Phantoms Training Camp Update 9/28

Monday, September 28, 2015
Phantoms players were back on the ice at the PPL Center for the first time Monday.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms held their first training camp practice at the PPL Center Monday morning with two sessions and a total of 34 active players taking part in drills under new head coach Scott Gordon.

The camp roster features 19 forwards, 12 defensemen and four goaltenders including all five of the guys who cleared waivers on Saturday - forwards Tim Brent, Chris Conner and Aaron Palushaj, defenseman Davis Drewiske and goaltender Jason LaBarbera - as well as the three most recent additions from Philadelphia in forward Nick Cousins and defensemen Robert Hagg and Shayne Gostisbehere. The full roster is listed after the jump.

With only two days before their preseason opener in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins on Wednesday night, there's no time to waste for coach Gordon and the 2015-16 Phantoms.

Today, it was a practice geared towards learning the new system Gordon will be implementing this season. The pace was slower than a normal practice, but that's because there was a lot of learning, a lot of instruction and a lot of questions being asked - by rookies and veterans alike.

It's a fresh start for all players with a new season approaching as well as a new man behind the bench, so the excitement was shared by both new and returning players.

"I really like the system coach Gordon has in place for us," forward Aaron Palushaj said after practice. "I think it's going to benefit us. We're a pretty fast team. We can skate pretty well and move the puck well," he added. "I'm just excited to play some meaningful games. It's been a long summer."

Palushaj was back to being on a line with center Nick Cousins, and the two are hoping they continue to form chemistry together during the preseason though both were unsure if they are going to be in the lineup for Wednesday's preseason opener in Wilkes-Barre against the rival Penguins.

"It was a lot of learning," Cousins said of Monday's practice. "It was kind of slowed down a bit, but that’s what training camp is about. We are learning new systems and what he’s likes. That’s basically what we worked on today. It’s just a matter of getting used to that and putting it into a game."

More on Cousins and Palushaj in this week's edition of The Home News - a preseason preview so to speak.

The Phantoms will have one more practice Tuesday before Wednesday's preseason opener, where Gordon said he's expecting to have Jason LaBarbera start in net and Conner Knapp be the backup. He said how long LaBarbera plays depends on how the game is going.

Gordon also said to expect a lighter lineup of mainly 1st/2nd year players and guys either on tryout or on the bubble as far as making the Phantoms roster goes.

"What happens Wednesday night is just an evaluation of the players," Gordon said. "I don't expect perfection, there should be some uncertainty. That's what training camp is for."

The Roster

Goaltenders: Connor Knapp (#34), Jason LaBarbera (#30), Martin Ouellette (#33) and Anthony Stolarz (#35)

Defensemen: Mark Alt (#2), Samuel Morin (#3), Robert Hagg (#4), Davis Drewiske (#5), Nick Luukko (#6), Christian Marti* (#7), Jesper Pettersson (#8), Shayne Gostisbehere (#14), Maxim Lamarche (#20), Adam Comrie (#36), Logan Pyett (#39) and Sam Windle (#44)

Forwards: Cole Bardreau (#9), Geoff Walker (#11), Tyrell Goulbourne (#12), Michael Parks (#15), Aaron Palushaj (#16), Kevin Goumas (#17), Danick Martel (#18), Brandon Alderson (#19), Chris Conner (#22), Taylor Leier (#23), Petr Straka (#24), Nick Cousins (#25), Pavel Padakin (#27), Derek Mathers (#29), Tim Brent (#37), Jay Rosehill (#38), Robert Czarnik (#40), Cam Reid (#42) and Kevin Sundher (#43).

Practice #1

Line combinations

Leier - Brent - Conner
Straka - Reid - Alderson
Goulbourne - Bardreau - Rosehill
Walker - Goumas - Sundher

Hagg/Morin - Drewiske
Comrie - Windle
Lamarche - Pyett

Practice #2

Line Combinations

Martel - Cousins - Palushaj
Goumas - Padakin - Alderson
Walker - Reid - Sundher
Mathers - Czarnik - Parks

Gostisbehere - Alt
Luukko - Pettersson


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