Phantoms Fall To Providence To Start Weekend

Friday, October 23, 2015

Petr Straka tallied his team-leading 3rd goal of the season tonight in Providence in a losing effort. Photo credit: Nina Weiss
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms controlled most of the first two periods, but still found themselves playing catch up most of the night. The Providence Bruins had slow starts to the first and second periods, but out shot the Phantoms 13-4 in the third period and held on for a 5-3 win.

Taylor Leier, Petr Straka and Tim Brent tallied goals for the Phantoms in the loss, while Jason LaBarbera takes the loss and is 0-3-0 on the season after allowing four goals on 28 shots.

Frank Vatrano tallied his league-leading 8th goal of the season, while Colby Cave tallied two goals in the win for Providence. Alexander Khokhlachev led all skaters with three points, all assists. Zane McIntyre picked up the win with 25 saves on 28 shots.

These two teams both get on a bus and head to Allentown, where these two teams will rematch Saturday night at the PPL Center.


The Phantoms got off to a strong start in the opening period, registering the first seven shots of the contest and spending a majority of the first eight minutes in the offensive zone. Credit the PBruins for blocking several shots and clearing the rebounds out of harms way. Rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre made the necessary saves for the home team as well.

The momentum started to switch to Providence in the second half of the first frame - as the PBruins went from being out shot 7-0 to a 10-8 deficit in the shot column. After a flurry of pressure late in the 1st period, the PBruins took a 1-0 lead.

Seth Griffith, playing in his first game of the season after suffering an injury in late September, kept a puck in the offensive zone and got it to Tommy Cross. Cross fed Anton Blindh a cross-ice backdoor pass that the rookie forward nearly missed putting past LaBarbera with 2:19 before the 1st intermission. Blidh appeared to be running out of room, but sneaked it past the Phantoms goaltender to give the PBruins a one-goal led heading into the 2nd period.

The Phantoms got right back to where they started the game in the beginning of the middle frame. This time, it paid off 25 seconds into the period as Taylor Leier picked up a turnover forced on a fore-check by Tim Brent and fired a shot past McIntyre to even the score at 1-1.

From there, it was much like the first period. The Phantoms dominated play and controlled the puck in the offensive zone for most of the first 14 minutes of the middle frame. Then, in the final six minutes, the tides turned quickly.

After Matt Lashoff was called for the game's first penalty at 14:22, the PBruins made the first power play of the game count. AHL leading goal scorer Frank Vatrano whacked home a rebound past LaBarbera to put the home team back on top, 2-1, and a full on melee ensued after the goal.

The result of the play was another power play and another power play goal for the PBruins just 47 seconds later to make it a 3-1 game. Again, Griffith and Khokhlachev went to work on the power play and this time set up Colby Cave for his 3rd of the season.

The Phantoms got themselves back into the game in the final minute of play in the period, with Petr Straka finishing off a rebound of an Andrew MacDonald shot with 17.3 seconds left before the 2nd intermission to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Lehigh Valley got their first power play of the game just after six minutes had gone by in the third period, and Tim Brent tied things up with his 2nd of the season after a nice drop pass from Taylor Leier to Brent in the slot.

An errant high-sticking double-minor on Sam Morin gave the already 2-for-2 Bruins power play a chance to re-gain the lead and although the Phantoms killed off the first two minutes of the man advantage, a broken stick by a penalty killer gave Providence enough of an advantage to re-take the lead 4-3 with 8:09 left in regulation.

While the Phantoms out shot the PBruins in each of the first two periods, the home team out shot the Phantoms 13-4 in the final frame and added an empty net goal with 49.5 seconds left to complete the 5-3 score.


Jason LaBarbera (24 saves - 28 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms, with Anthony Stolarz backing him up.

Due to the league's veteran rule, the Phantoms lone healthy scratch was forward Jay Rosehill.

Andrew MacDonald dressed as the team's 7th defenseman, and the Phantoms went with an 11 forward/7 defensemen lineup tonight.

Phantoms Scratches: Robert Hagg (injured), Cole Bardreau (injured), Colin McDonald (injured), Michael Parks (injured), Danick Martel (injured) and Jay Rosehill (healthy/veteran)


Taylor Leier - Tim Brent - Aaron Palushaj
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Chris Conner
Tyrell Goulbourne - Pavel Padakin - Brandon Alderson
           Kevin Goumas - Derek Mathers

Shayne Gostisbehere - Andrew MacDonald
Davis Drewiske - Mark Alt
Sam Morin - Jesper Pettersson
         Matt Lashoff

Jason LaBarbera - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

17:41: PRO - Blidh (1) - Cross, Griffith

2nd Period

0:25: LV - Leier (1) - unassisted
14:22: LV - (PP) Lashoff, minor (high-sticking)
15:22: PRO - PPG Vatrano (8) - Khokhlachev, Griffith
15:22: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (roughing)
15:22: LV - Alt, minor (roughing)
15:22: PRO - Vatrano, minor (roughing)
16:09: PRO - PPG Cave (3) - Khokhlachev, Griffith
19:42: LV - Straka (3) - MacDonald

3rd Period

6:03: PRO - (PP) Iafrate, minor (slashing)
6:42: LV - PPG Brent (2) - Leier, Cousins
9:04: LV - (PP) Morin, double-minor (high-sticking)
11:51: PRO - PPG Irwin (1) - Vatrano, Khokhlachev
19:10: PRO - ENG Cave (4) - Cross


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