Saturday's Morning Skate 10/24

Saturday, October 24, 2015
With Jason LaBarbera called up by the Flyers, Anthony Stolarz will man the Phantoms' net tonight against Providence. Photo credit: Nina Weiss
Editor's Note: I have decided to bring back the weekly Morning Skate feature on Saturdays. For those who are unfamiliar with this feature, it will recap Friday night's action around the Atlantic Division as well as look ahead to Saturday's games. I hope to run this every Saturday throughout the season.

It's back! Saturday's Morning Skate (10/24 edition)

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are back on home ice this weekend exactly two weeks after their home opener at the PPL Center - a game in which they lost to Syracuse. After starting with three of their first four games on the road, the Phantoms return home for a mini home stand of four games starting tonight in a rematch against the Providence Bruins.

It's early in the 2015-16 season, but each Saturday I will update the Atlantic Division standings. See below for a look at the division. After the jump, a quick recap of Friday night's games within the division and a look ahead to Saturday's schedule.

Phantoms Roster News
  • The Philadelphia Flyers recalled goaltender Jason LaBarbera. In turn, the Phantoms called up Martin Ouellette from Reading.
  • Per the ECHL transactions page, the Toledo Walleye have loaned forward Evan Rankin to the Phantoms on what is likely a PTO contract. Rankin has 108 points (55G-53) in 191 career AHL games, most recently with the Rochester Americans in 2014-15.

Atlantic Division Standings (through 10/23's games)

1. Bridgeport: 6 games played, 5-1-0-0 = 10 points
2. W-B/Scranton: 5 games played, 4-1-0-0 = 8 points
3. Hartord: 5 games played, 4-1-0-0 = 8 points
4. Portland: 4 games played, 3-1-0-0 = 6 points
5. Providence: 6 games played, 2-2-2-0 = 6 points
6. Hershey: 4 games played, 2-2-0-0 = 4 points
7. Lehigh Valley: 4 games played, 1-3-0-0 = 2 points
8. Springfield: 4 games played, 0-4-0-0 = 0 points

Friday's Recaps

Lehigh Valley - 3 at Providence - 5

In Providence the Phantoms controlled play for a majority of the first 40 minutes, but still found themselves playing catch up. Two power play goals 47 seconds apart by the PBruins late in the 2nd period put the Phantoms in a bind, and although the would tie the game at 3-3 in the third the penalty kill again surrendered a goal as the PBruins went 3-for-4 on the power play and went on to 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 got on a bus and headed to Allentown overnight, where they will rematch Saturday night at the PPL Center.

W-B/Scranton - 5 at Springfield - 0

In Springfield, Matt Murray continued his dominance of the Falcons in Springfiel - registering his first shutout of the season in a 38-save effort. All-time in Springfield, Murray is 5-0-0 with four shutouts and 147 saves on 148 shots. Simply dominant.

After a scoreless first period, the Penguins power play went to work - tallying two man advantage goals and never looking back. They added three more goals in the final 2:13 of regulation, two of which were empty net tallies.

Derrick Pouliot led all skaters with three points (1G-2A), while Matia Marcantuoni, Scott Wilson and Tom Kostopoulos tallied a goal and an assist each.

These two teams finish their home and home series in Wilkes-Barre tonight.

Albany - 2 at Portland - 4

Albany jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Portland after the first period on goals from Paul Thompson and Blake Pietila, but the Pirates responded with four unanswered goals including a natural hat trick from Greg McKegg in route to a 4-2 win.

Pirates goaltender Mike McKenna stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the win, while Cameron Gaunce added three assists for the Pirates. Doug Carr stopped 23 of 26 in the loss for Albany.

These two teams rematch in Albany tonight at 5:05 p.m. ET.

Hartford - 4 at Syracuse - 3

In a match up of Tambellini's (Adam for Hartford and Jeff for Syracuse) it was the younger Tambellini and the Hartford Wolf Pack pulling out a 4-3 win in Syracuse.

Adam Tambellini tallied two goals for the Wolf Pack in the win, while Ryan Graves added a goal and an assist. Magnus Hellberg stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced for the Wolf Pack.

Matthew Peca led the Crunch attack with a goal and an assist, while Jonathan Marchessault and Dylan Blujus also tallied goals for Syracuse. Adam Wilcox stopped 29 of 32 for the Crunch in the loss.

Hartford travels to Hershey today while Syracuse heads to Utica.

Hershey - 1 at Utica - 0

In Utica, the Bears and Comets played to a scoreless tie all the way into the waning moments of regulation before Bears team captain Garrett Mitchell got one past Joe Cannata with 1:11 left in the game to lead the Bears to two points.

It was a goaltender's duel between Herhsey's Justin Peters (19 save shutout) and Utica's Joe Cannata (23 saves on 24 shots), with the Bears' goaltender earning the win.

Hershey returns to Chocolate Town for their home opener tonight against Hartford, while the Comets remain home to face rival Syracuse.

Other Eastern Conference Scores

Toronto - 8 at Rochester - 2

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

Portland at Albany, 5:05 p.m. ET
Bridgeport at St. John's, 6:00 p.m. ET
Hartford at Hershey, 7:00 p.m. ET
Syracuse at Utica, 7:00 p.m. ET
Toronto at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. ET
Providence at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. ET
Springfield at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m. ET



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