Phantoms First Year In Lehigh Valley Still A Success

Sunday, April 19, 2015
Phantoms close out their inaugural season at home.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms closed out the 2014-15 season - their first as an AHL franchise - with a 5-1 loss to their rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and despite missing the postseason this year the inaugural season at the PPL Center was still a resounding success.

The PPL Center, home to the Phantoms, was sold out for 22 of the team's 38 games including an attendance of 8,689 tonight - averaging over 8,000 fans per game and being one of the top teams in terms of attendance figures in the entire AHL this season.

The future is bright for the Phantoms, who saw several rookies and younger players make leaping strides in their respective development over the season. There will be plenty of changes throughout the Philadelphia Flyers organization over the summer, but the Phantoms team that takes to the ice for the 2015-16 season will be looking to start up a winning atmosphere next fall.


Oliver Lauridsen on last game of the season:
Last game of the season in the 3-in-3 there, you just dig deep and find the energy. This one was supposed to be for the fans I guess. I think we should be able to find the motivation. We get some unfortunate bounces to put us in a hole after the 1st period, just have a hard time clawing our way back in.
Lauridsen on leaving a final impression heading into off-season:
Yeah, for the most part I'm pretty happy with the way I finished up the season. You can't really take anything for granted here, so just have to see how your meetings go and take the off-season one day at a time.
Brandon Manning on obvious goal for next season:
Whether it happens last week or ten weeks from now, it doesn't really change my summer. My goal is to make the Flyers, obviously. There's going to be 6 or 7 guys ahead of me in camp so hopefully, maybe they'll move someone or maybe there's an opportunity for me to beat somebody out. Whatever the case, I have to make sure I'm getting better, improving and ready for training camp.

The Phantoms' penalty troubles that have haunted them all season long surfaced in the opening minutes of play, giving the Penguins 1:37 of 5-on-3 power play time just 2:05 into the contest.

Jean-Sebastien Dea scored off a rebound of a Danny Syvret shot on the two-man advantage to give the Pens a 1-0 lead and Tom Kuhnhackl sniped one past Rob Zepp just four seconds after the second penalty expired to make it a 2-0 game 4:09 into the opening frame.

Things got pretty chippy from there, with a total of 38 PIM in the first period - including a sequence with 56.1 left where Bobby Farnham missed a big hit along the boards at the WBS bench and Jay Rosehill retaliated and pushed him up and over the boards into the bench.

Surprisingly, only one minor penalty was assessed in a much more tame middle frame. Farnham extended the WBS lead to 3-0 early in the period on a nifty backhander that handcuffed Zepp. Sean Escobedo picked up his second assist of the night.

Later in the period, Oliver Lauridsen showed a burst of speed and energy - flying down the left wing and sending a bad angle shot that fooled Jeff Zatkoff to get the Phantoms on the board. Unfortunately, that's as close as the Phantoms would get tonight.

Similar to Saturday night's game in Hershey, a penalty at the end of the 2nd period allowed the Phantoms' opponent to start the 3rd with a power play.

The Penguins capitalized on the opportunity, with Sean Escobedo tallying his first career AHL goal and his third point of the night to put the Pens back up by three. Jayson Megna tallied his team-leading 26th goal of the season midway through the third to cap the scoring at a 5-1 final.


Rob Zepp (30 saves - 35 shots) got the start in net tonight for Lehigh Valley in their season finale. Anthony Stolarz served as the backup after getting the start last night in Hershey.

Cole Bardreau and Jesper Pettersson were scratched tonight and Jay Rosehill and Brandon Manning returned to the lineup for Lehigh Valley.

Andrew Gordon left the game early with what Terry Murray described as a lower body injury. Gordon wasn't seen in the third period.

Scratches: Steven Delisle (upper body), Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Cole Bardreau (healthy), Austin Fyten (lower body - out for season), Shayne Gostisbehere (lower body - out for season), Blair Jones (undisclosed injury) and Darroll Powe (concussion-like symptoms).

Lines (Starters in Bold & Italics)

Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Jason Akeson
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Andrew Gordon
Zack Stortini - Danick Martel - Brett Hextall
Jay Rosehill - Kevin Goumas - Derek Mathers

Brandon Manning - Mark Alt
Oliver Lauridsen - Robert Hagg
Nick Luukko - Matt Konan

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

1:43: LV - (PP) Laughton, minor (holding)
2:05: LV - (PP) Goumas, minor (delay of game - face-off violation)
3:20: WBS - PPG Dea (10) - Syvret, Sheary
4:09: WBS - Kuhnhackl (12) - Escobedo, Rowney
5:31: LV - Stortini, minor (roughing)
5:31: WBS - Leblond, minor (roughing)
8:27: WBS - (PP) Boak, minor (cross-checking)
15:56: WBS - (PP) Seymour, minor (elbowing)
19:03: WBS - Leblond, minor (roughing)
19:03: WBS - Leblond, ten-minute misconduct
19:03: LV - Rosehill, minor (roughing)
19:03: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (roughing)
19:03: LV - Rosehill, ten-minute misconduct

2nd Period

2:56: WBS - Farnham (7) - Escobedo
9:27: LV - Lauridsen (4) - Hagg, Martel
13:02: LV - (PP) Lauridsen, minor (slashing)
20:00: LV - (PP) Hextall, minor (high-sticking)

3rd Period

1:29: WBS - PPG Escobedo (1) - Rowney, Kuhnhackl
10:59: WBS - Megna (26) - Archibald, Sheary
11:35: WBS - Boak, ten-minute misconduct
11:35: WBS - Leblond, ten-minute misconduct
11:35: WBS - (PP) Payerl, double-minor (high-sticking)
11:35: LV - Lauridsen, ten-minute misconduct
11:35: LV - Stortini, ten-minute misconduct
19:54: WBS - Farnham, ten-minute misconduct
19:54: WBS - (PP) Uher, minor (goaltender interference)
19:54: LV - Hextall, ten-minute misconduct


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