Phantoms Short By One In Syracuse

Saturday, November 7, 2015
Phantoms unable to recover from a 2-0 first period deficit.
Tonight in Syracuse, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms fell behind by a pair of first period goals from Crunch leading scorer Jonathan Marchessault and despite a late 2nd period power play goal by Andrew MacDonald to make it a one-goal game, the Phantoms couldn't find an equalizer in the third period in a 2-1 loss.

It's been a recurring theme for Lehigh Valley to get behind early and attempt to claw their way back into the fold. Much like Friday night against Hershey, the Phantoms put forth a strong effort in the third period and draw within a goal but ultimately were unable to get the tying goal.

After tough back-to-back losses on the weekend, the Phantoms return home to finish the 3-in-3 weekend with a 5:00 p.m. tilt against the Binghamton Senators.


Scott Gordon on the starts to 1st and 2nd periods (early penalties):
We weren't ready to play in the 1st period. Penalty or not, we turned the puck over, didn't skate, didn't take away time and space for them. It was an easy game for them in the first period. The second half of the second period we got it going and in the thirdI thought we played certainly good enough to win the game, but the goalie made some pretty good saves and we didn't get the equalizer.
Gordon on capitalizing on the 4-min power play at end of 2nd period:
The guys did a really good job as far as moving the puck and supporting each other. We had another good night on the penalty kill. 
Gordon on the play of Anthony Stolarz:
It was 2-0 and if Stolie doesn't play as well as he did we probably don't even have a chance to come back to make it close enough to have a chance at the end. He played well. He's been playing well all year. It's good to see.
Gordon on how crucial 1st period on Sunday is:
We can't let the first period dictate the result of the game. That's happening. We have to do a better job of getting ready to play. It's nothing more than getting the skating legs going and not turning pucks over.
Tim Brent on the start to the game:
i don't think we came out with enough jump, especially in the first period. That usually results in penalties - you're kind of chasing the puck. When you're chasing it you end up on the wrong side of the penalties, and then momentum shifts that way. They gain momentum through their power play and guys who don't kill penalties don't get on the ice.
Brent on the power play goal at end of 2nd giving the team life:
Yeah, good movement. Good battles. We came up with some pucks off shots and off face-offs that kind of set the tone for the power play. Good movement up top by Ghost and MacDonald and good net front from Leier and Conner.
Brent on how crucial start Sunday:
I think a lot of it is mental. Making sure that we are mentally ready to start the game with the same urgency as we finished the game tonight. It's not an easy thing to do on a 76-game basis, but it's something that the good teams find a way to do. We have learn to do that and we have to learn from tonight. We have three period efforts like our third period and it's a different game.

The Crunch brought their skating legs to the opening face-off tonight, and the home team took it to the visiting Phantoms in the opening 20 minutes. An early penalty for a face-off violation gave the Crunch momentum and although they didn't score on the man advantage, they continued to pressure the Phantoms and spent a majority of the period on the attack.

After the Phantoms killed off their second penalty of the period about six and a half minutes into play, largely due to the play of Stolarz in net, the Crunch got on the board.

A quick transition play from Slater Koekkoek to Tanner Richard sent the Crunch up ice in a hurry. Richard got the puck to Crunch leading goal-scorer Jonathan Marchessault, who fired a hard shot off Stolarz's mask and into the net to give the Crunch a 1-0 lead with 9:58 left in the period.

It seemed as if the Phantoms were starting to get some momentum of their own from there. The shots went from a 7-2 count in favor of Syracuse to a 9-7 count in favor of the Crunch. But with just over five minutes left before the first intermission, Marchessault struck again for his second of the period and 6th of the season.

Again it was Richard setting up the play, winning a puck battle in the corner and getting it to Yanni Gourde. Gourde one-touched a pass in front of the net to an open Marchessault who went top shelf on Stolarz, who was sliding from left to right, to make it 2-0 with 5:18 to go in the opening frame.

The Phantoms had a hard time generating much of anything for most of the middle frame. Another early penalty - an Alderson tripping minor 1:36 into the period - put the Phantoms shorthanded and didn't allow them to get any momentum.

With more than half the period gone and just one shot in the middle period, things were looking pretty bleak for Lehigh Valley. A double-minor for high-sticking assessed to Syracuse's Cameron Darcy with 2:41 before the 2nd intermission gave the Phantoms a glimmer of hope.

On the power play, the Phantoms made it a one-goal game with 17.3 seconds left in the period. Tim Brent got a puck back to the point to Shayne Gostisbehere, who sent a cross-ice pass over to Andrew MacDonald for a big slap shot that eluded Wilcox and got the Phantoms on the board heading into the 2nd intermission.


Anthony Stolarz (31 saves - 33 shots) got the start in net tonight against the Crunch. Jason LaBarbera backed him up as LaBarbera played last night against Hershey. Coach Gordon said he hadn't thought about a starter in net for Sunday when asked post-game.

Two other changes to the lineup besides in net.

On defense, Robert Hagg returned to game action for the first time since October 16th in Springfield. Christian Marti was scratched to make room, but no worries on any injury setbacks. The plan heading into the weekend was to play Marti Friday and again on Sunday.

Also, Jesper Pettersson slotted in as the team's 7th defenseman as the Phantoms went with a lineup of seven defensemen and 11 forwards as a precaution in case Hagg wasn't 100%.

Up front, Evan Rankin was a healthy scratch to allow the team to dress an extra defenseman for the above reason.

Phantoms Scratches: Christian Marti (healthy), Cole Bardreau (injured), Evan Rankin (healthy), Colin McDonald (injured), Michael Parks (injured), Nick Cousins (injured), 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
            Kevin Sundher - Pavel Padakin

Shayne Gostisbehere - Andrew MacDonald
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Matt Lashoff - Robert Hagg
     Jesper Pettersson

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera


1st Period

1:37: LV - (PP) Sundher, face-off violation
2:52: SYR - (PP) Angelidis, minor (hooking)
6:29: LV - (PP) Palushaj, minor (tripping)
10:02: SYR - Marchessault (5) - Richard, Koekkoek
14:42: SYR - Marchessault (6) - Gourde, Richard

2nd Period

1:36: LV - (PP) Alderson, minor (tripping)
4:12: SYR - (PP) Blujus, minor (tripping)
17:19: SYR - (PP) Darcy, double-minor (high-sticking)
19:42: LV - PPG MacDonald (1) - Gostisbehere, Brent
20:00: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (roughing)

3rd Period

No Stats


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