Shark Attack: Worcester Hands Lehigh Valley 6-1 Loss

Saturday, March 21, 2015
A disappointing end to the Phantoms' five-game road trip.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms knew coming into this three-game weekend that it was crucial for their push towards the postseason to pick up some wins and that it was going to be no easy task. After a disappointing final result last night in Hartford that had you thinking the score could have gone the other way with a bounce or two, there was no way around tonight's 6-1 loss to Worcester.

The Phantoms fell behind early much like Friday night in Hartford, except tonight their opponent didn't lay off the pressure and continued to capitalize on Lehigh Valley's mistakes. It seemed anytime the Phantoms made a mistake, the Sharks were there to capitalize.

After the jump, some interesting post-game player reactions from Brandon Manning, Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier.

All three were asked the same question, and all three had something a little different to say when asked about how the team re-focuses on their 5-hour overnight bus ride home to Allentown before they take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Sunday evening at 5 p.m. ET.


Brandon Manning on re-focusing after this one:
We are 60 games in - everyone has been playing pro hockey that long. You have to look within yourself and it comes down to the individual and making sure you are ready. It's the same for every team - they have to play three-in-three's. I don't think they're fair, but that's the way it is.
Scott Laughton on any differences between this weekend's road games and last weekend's:
Not really. Our D-Zone hasn't been that good from five guys out. Tonight we left Stolarz out to dry - doesn't play too many games and he comes in and we let him hang. Good thing is we get to rebound tomorrow - 5 o'clock game - and that's what we look at right now. We can't feel sorry for ourselves because of this weekend - still have a couple games in hand on some teams. Tomorrow is a must-win for a playoff push.
Laughton on re-focusing with 5-hr overnight bus ride and third game in 2.5 days:
You have to dig deep and figure out a way to squeak one out tomorrow. 
Taylor Leier on re-focusing going into tomorrow's game:
We knew this weekend was big. Last night, we could have won but it didn't really go our way and tonight nothing went our way. We didn't help ourselves out too much but we have to put it behind us. Try to clear your mind, fresh start tomorrow.

Another tough start for Lehigh Valley, which saw them trail by multiple goals in the opening period for the third straight game. The Phantoms had series' of offensive zone time and held the edge in play at times, but it seemed like anytime they made a mistake the Sharks were in perfect position to capitalize.

It started after the Sharks' 4th line caught the Phantoms in the middle of a line change about five minutes into play.  Jimmy Bonneau won a loose puck race behind the Phantoms' net and fed a pass to an open Daniel Ciampini for the former Union College forward's 1st pro goal in just his third AHL game. That made it 1-0 Worcester 5:16 into the first period.

Then, midway through the opening frame, the Sharks made it 2-0 after a point shot from Matt Taormina bounced off Sharks' captain Bryan Lerg and past Anthony Stolarz 10:57 into the contest. Matt Tennyson added a secondary assist on the play.

While it was tough to blame Stolarz on the first two goals, he surely would want back the third goal against him - a bad angle shot from below the left-wing face-off circle by Rylan Schwartz with 3:57 left before the first intermission.

Frustration began to show in the final minute of the period after a questionable offsides call on Lehigh Valley. Blair Jones, in his second game back from a 24-game injury absence, was called for unsportsmanlike conduct with 38.1 seconds left in the opening frame - putting Lehigh Valley on the penalty kill down 3-0 entering the second period.

The Phantoms killed off Jones' penalty to start the middle period, but things went from bad to worse for Lehigh Valley from there. Ryan Carpenter deflected a Bonneau point shot 2:57 into the 2nd period after Bonneau picked off a Phantoms clearing attempt to make it 4-0 Worcester.

They made it 5-0 with 8:05 left in the middle period after Micheal Haley, from behind the Phantoms net, found Willie Coetzee wide open in the slot for a goal almost exactly the same way the Sharks opened the scoring in the first period.

The Phantoms broke Aaron Dell's shutout bid on a 5-on-3 power play goal from Brandon Manning, but that was just about the only positive for Lehigh Valley as John McCarthy put Worcester back ahead by five goals and capped the scoring at 6-1 with 4:15 left.


Anthony Stolarz (24 saves - 30 shots) got the start in net tonight in Worcester for the Phantoms, with Rob Zepp getting a night off between starts Friday and Sunday (scheduled starter).

There were no lineup changes up other than the one in goal, with the same six defensemen and 12 forwards from last night's lineup back in tonight. The lines and defense pairings were all changed minus the third line of Rosehill-Fyten-Hextall which has stuck together for quite some time.

Scratches: Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL injury), Kevin Goumas (healthy) and Derek Mathers (healthy)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Jason Akeson
Petr Straka - Blair Jones - Andrew Gordon
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Brett Hextall
Darroll Powe - Cole Bardreau - Zack Stortini

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

Anthony Stolarz - Rob Zepp


1st Period

5:16: WOR - 5:16: Ciampini (1) - Bonneau, Young
10:57: WOR - Lerg (13) - Taormina, Tennyson
16:03: WOR - Schwartz (4) - McCarthy
19:21: LV - (PP) Jones, minor (unsportsmanlike)

2nd Period

2:57: WOR - Carpenter (10) - Bonneau, Ciampini
5:17: LV - (PP) Stortini, minor (roughing)
6:29: LV - Lauridsen, minor (roughing)
6:29: LV - Lauridsen, ten minute misconduct (continuing altercation 46.5)
6:29: WOR - Hayes, minor (goaltender interference)
11:55: WOR - Coetzee (9) - Haley, Oleksuk

3rd Period

2:53: WOR - (PP) Stollery, minor (interference)
3:59: WOR - (PP) Carpenter, minor (tripping)
4:55: LV - PPG Manning (11) - Stortini, Gordon
15:45: WOR - McCarthy (12) - Hayes
16:05: LV - (PP) Gordon, minor (high-sticking)


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