Phantoms Shutout For First Time This Season

Saturday, November 28, 2015
The Phantoms simply spent too much time in their defensive zone tonight against Providence. Photo: Nina Weiss
As head coach Scott Gordon put it after the game, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms simply didn't have it tonight against the Providence Bruins. One night after playing a high-paced emotional 6-5 shootout win over rival Hershey, the Phantoms didn't give the home crowd at the PPL Center - a standing room only sellout of 8,423 fans - much to cheer about.

The 3-0 loss tonight marked the first time the Phantoms have been shutout this season. They had a few chances - most notably two hit posts by Jesper Pettersson and Davis Drewiske in the second period and an early 3rd period flurry that saw Pavel Padakin robbed of his first pro goal and the subsequent rebound by Danick Martel put just wide - but overall the Phantoms spent much of the night in their own zone.

The team has a few days to sit on this loss as they have a scheduled day off tomorrow and two practices this week before a return trip to Utica on Wednesday night. Post-game reaction from Tim Brent, Sam Morin and Scott Gordon after the jump.

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Scott Gordon on why the team was flat tonight:
I think it was more us. We expended a lot of energy and emotion last night. We just finished up six games in nine days. After the game I've got this disappointment that we weren't able to take advantage of them being on the road and playing the same amount of games and injuries and call ups, but the reality is we didn't have it tonight. They played a little bit smarter than we did and that was enough to make the difference.
Sam Morin on the defensive zone:
We spent a lot of time in our zone. I think we didn't play well tonight, our transition was pretty bad and we were always in our own zone.
Tim Brent on what went wrong:
It was more of what we were doing. Making slow decisions, not moving the puck quick enough. When we don't do that our speed is nullified. That has to be our game, that's the only way we are going to be successful. We just weren't good enough tonight.

After last night's game featured goals galore, the first 20 minutes of tonight's contest was much more tight defensively.

Taylor Leier had a few chances on an early 1st period power play. Danick Martel created offense with his speed late in the first frame. Neither of the Phantoms' best chances resulted in goals.

For Providence, they turned on the pressure late in the period. Colton Hargrove had an empty net with just a few seconds remaining, but clanked one off the crossbar to send the two teams back to the locker room scoreless after the first period.

The pace of play to start the second period was elevated for the first five minutes or so, and the Phantoms nearly took a 1-0 lead on two separate occasions. First, Jesper Pettersson's shot from the right point hit the inside of the post and slid across the goal line and out the other side. Not long after that, Davis Drewiske pinched into the zone and caught the iron from the face-off circle.

From there, the Phantoms seemed to slow things up and become a bit too passive with their play. Providence capitalized after several shifts saw them pin the Phantoms in their own end. Brandon DeFazio broke the scoreless tie with 6:21 left before the second intermission on a quick snipe high to the glove side of Martin Ouellette.

The PBruins continued to pressure the Phantoms the remainder of the middle frame and what had started out as a 5-3 shots advantage for Lehigh Valley ended with an 11-5 shot edge for Providence in the period.

The Phantoms were still very much in the game entering the third period trailing just 1-0. They nearly tied it up early in the 3rd period, but some timely saves by Malcolm Subban keep the Phantoms off the board.

Martin Ouellette kept the Phantoms in the game through the first two periods, but after stopping a Seth Griffith breakaway the Phantoms netminder lost sight of the rebound and Griffith followed up his own shot 6:13 into the third period to extend the PBruins' lead to 2-0.

The Phantoms took back-to-back penalties in the middle of the third period and the PBruins capitalized. Again, Ouellette came up with a sharp save but the rebound wasn't cleared out of harms way and Anton Blidh slammed home the rebound to complete the 3-0 final score with 8:54 left to play.


Martin Ouellette (30 saves - 33 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms after backing up Connor Knapp last night.

With defenseman Mark Alt out with a lower body injury suffered in the second period of Friday's game, the Phantoms went back to the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen lineup.

Kevin Sundher was also lost in Friday night's game, so forwards Brandon Alderson and Cam Reid were added from Reading (ECHL). Reid was signed to a PTO.

Phantoms Scratches: Jason LaBarbera (injured), Anthony Stolarz (injured), Mark Alt (injured), Cole Bardreau (injured), Kevin Sundher (injured), Michael Parks (injured), Jay Rosehill (healthy/veteran) & Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

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

Andrew MacDonald - Davis Drewiske
Sam Morin - Robert Hagg
Matt Lashoff - Jesper Pettersson

Martin Ouellette - Connor Knapp


1st Period

0:22: PRO - (PP) Youds, minor (hooking)
13:01: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (cross-checking)
17:12: LV - Martel, minor (slashing)
17:12: PRO - Cross, minor (cross-checking)

2nd Period

10:00: LV - (PP) Reid, minor (hooking)
13:39: PRO - DeFazio (3) - Cross, Czarnik

3rd Period

6:13: PRO - Griffith (3) - Breen, Casto
9:17: LV - (PP) Palushaj, minor (interference)
11:06: PRO - Blidh (5) - Cave, Irwin
11:48: LV - (PP) Martel, minor (roughing)
16:20: PRO - (PP) Czarnik, minor (holding)
17:39: PRO - (PP) Cave, minor (high-sticking)


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