Sharks Defeat Phantoms For Sommer's 600th AHL Win

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
In a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms dropped a 4-3 decision to the Worcester Sharks. The win was head coach Roy Sommer's 600th win as an AHL head coach - only the third AHL coach all-time to reach the 600-win plateau.

I say the game wasn't as close as the one-goal final score because it was a 4-1 game with less than a minute and a half left. Brandon Manning ripped a shot off the crossbar that was deemed a good goal after an extensive review with 1:27 left. Zack Stortini stuffed home a rebound with 2.5 seconds left.

The Sharks dominated play for the most part after falling behind 1-0, firing 21 shots on Phantoms goaltender Rob Zepp in the first period alone. Zepp finished with 40 saves on 44 shots in the loss.

The Phantoms (21-19-4-1) finish the weekend with a pair of road games, starting Saturday night in Binghamton and Sunday evening in Hershey.

After killing off a minor penalty in the opening minutes, the Phantoms got a power play chance of their own and converted on the man advantage to take a 1-0 lead just 3:19 into the contest.

Playing the point on the power play, Akeson got a pass from Cousins and from just atop the left-wing face-off circle floated a wrister to the top shelf. Manning also picked up an assist on the play, but credit Stortini on creating a perfect screen in front of Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell. The goalie never saw the puck. 

From there, the Sharks carried play and tied the game at 1-1 with 6:30 left before the intermission. Zepp made the initial save, but kicked a rebound out into the slot where Ryan Carpenter was parked and the rookie forward tallied his seventh of the season.

Things evened out in the second period in terms of puck possession and offensive chances, but miscommunication among the Phantoms defense in their own zone gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead late in the period.

Carpenter jumped on the loose puck in the slot and fed a backhand pass to Hayes for his 4th goal of the season with 5:45 left before the second intermission.

The Phantoms had a golden opportunity to tie things up heading into the final frame, but Petr Straka missed an empty net in the final seconds and hit the post.

The Sharks had no trouble converting on the power play in the third period, tallying back-to-back goals on the man advantage 3:35 apart midway through the final frame to break the game open.

First it was captain Bryan Lerg putting the rebound of an Evan Trupp shot past Zepp to make it a 3-1 lead for the Sharks. On their next man advantage, Micheal Haley re-directed a point shot into the back of the net for his 12th of the season.

The Phantoms made it interesting in the final 1:27 but ultimately it was too little too late for Lehigh Valley.


Rob Zepp (40 saves - 44 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms, with rookie Anthony Stolarz serving as the backup.

With Petr Straka back from Philadelphia, the Phantoms had 12 healthy forwards and needed to scratch one of the seven defensemen who had played all last weekend. Jesper Pettersson was the odd man out on the blue line tonight.

Darroll Powe skated in practice this week in a no-contact jersey, but has taken the next step to returning to the lineup - having been out of action since 12/27 against Norfolk.

Scratches: Mark Alt (broken hand - out since 12/31), Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (recovering from ACL surgery - resumed skating), Blair Jones (lower body - out 6 to 8 weeks) and Darroll Powe (upper body - out since 12/27)


Taylor Leier - Jason Akeson - Derek Mathers
Zack Stortini - Nick Cousins - Andrew Gordon
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Brett Hextall
Petr Straka - Kevin Goumas - Brandon Alderson

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

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

0:49: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (goaltender interference)
3:06: WOR - (PP) Asuchak minor, (goaltender interference)
3:19: LV - PPG Akeson (10) - Cousins, Manning
10:46: LV - (PP) Manning, minor (hooking)
13:30: WOR - Carpenter (7) - Hayes, Young
15:18: LV - (PP) Manning, minor (slashing)
18:55: LV - (PP) Manning, minor (roughing)

2nd Period

2:36: LV - (PP) Delisle, minor (tripping)
5:01: WOR - (PP) bench minor (too many men)
9:51: WOR - (PP) Hayes, minor (slashing)
14:15: WOR - Hayes (4) - Carpenter, McCarthy
15:19: LV - Cousins, major (fighting)
15:19: WOR - Oleksuk, major (fighting)
18:13: WOR - (PP) Coetzee, minor (slashing)

3rd Period

5:56: WOR - (PP) Parkes, minor (boarding)
8:47: LV - (PP) Fyten, minor (tripping)
10:13: WOR - PPG Lerg (7) - Trupp, Taormina
12:45: LV - (PP) Manning, minor (interference)
13:48: WOR - PPG Haley (12) - Taormina, Oleksuk
18:33: LV - Manning (8) - Cousins, Gordon
19:58: LV - Stortini (8) - Leier, Manning 


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