Manning To The Rescue - Phantoms Snap Home Losing Skid

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Third and fourth lines contribute offensively for Lehigh Valley in big OT win tonight.
Brandon Manning has a knack for scoring big goals for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. On the first year franchise's home opener, for instance, he scored the deciding goal in a 4-3 overtime win over the Adirondack Flames back in October. 

Tonight Manning saved his best for last, cranking a slap shot from the point 3:27 into overtime to lift the Phantoms to a big win at the PPL Center - snapping a seven game losing skid on home ice.

"[Petr Straka] made a great play, pulled up and he saw their guys over back-check. I saw a spot low blocker and I was lucky to find it," Manning said.

Manning might've scored the game-winner tonight, but it was the play of the third and fourth lines that got the Phantoms into overtime.

Kevin Goumas scored the game's first goal midway through the first period after creating a turnover on the fore-check. After Binghamton's Ryan Dzingel scored two goals in the first six minutes of the third period to give the BSens a 2-1 lead, Brett Hextall stuffed one home on the tail end of a power play to force overtime.

"We knew we wanted to get to the net," Hextall said of his line with Jay Rosehill and Austin Fyten. "All three of us were right around the net there, I saw it behind his legs and luckily I was able to get a stick on it." 

Anthony Stolarz has had a bit of a rough go of things lately, but made the necessary saves to help his team to get the two points - his first win since February 8th in Hershey before his first NHL call up.

The Phantoms travel to Hershey for a Sunday evening tilt at Giant Center against a Bears team that is 18-2-1-1 in their last 22 games.

The Phantoms dodged a bullet with 12:21 left in the first period as Binghamton's Carter Camper got open in the slot, but rang his shot off the crossbar. The referees reviewed the play and confirmed the no-goal call on the ice. 

Just 2:09 later, the Phantoms took the 1-0 lead. Kevin Goumas raced around the defensive zone and forced a turnover that Brandon Manning collected.  fed Kevin Goumas cutting to the slot and Goumas sniped one to the top right corner glove side on Peter Mannino. Zack Stortini picked up a secondary assist on the goal 9:48 into the opening period.

From there, the Phantoms seemed to possess the puck and have the better of the play - minus a few defensive zone hiccups. A late period fight between Binghamton's Ryan Dzingel and Phantoms' Nick Cousins got interesting when, after linesmen came stepped in to break things up, Dzingel lunged toward Cousins for a final blow but accidentally clipped linesman Matt McNulty. 

McNulty was slow to get up & didn't finish the final 14 seconds of the opening period. He attempted to come back for the second period but later left the ice and didn't return for the 3rd. 

Things unraveled on the Phantoms early in the third period after an uneventful middle period continued the Phantoms a 1-0 lead heading to the final frame. 

Dzingel continued to have an active game tonight, drawing a power play for his team on the first shift of the third after being taken out by Scott Laughton. Dzingel then scored just after the ensuing power play expired to tie the game at 1-1 off a rebound of Patrick Mullen's shot.

The rookie from Ohio State wasn't finished there, picking off a blind pass in the Phantoms defensive zone and beating Stolarz 5:40 into third to give the BSens their first lead of the night at 2-1. 

The Phantoms didn't pack it in and accept defeat for the seventh straight time on home ice. Instead, at the tail end of a Phantoms power play, Brett Hextall tied the game at 2-2. 

Head coach Terry Murray said he didn't like what the first and second units were doing on that power play in the 3rd, so with a face-off and eight seconds left on the man advantage he sent the third line of Hextall, Austin Fyten and Jay Rosehill over the boards. It turned out to be a good decision. 

Hextall's game-tying goal paved the way for Manning's overtime winner, along with some critical saves by Stolarz late in the third period and early in overtime.


Anthony Stolarz (25 saves - 27 shots) got the start in net for Lehigh Valley tonight against Binghamton, with Martin Ouellette backing him up. 

Steven Delisle returned to the Phantoms lineup on defense after a surprise late scratch of Mark Alt, who head coach Terry Murray confirmed was ill.

No changes up front as Derek Mathers was a healthy scratch.


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

Brandon Manning - Robert Hagg
Adam Comrie - Steven Delisle
Oliver Lauridsen - Jesper Pettersson

Anthony Stolarz - Martin Ouellette


1st Period

1:10: LV - (PP) Powe, minor (high-sticking)
3:10: BNG - (PP) D. Grant, minor (goaltender interference)
9:48: LV - Goumas (5) - Stortini, Manning
11:16: BNG - (PP) New, minor (high-sticking)
19:46: BNG - Dzingel, major (fighting)
19:46: BNG - Dzingel, ten-minute misconduct
19:46: LV - Cousins, major (fighting)

2nd Period

10:28: LV - (PP) Lauridsen, minor (interference)

3rd Period

0:42: LV - (PP) Laughton, minor (tripping)
2:59: BNG - Dzingel (12) - Mullen, Schneider
5:40: BNG - Dzingel (13) - unassisted
6:39: BNG - (PP) Tassone, minor (cross-checking)
8:38: LV - PPG Hextall (4) - Pettersson, Rosehill


0:28: BNG - (PP) Wideman, minor (holding)
3:27: LV - Manning (10) - Straka, Stolarz


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