Down But Not Out - Phantoms Fall To Portland

Saturday, March 7, 2015
Lehigh Valley comes up short at home before hitting the road for five straight games.
No overtime tonight in Lehigh Valley as the Phantoms fell behind 2-0 in the first period and could never recover - coming back to within a goal four times before falling to the Portland Pirates 5-4 in regulation.

Andrew Gordon led the way offensively for the Phantoms tonight with two goals, his first game with a goal since his overtime winner in Springfield six games ago. Austin Fyten and Kevin Goumas registered two assists each for Lehigh Valley in the loss.

For Portland, it was a big win for a team that came into tonight's game 9th place in the Eastern Conference & two points out of a playoff spot. Brothers Philip and Henrik Samuelsson played an important role in tonight's game for the Pirates, with Philip's goal making it 2-0 in the first period & Henrik's 12th of the season 3:09 into the third period putting a dagger in the Phantoms side.

The Phantoms now have a season-high five-game road trip coming up on the schedule, starting Wednesday night in Toronto against the Western Conference's Toronto Marlies. With 19 games left on the regular season schedule and currently nine points out of the playoffs, the Phantoms have a tough hill to climb that they will look to begin scaling on Wednesday night. 

Portland came out with the early jump, getting chances on the opening shifts and drawing an interference penalty on Scott Laughton 3:25 into the contest. 

Although the Pirates didn't cash in on the man advantage, they took the 1-0 lead shortly after the penalty expired. Francis Walthier took a pass from Eric Selleck and from the slot, fling a wrist shot past Zepp 6:26 into the first period. Darian Dziurzynski added a secondary assist on the play.

After the Pirates goal, the Phantoms got to their game and started generating offense - drawing a power play of their own and tying things up with 7:52 left in the opening period, shortly after the man advantage had ended.

Kevin Goumas worked a puck out from behind the net and fed a perfect pass across the top of the crease to Andrew Gordon for his 16th goal of the season to tie things up at 1-1. Austin Fyten added a secondary assist on the play, and his line with Jay Rosehill and Brett Hextall started the momentum shift to the Phantoms favor with strong forechecking and offensive pressure off of forced turnovers.

The momentum surge and tied score didn't last long for the Phantoms, as Philip Samuelsson stuffed home a rebound out of a scrum in front of Zepp with 5:50 left before the first intermission to restore the Pirates' one-goal lead at 2-1. Lucas Lessio and Brendan Shinnimin recorded assists on Philip Samuelsson's 3rd goal of the season.

The Pirates maintained their one-goal lead through a middle frame where the physical play picked up and several big hits were dished out. After a Jay Rosehill boarding minor on Philip Samuelsson gave the Pirates a power play, Alexandre Bolduc set up Brendan Shinnimin just inside the left-wing face-off circle for his 14th goal of the season to extend the Pirates lead to 3-1 with 3:08 left in the period.

Down two goals late in the middle frame, the Phantoms got a big goal just a minute later to bring the score back within one. Darroll Powe got Adam Comrie a puck at the offensive blue line and Comrie did the rest, blasting a slap shot past McKenna with 2:08 before the second intermission for his 3rd tally of the season.

The see-saw battle continued in the third period.

After the Phantoms failed to score on a carry over power play to start the final frame, Bolduc set up his 2nd goal of the night for the Pirates - feeding a pass across to Henrik Samuelsson on a 2-on-1 rush for Portland. Henrik sniped one past Zepp to make it a 4-2 lead for the Pirates. Jordan Martinook added a second assist on the play.

It didn't take long for the Phantoms to climb back within a goal, as the Pirates were whistled for tripping on the ensuing face-off after Portland's goal. The Phantoms cashed in on the man advantage, with Jason Akeson getting a puck down low to Gordon - who from a bad angle fired one over McKenna's shoulder to make it 4-3 just 53 seconds later. 

The Phantoms battled on the rest of the third, but were never able to tie the game back up. Bolduc added an empty net goal with 1:38 left to make it 5-3 before Scott Laughton stuffed one home with 9.5 seconds left to complete the 5-4 final score.


Rob Zepp (27 saves - 31 shots) got the start in net for Lehigh Valley tonight. For the second straight night, Anthony Stolarz served as the team's backup.

Brandon Manning was called up by Philadelphia before the start of tonight's game, leaving Adam Comrie - a healthy scratch last night - an opening to get back in the lineup.

Scott Laughton, who missed last night's game with an illness, was back in tonight up front for the Phantoms. Derek Mathers returned to being the team's 13th forward and a healthy scratch.

Petr Straka blocked a shot last night vs. Bridgeport and tried to play through it tonight but later left the ice in the first period and did not return with what was termed an upper body injury.


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

Adam Comrie - Mark Alt
Robert Hagg - Jesper Pettersson
Oliver Lauridsen - Steven Delisle

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

3:25: LV - (PP) Laughton, minor (interference)
6:26: POR - Walthier (4) - Selleck, Dziurzynski 
8:54: POR - (PP) P. Samuelsson, minor (high-sticking)
12:08: LV - Gordon (16) - Goumas, Fyten
14:10: POR - P. Samuelsson (3) - Lessio, Shinnimin
14:41: LV - (PP) Laughton, minor (cross-checking)
19:44: LV - (PP) Lauridsen, minor (interference)

2nd Period

2:41: POR - (PP) Walthier, minor (holding)
6:36: POR - (PP) H. Samuelsson, minor (slashing)
16:17: POR - H. Samuelsson, minor (roughing)
16:17: LV - Rosehill, minor (roughing)
16:17: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (boarding)
16:52: POR - PPG Shinnimin (14) - Bolduc, Reese 
17:52: LV - Comrie (3) - Powe, Fyten
19:19: POR - (PP) McNeill, minor (delay of game)

3rd Period

3:09: POR - H. Samuelsson (12) - Bolduc, Martinook
3:14: POR - (PP) Selleck, minor (tripping)
4:02: LV - PPG Gordon (17) - Akeson, Comrie
18:22: POR - Bolduc (15) - Reese, Martinook
19:50: LV - Laughton (7) - Goumas, Leier


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