," Brandon Manning said. "Right now, we're not a playoff team and that's why. When you blow a one-goal lead to the last place team in the conference, you're not going to be a very good hockey team."

The Phantoms have two more games this weekend - both at home - against the Providence Bruins Friday night and the Hartford Wolfpack on Saturday. The Phantoms trail 8th place by four points and trail 7th place Providence by five entering this weekend's games.

"This is our playoffs right now," Manning said of facing teams just ahead of them in the playoff race. "If we don't start winning games and picking up two points every night, we're not going to make it. Guys have to realize that."

The Phantoms came out ready to play tonight, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead courtesy of a Zack Stortini rebound goal - his third in his last two games. Jason Akeson took a shot from the outside that was blocked down in front, and after Nick Cousins had a rebound chance Stortini stuffed it home 1:29 into the first period to put Lehigh Valley ahead.

After a back-and-for forth first 13 minutes, the Phantoms extended their lead to 2-0 on an excellent display of hand-eye coordination by Petr Straka. Darroll Powe won a face-off back to Brandon Manning at the point, who floated a wrist shot that Straka was able to tip past BSens netminder Scott Greenham 13:51 into the opening period.

The Phantoms got into a bit of penalty trouble at the end of the first frame, but were able to get out of a 5-on-3 penalty kill unscathed in the final two minutes after back-to-back minors on the BSens.

After killing off the carry over penalties to start the 2nd period, the BSens got to their game - out shooting Lehigh Valley 13-7 in the middle frame and getting within a goal 2:36 into the period.

Garrett Thompson deflected Max McCormick's shot past Stolarz to get the BSens on the board in a period largely controlled by the BSens for the most part.

Both goaltenders were sharp in the second period. Stolarz made some nice saves in the middle frame, stopping Carter Camper from point blank range after a defensive zone turnover, while Greenham was up to the task on a cross-ice feed to Manning on an odd-man rush with Laughton and Leier.

The Phantoms did a pretty good job of maintaining their one goal lead in the third, staying out of the penalty box in the final frame and keeping the majority of the BSens' chances to the outside, but a Darren Kramer goal with 3:57 left evened things up at 2-2.

The Phantoms didn't self destruct from there, actually re-gaining the one goal lead not even a minute later on Akeson's 16th goal of the season with 2:58 left.

The BSens wouldn't go away quietly into the night, tying the game back up with their goaltender pulled for the extra attacker. Alex Grant's shot from the point was deflected past Stolarz with 43 seconds left, forcing the overtime.


Anthony Stolarz (40 saves - 44 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms tonight against Binghamton, his first start since being called up to the Philadelphia Flyers after an overtime win against Hershey. Martin Ouellette served as team's backup goalie for the fourth straight game.

On defense, no changes as Jesper Pettersson was the lone healthy scratch on the back end. Brett Flemming was re-assigned to Reading (ECHL) on Tuesday.

Up front, Kevin Goumas slotted back into the lineup for Brandon Alderson, who was also re-assigned to Reading along with Flemming on Tuesday.

Scratches: Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL surgery in November), Blair Jones (lower body - out six weeks) and Derek Mathers (healthy)


Zack Stortini - Nick Cousins - Jason Akeson
Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Andrew Gordon
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Brett Hextall
Petr Straka - Kevin Goumas - Darroll Powe

Brandon Manning - Mark Alt
Adam Comrie - Steven Delisle
Oliver Lauridsen - Robert Hagg

Anthony Stolarz - Martin Ouellette


1st Period

1:29: LV - Stortini (11) - Cousins, Akeson
13:51: LV - Straka (12) - Manning, Akeson
16:54: LV - (PP) Comrie, minor (holding)
18:11: LV - (PP) Lauridsen, minor (slashing)
18:13: BNG - (PP) D. Grant, minor (face-off violation)
19:06: BNG - (PP) Wideman, minor (hooking)

2nd Period

2:36: BNG - Thompson (5) - McCormick, Wideman
4:53: LV - Comrie, minor (roughing)
4:53: BNG - Mills, minor (roughing)
9:47: BNG - Lepine, major (fighting)
9:47: LV - Lauridsen, major (fighting)
13:25: BNG - (PP) A. Grant, minor (hooking)

3rd Period

16:03: BNG - Kramer (4) - Thompson, Wideman
17:02: LV - Akeson (16) - Cousins, Alt
19:17: BNG - Greening (3) - A. Grant, Mills
19:46: BNG - Mills, minor (unsportsmanlike)
19:46: LV - Stortini, minor (unsportsmanlike)


6:49: BNG - Johnson (3) - D. Grant, Wideman


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