Phantoms Take Round Two With Win Over Providence

Saturday, October 24, 2015
Phantoms win their first game on home ice this season.
In Allentown, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms returned to the PPL Center after a two-week hiatus and took care of the Providence Bruins in a rematch of last night's game in Rhode Island - fixing their problems on the penalty kill and holding a one-goal lead in the third period all the way to the waning seconds before an empty net goal sealed the first home win of the season.

Tyrell Goulbourne, Petr Straka and Aaron Palushaj tallied goals in the win for Lehigh Valley while goaltender Anthony Stolarz stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced. The Phantoms conclude their three-game weekend Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at home against the Toronto Marlies

A full recap plus thoughts from Davis Drewiske, Anthony Stolarz and head coach Scott Gordon after the jump.


Davis Drewiske on the penalty kill tonight:
Trying to get everyone on the same page. On the PK you need four guys working together in unison and reading off each other and anticipating. We're still working out some of the kinks. In order to be a successful team we have to win the battle of special teams. We didn't against Wilkes-Barre and again against Providence last night and it was the difference in both of those games.
Drewiske on the team's fore-check:
Our forwards have done, for the most part, a great job skating and moving their feet. Getting in on the fore-check and being disruptive, back pressure and turning pucks over. As a defenseman, I know that's hard to play against when you have guys that are relentless on the fore-check. Hopefully they can continue to do that.
Drewiske on Stolarz in net:
He played well. I think that's good. It was kind of slow start to the year game-wise - he hasn't played a lot just because we haven't had a lot of games with the schedule. It's good for him to come in and have a strong start and we're going to need him here going forward.
Anthony Stolarz on the PK:
They were the number one power play going in and they scored three goals on us last night. We definitely wanted to improve that. I think tonight the defense did a good job of boxing guys out in front and the forwards kept their sticks in the lanes and not giving them any cross-ice passes. I think we did a good job of eliminating their Grade A scoring chances.
Stolarz on getting his first start in eight days:
I think the biggest thing for me was practicing like I would play. With Grady Robinson here this week, I worked with him on the things I had to work on that he saw. For me, as long as I keep practicing how I'm playing no matter what the layoff is, I'll be ready at all times.
Scott Gordon on the PK:
Specifically, our PK let us down that we allowed six goals in not a lot of opportunities. What we are asking the players to do is to do some things they haven't done before. In my error, it's probably something we have preached the least with how the exhibition and first two games went. Losing Martel and Bardreau, they were killing a large portion of the penalties. That combination didn't mix well. Tonight, I thought we were in a better position to defend on the PK.
Gordon on Stolarz:
He caught the puck well tonight. I thought he got out, stopped it and set it up for our defense. He played it when he had to play it. Probably one of the better jobs I've seen a goaltender do as far as handling the puck and his decision making.
Gordon on Goulbourne:
He's a tough kid, not just with the fight either. He's got a lot of pace to his game. He takes three hard strides and he's at top speed. I think he's going to be an important piece for us and I'm happy for him. He's one of those guys who comes to the rink everyday with a smile on his face and he's ready to work. It's great for him.
Gordon on the fore-check this weekend:
That's been an ongoing thing that we've put a lot of emphasis on. Our shots against have been good. We are cutting down on the quality chances against five-on-five and that's not so much being better defensively as it is being better offensively. It makes it harder for the opposition to get offensive zone time because now they are in a situation where they want to get it out, survive the shift and change. That's been something that has been getting better as we've gone along here.


Much like last night, the Phantoms fore-check gave the PBruins problems getting the puck out of their zone. Unlike last night, the Phantoms took advantage of the strong start and took a 1-0 lead 5:45 into the contest.

Pavel Padakin's shot from atop the right-wing face-off circle missed wide, but the puck took a friendly bounce off the end boards behind PBruins netminder Zane McIntyre right out to Tyrell Goulbourne on the left wing face-off dot. Goulbourne quickly fired one past McIntyre, who was caught going the other way, to give the Phantoms an early lead. Jesper Pettersson added a secondary assist on the goal with 14:15 left in the opening period.

The PBruins tied the game at 1-1 early in the 2nd period off the rush. Shayne Gostisbehere got a good shot off from the point in the Phantoms' offensive zone, but the rebound was quickly up ice and heading the other way. Andrew MacDonald was back to defend the 2-on-1, but Seth Griffith used an expert toe-drag to avoid the sliding Phantoms' defender before wristing one past Stolarz to even the score 2:03 into the middle frame.

The Phantoms re-took the lead at 2-1 on a nice give-and-go play from Petr Straka to Pavel Padakin and back to Straka as he was entering the offensive zone. Straka entered the zone with speed and received a perfect pass from Padakin on his way to splitting the defense and beating McIntyre off the inside of the post and in 10:37 into the 2nd frame.

Tempers began to flare towards the midway point of the hockey game. It culminated in a matter of 32 seconds of game time as Goulbourne one-punch TKO'd Providence's Anthony Camara in a fight. The PBruins retaliated on the next shift as Frank Vatrano boarded Aaron Palushaj, causing a full on melee to ensue as Palushaj got up and went after Vatrano for his hit.

After both teams settled down, the Phantoms headed to the 2nd intermission with a 2-1 lead.

The Phantoms clung to the one-goal lead in the third period, and killed off their fourth straight successful penalty kill midway through the third period in route to the win.

Aaron Palushaj added the insurance marker with an empty net tally with 27.1 seconds left in regulation to complete the 3-1 final score.


Anthony Stolarz (23 saves - 24 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms. Martin Ouellette, called up from Reading (ECHL) today, backed up Stolarz.

The Phantoms signed forward Evan Rankin to a professional tryout contract (PTO) in advance of tonight's game. Rankin was with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye to start this season before getting a PTO with Lehigh Valley.

None of the injured players will be back this weekend.

Phantoms Scratches: Robert Hagg (injured), Cole Bardreau (injured), Colin McDonald (injured), Michael Parks (injured), Danick Martel (injured), Matt Lashoff (healthy/veteran) and Derek Mathers (healthy)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier - Tim Brent - Aaron Palushaj
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Chris Conner
Jay Rosehill - Kevin Goumas - Brandon Alderson
Tyrell Goulbourne - Pavel Padakin - Evan Rankin

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

Anthony Stolarz - Martin Ouellette


1st Period

5:45: LV - Goulbourne (2) - Padakin, Pettersson
11:24: LV - (PP) Cousins, minor (high-sticking)
16:09: PRO - (PP) Hickman, minor (kneeing)

2nd Period

2:03: PRO - Griffith (1) - Khokhlachev
3:29: LV - (PP) Conner, minor (hooking)
8:39: PRO - (PP) Hargrove, minor (slashing)
10:37: LV - PPG Straka (4) - Padakin, Gostisbehere
13:07: LV - Goulbourne, major (fighting)
13:07: PRO - Camara, major (fighting)
13:39: PRO - (PP) Irwin, minor (cross-checking)
13:39: PRO - Vatrano, minor (boarding)
13:39: LV - Palushaj, minor (cross-checking)
18:38: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (tripping)

3rd Period

9:51: LV - (PP) Straka, minor (high-sticking)
17:09: PRO - (PP) Cross, minor (cross-checking)
19:32: LV - ENG Palushaj (2) - unassisted


Post a Comment