Phantoms Start Road Trip With Win Over Springfield

Friday, October 16, 2015
The Phantoms were in Springfield for their 1st road contest of the season.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms came out ready to play tonight in Springfield, taking it to the Falcons from the opening face-off and controlling large portions of the game in route to a 4-1 victory - their first win of the 2015-16 season.

Chris Conner opened the scoring with his second of the season and added two assists to lead the Phantoms attack. The Phantoms also got goals from Danick Martel, Petr Straka and Tyrell Goulbourne in the win. Goaltender Anthony Stolarz picked up the win in his first start of the season, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced.

The Phantoms' power play went 0-for-10 on the night, and while that's disappointing for a unit that features shooting defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere the Phantoms tallied two goals within three seconds after penalties had expired which head coach Scott Gordon said after the game are essentially power play goals.

Quick turnaround for the Phantoms, who have a four hour bus ride to Wilkes-Barre in advance of tomorrow afternoon's 4:05 p.m. EDT start time against the rival Penguins. After the jump, thoughts from head coach Scott Gordon, Chris Conner and Tyrell Goulbourne.


Scott Gordon on the team being ready:
I thought the first and third periods especially. I thought the second period we got into a little trouble with turnovers and not having depth to our attack. Overall, I was really happy with the effort. A lot of the stuff we stressed in practice this week was really good. The guys deserve full marks for that - great effort.
Gordon on the power play:
I think we moved the puck better in the preseason than we did tonight. Part of it was the ice .... but that you can't control. I just thought overall sloppy on the power play. Sometimes you move the puck well and don't score, so both of those situations that we scored those goals we obviously did some things right. Bottom line, the guy was coming out of the box and they don't go down as power play goals but in reality they are.
Gordon on Conner's play:
I didn't think he had a great camp, but I liked his game the first game. The thing that stood out in the first game was his speed. I didn't see it throughout training camp and then tonight we really saw his speed. That's what he has to use to his advantage. He's got to make sure he's getting into situations where he can take the defenseman wide or getting in on pucks and creating havoc on the back check. Tonight, he was really good.
Tyrell Goulbourne on his 1st pro goal (in 3rd period):
I felt like I was fore-checking well all night. I saw that guy with his back turned towards me, so I decided jump on it and I smacked his stick and got pretty lucky on it - bounced right in front of me. I was aiming low-blocker but I didn't realize the goalie was a lefty so it was low-glove. But I'm glad it went in.
Goulbourne on strong 1st period:
I think even in the preseason, our first period was our worst period. We wanted to come out strong today and play a full 60 minutes. I felt we were fore-checking well right off the hop and it carried throughout the whole game. We were wearing their defense down right off the bat, so it worked well for us.
Chris Conner on the 1st period:
All the lines came out. Defense was jumping. Everyone was on their toes. It kind of set the tone for the rest of the game.
Conner on the power play:
Honestly, I think it can be better. If you ask any guy that's on it, we need to be a lot better on the power play. It's early, but it'll come around. Just executing and working together, outworking the PK.
Conner on tonight's performance overall:
Road win. Step in the right direction. It's one game out of a lot, so we have to move on to the next one pretty quick here and get ready for Wilkes.
Conner on the 4-hr bus ride to Wilkes-Barre overnight:
It's always better when you win, so we're not complaining about that one.

The Phantoms got off to a great start tonight in Springfield, bringing the puck up ice with speed through the neutral zone and moving around in the offensive zone.

If not for some great saves by Falcons' netminder Louis Domingue in the opening minutes, the Phantoms would have gotten on the board sooner than the 6:25 mark when Chris Conner put the rebound of Mark Alt's shot into the top shelf. Nick Cousins got open in the high slot and skated towards the point, feeding Alt with a backdoor pass at the bottom of the left-wing circle. Alt's shot was stopped but Conner was there for the rebound to give the Phantoms the 1-0 lead.

A parade to the penalty box ensued in the middle part of the period with four minor penalties called in a span of 5:18 - including a brief 5-on-3 power play for the Falcons - but the penalty killers won the special teams battles in the first 20 minutes.

The penalties continued in the middle frame, with the Phantoms getting 1:49 of two-man advantage time in the opening minutes. It seemed the Phantoms got right back to where they left off in the 1st period, dominating play and forcing the Falcons into taking penalties.

They weren't able to get anything out of the 5-on-3 power play, but right after the second minor penalty expired Petr Straka sent a cross-ice pass to Danick Martel for Martel's 2nd of the season and a 2-0 lead for the Phantoms 2:59 into the 2nd period. Conner added a secondary assist on the play, giving him two points on the night to that point.

The Falcons started generating some offensive pressure in the middle of the 2nd period, and it was ex-Phantoms defender Steven Delisle getting Springfield on the board at 10:55 after his shot from the right-wing wall hit the leg of a Phantoms defender and changed directions on Anthony Stolarz. Delisle's first of the season made it a 2-1 game.

The Phantoms re-gained the momentum late in the period, though they were unable to make their 6th power play of the night count. They were given a 7th opportunity on the man advantage with eight seconds left in the middle frame that carried over into the third period. Despite a largely dominating performance by the Phantoms in the opening forty minutes, it was just a one-goal lead heading to the final frame.

Lehigh Valley failed to score on the carry-over power play time, but again the Phantoms were able to put one home shortly after it had expired. Conner's shot was stopped by Domingue and this time it was Petr Straka putting home the rebound to make it 3-1 less than two minutes into the third.

From there, the Falcons continued to take penalties and put themselves shorthanded. The Phantoms didn't tally any power play goals, but Tyrell Goulbourne stole a puck at the offensive blue line and beat Domingue for his first pro goal to make it a 4-1 game with 9:34 left to play.


Anthony Stolarz (19 saves - 20 shots) got his first start in net of the season, with Jason LaBarbera serving as the back up. Gordon said LaBarbera is expected to start in net Saturday afternoon versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Colin McDonald didn't make the trip to Springfield and remains out with an undisclosed injury. McDonald's absence from the lineup allowed veteran Jay Rosehill to make his season debut. After the game, Gordon said McDonald won't play tomorrow and will remain out "a couple of weeks".

Danick Martel left the game early in the second period and didn't return. He blocked a shot and wasn't able to come back out. Gordon said he would know more tomorrow.

Jesper Pettersson was the lone healthy scratch. Logan Pyett will be out indefinitely after it was revealed he has sarcoma in his upper left leg.

Phantoms Scratches: Jesper Petterson (healthy), Colin McDonald (undisclosed) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely - sarcoma)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier - Tim Brent (A) - Aaron Palushaj
Danick Martel - Nick Cousins - Chris Conner
Tyrell Goulbourne - Cole Bardreau - Petr Straka
Jay Rosehill - Pavel Padakin - Michael Parks

Shayne Gostisbehere - Andrew MacDonald (A)
Davis Drewiske (A) - Mark Alt
Sam Morin - Robert Hagg

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera


1st Period

6:25: LV - Conner (2) - Alt, Cousins
8:39: LV - (PP) - Leier, minor (high-sticking)
11:06: SPR - (PP) Shinnimin, minor (tripping)
11:28: LV - (PP) Palushaj, minor (tripping)
12:13: LV - (PP) MacDonald, minor (hooking)
16:24: SPR - (PP) Plachta, minor (holding the stick)

2nd Period

0:48: SPR - (PP) H. Samuelsson, minor (cross-checking)
0:59: SPR - (PP) Delisle, minor (delay of game)
2:59: LV - Martel (2) - Straka, Conner
5:09: SPR - (PP) Shinnimin, minor (hooking)
10:55: SPR - Delisle (1) - Mauermann, Dauphin
14:42: SPR - (PP) Cunningham, minor (delay of game)
19:52: SPR - (PP) Carey, minor (roughing)

3rd Period

1:56: LV - Straka (1) - Conner, MacDonald
5:03: SPR - (PP) Gaudet, minor (interference)
10:26: LV - Goulbourne (1) - unassisted
10:41: SPR - (PP) Shinnimin, minor (high-sticking)
10:41: SPR - (PP) Shinnimin, minor (unsportsmanlike)


Post a Comment