Akeson Lifts Lehigh Valley to OT Win Over Bridgeport

Friday, March 6, 2015
Jason Akeson leads the Phantoms to two points tonight.
In Allentown it was another overtime game featuring the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, their 11th overtime game of the season at home, and another thrilling win for the Phantoms - a 2-1 decision thanks to a power play point shot by Jason Akeson.

Akeson took a pass from Brandon Manning at the point and the rest was history, as Akeson's heavy shot from the point clanked off the cross bar and in 48 seconds into the extra session to give the Phantoms a much-needed two points in the standings. 

"Me and [Manning] were kind of talking before [the face-off] and designed up a play and it kinda worked out perfectly," Akeson said of tonight's game winning goal.

After Brett Hextall gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead in the second period, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers - entering tonight on a season-high nine game losing skid - continued to battle and eventually ended Rob Zepp's shutout bid with 9:04 left in regulation on Dustin Jeffrey's 18th tally of the season - his first with Bridgeport in his first game with the Sound Tigers since being acquired by the New York Islanders organization at the NHL's trading deadline. 

"It's tough to let in a goal but at the same time the guys kept pushing and kept pushing and we ended up getting the two points," Akeson added. "That's all that matters to us right now is getting those two points."

The Phantoms are back on home ice Saturday night against the Portland Pirates at 7:05 p.m. ET.

A bit of a sluggish start by both teams saw the Phantoms on three straight power plays in the middle part of the opening period, but unable to get on the board. Despite outshooting the Sound Tigers 8-4 in the first frame, the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes of play.

The Sound Tigers came out with purpose to start the middle frame, firing the first four shots of the period on Zepp in the opening shift or two. Bridgeport seemed to be gaining momentum, but it was quickly derailed after a fierce forecheck by Lehigh Valley.

Jay Rosehill came flying into the offensive as the first guy in on the forecheck and was able to get to a loose puck from behind the net out into the slot to Brett Hextall, whose knee-drop one-timer banked off the post and past Poulion to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.

From there, the two teams exchanged chances back and forth, with both Zepp and Poulin standing tall to keep it at a 1-0 game entering the third period.

The Sound Tigers evened things up midway through the third period just seconds after a delay of game penalty on the Phantoms had expired. In a scramble in front of Zepp, Dustin Jeffrey got the last whack from the side of the net that crossed the line to give Bridgeport it's first goal in over nine periods of hockey.

Still, the Phantoms had a chance to end it in regulation after Czuczman high-sticked Jason Akeson with 26.1 seconds left in the 3rd. The Phantoms caught Poulin out of his net in the waning seconds but were unable to score on the temporarily vacant net as time expired, forcing the 11th overtime game of the season at home inside the PPL Center.


Rob Zepp (26 saves - 27 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms tonight against Bridgeport.

On defense, Mark Alt returned to the lineup after missing time with an illness that is apparently going through the locker room. Adam Comrie was scratched to make room on the back end for Alt.

Up front, Scott Laughton was a late surprise scratch after taking warmups. It was later determined he missed the game with illness. 

Scratches: Shayne Gostisbehere (out indefinitely), Scott Laughton (illness), Blair Jones (lower body) and Adam Comrie (healthy).


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

Brandon Manning - Mark Alt 
Robert Hagg - Jesper Pettersson
Oliver Lauridsen - Steven Delisle

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

5:35: LV - (PP) Powe, minor (elbowing)
8:40: BST - (PP) Czuczman, minor (booking)
11:17: BST - (PP) Quine, minor (hooking)
15:24: BST - Reinhart, minor (roughing)
15:24: BST - (PP) Zolnierczyk, minor (roughing)
15:24: LV - Cousins, minor (embellishment)

2nd Period

2:18: LV - Hextall (5) - Rosehill, Delisle
17:32: LV - (PP) Delisle, minor (high-sticking)

3rd Period

2:46: BST - (PP) Sutter, minor (cross-checking)
8:54: LV - (PP) Pettersson, minor (delay of game)
10:56: BST - Jeffrey (18) - Quine, Pulock
19:33: BST - (PP) Czuczman, minor (high-sticking)


0:48: LV - PPG Akeson (18) - Manning, Cousins


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