Phantoms Drop 4-2 Decision to Hershey

Friday, November 6, 2015
Shayne Gostisbehere heads for a loose puck in the defensive zone. Photo credit: Nina Weiss.
In the rematch between bitter rivals in the AHL's Atlantic Division, the Hershey Bears took advantage of the final minutes of the 2nd period and the start of the 3rd period to take a 4-2 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night at the PPL Center in front of 8,265 fans.

Tyrell Goulbourne's third of the season with 15:32 left in regulation cut the deficit to 3-2, but that's as close as the Phantoms would get as Chris Bourque tallied an empty net goal with 51.3 seconds left in regulation to seal the deal.

Aaron Palushaj also tallied for the Phantoms in the loss, while Jason LaBarbera was the goaltender of record stopping 24 of the 27 shots he faced.

The Phantoms have no time to waste thinking about tonight's game, as they have an overnight bus ride up to Syracuse and a Saturday night contest against the Crunch before finishing off a three-game weekend Sunday at home against Binghamton.


Aaron Palushaj on final minutes of 2nd and start of third doing the team in tonight:
I don't think it was our A-game tonight. Effort was there at times, but I don't think we played to our potential. At home, it's a little frustrating with a good week of practice but we have to regroup and get ready for tomorrow night's game.
Palushaj on his 1st period goal:
I just tried to get in front of the net and I got a stick on it. I didn't know where it went until the light went on and the fans started cheering. It's nice to get a goal, I would give it back if we could take the win but it was nice to get one early in the game.
Palushaj on re-grouping:
I think we have to learn from our mistakes from tonight. We can't sulk over the game, we have to get ready for Syracuse tomorrow in a tough building and putting our working boots on.
Mark Alt on the PK going 6-for-6:
I think we are starting to click a lot more and understanding the system that has been put in place. A lot of it comes from being aggressive when we are supposed to, especially down the half-wall. Our D are getting a better idea of when to jump and put pressure on their team. It's causing some turnovers.
Alt on setting up Goulbourne's goal:
A little turnover there in the middle, saw an opening and took advantage of it. When I got to the corner, I saw Goulbourne open in front and he put it away which was nice. We tried to build off it and just couldn't pull through.
Tyrell Goulbourne on his goal from Alt:
I saw the D-men wasn't paying attention to me. I kind of a good stick on it. Alt made a good play stepping up and had a good rush and almost scored on it. He's a right-hander and I knew he was going to be turning towards the wall so I got open in the slot and he managed to find me there.
Goulbourne on buliding off the third period:
You don't want to get scored on in the first five minutes or last five minutes of any period. Going down 3-1 right off the bat there, it was tough to come back. I thought we fought hard in the third, but again we have to have a full 60 minutes. It can't just be at the end of the game.


The Phantoms and Bears started off the first period with good pace, with only a whistle or two in the first seven minutes of play. After a Petr Straka hooking minor put the Phantoms shorthanded, Taylor Leier drew a tripping penalty after a great shorthanded rush. On the ensuing face-off, the Phantoms made it a 1-0 game on one of the weirdest deflection goals you'd ever see.

Shayne Gostisbehere took the face-off win from Tim Brent and fired a shot from the point, which deflected off a Bears forward in front before hitting off Aaron Palushaj's stick and blooping up into the air and back down into the net behind Dan Ellis with 12:02 left in the 1st period.

The lead was short lived, however, as the Bears tied up a little over three minutes later. Stanislav Galiev, in his first game with Hershey after being re-assigned by Washington Capitals, took a pass from Carter Camper and split the defense before letting loose a laser of a wrist shot that beat Jason LaBarbera to the spot. Galiev's 1st of the season made it a 1-1 game with 8:43 left in the opening frame.

The Phantoms got into penalty trouble late in the first period as Andrew MacDonald took an interference minor and subsequent unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on his way to the penalty box, putting the Phantoms shorthanded for four minutes with 1:53 left.

Lehigh Valley got to the second period unscathed, but a hooking penalty to Matt Lashoff put the Phantoms down two men for 55 seconds. Coming into the game, the Phantoms had the league's worst penalty kill but a strong kill led by Samuel Morin saw the Phantoms escape the two-man advantage still deadlocked at 1-1.

The penalties evened themselves out toward the midway point of the 2nd period as back-to-back tripping minors on Hershey gave the Phantoms a 5-on-3 of their own, albeit for 56 seconds. Unfortunately for the Phantoms, they were unable to cash in on the power play and the game remained tied at 1-1.

Danick Martel was extra feisty tonight, flattening Zach Sill with a big hit in the first period and again on Aaron Ness in the second period - drawing the ire of the Bears players. During the Phantoms penalty kill of Martel's second minor of the night, Andrew MacDonald blocked a shot off the outside of his foot and slowly skated to the bench in some obvious discomfort. He didn't return the rest of the period/game.

It wasn't until there was less than 90 seconds left in the middle frame that the even score was broken. After Aaron Palushaj was interfered with at the Phantoms defensive zone blue line, a neutral zone turnover sprung Nathan Walker on a mini-breakaway and he beat LaBarbera to the five-hole to make it a 2-1 Hershey lead with 1:19 left in the 2nd period.

The Bears made it 3-1 early in the third period after a bit of a miscue behind the Phantoms net. Jason LaBarbera tried to send a puck around the boards and out of the zone, but it was intercepted by Ryan Stanton. Stanton quickly threw one towards the net and it deflected off Carter Camper and in past LaBarbera 1:03 into the third period.

The Phantoms didn't quit, getting back to within a goal after a nice play by Mark Alt. Alt made a series of moves to get past the Bears' defense, but was stopped by Ellis. The rebound went to the corner behind the net and Alt fed a perfect pass out in front to Tyrell Goulbourne, who beat Ellis with a one-timer to make it a 3-2 game with 15:32 left in regulation.

That's as close as Lehigh Valley would get, as the Bears added an empty net tally with 51.3 seconds left to complete the 4-2 final score.


Jason LaBarbera ( saves - shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms, with Anthony Stolarz serving as the team's backup. Head coach Scott Gordon said Stolarz will get the start tomorrow night in Syracuse.

On defense, the much anticipated debut of Phantoms defenseman Christian Marti.

Up front, Evan Rankin returned to the lineup after missing Sunday's game in Hershey as did Chris Conner who was re-assigned by Philadelphia

Phantoms Scratches: Robert Hagg (injured), Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Cole Bardreau (injured), Colin McDonald (injured), Michael Parks (injured), Nick Cousins (injured) and Derek Mathers (healthy), Jay Rosehill (healthy/veteran) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)


Taylor Leier - Tim Brent - Aaron Palushaj
Petr Straka - Danick Martel - Chris Conner
Tyrell Goulbourne - Kevin Goumas - Brandon Alderson
Evan Rankin - Kevin Sundher - Pavel Padakin

Shayne Gostisbehere - Andrew MacDonald
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Matt Lashoff - Christian Marti

Jason LaBarbera - Anthony Stolarz

1st Period

7:14: LV - (PP) Straka, minor (hooking)
7:52: HER - (PP) Bourque, minor (tripping)
7:58: LV - Palushaj (4) -Gostisbehere, Brent
11:17: HER - Galiev (1) - Camper, Collins
12:42: LV - Martel, minor (interference)
12:42: HER - Mitchell, minor (roughing)
18:07: LV - (PP) MacDonald, minor (interference)
18:07: LV - (PP) MacDonald, minor (unsportsmanlike)

2nd Period

1:12: LV - (PP) Lashoff, minor (hooking)
7:37: HER - (PP) Collins, minor (tripping)
8:41: HER - (PP) Carrick, minor (tripping)
15:14: LV - (PP) Martel, minor (tripping)
18:41: HER - Walker (2) - Carrick

3rd Period

1:03: HER - Camper (2) - Collins, Stanton
4:28: LV - Goulbourne (3) - Kevin Sundher, Mark Alt
9:41: HER - (PP) Stanton, minor (delay of game)
11:23: LV - (PP) Lashoff, minor (holding)
19:08: HER: ENG Bourque (4) - unassisted


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