Phantoms Survive Springfield's Third Period Rally With Shootout Win

Saturday, December 12, 2015
Phantoms pull off a shootout win to end weekend on winning note. Photo: Nina Weiss
In probably the most drawn out Phantoms game this season, Lehigh Valley closed things out in the shootout after letting a two-goal lead in the third period slip away to the Springfield Falcons.

Andrew MacDonald tallied two goals, including the game's opening goal on Teddy Bear Toss night, in his first game back in the AHL after a short stint with the Philadelphia Flyers. His second of the night early in the third period gave the Phantoms the 4-2 lead, but credit the Falcons for not giving up and rallying for two goals to force overtime.

Anthony Stolarz made his sixth straight start and needed to be sharp in overtime with his team shorthanded in the extra session and he was - stopping all four shots he faced to get the game to the shootout.

In the shootout, both Taylor Leier and Petr Straka scored while Stolarz stopped both Falcons' shooters to preserve the two points for the home team to end the weekend on a winning note.

Some quick post-game thoughts from MacDonald, Straka and head coach Scott Gordon after the jump.


Scott Gordon:
Tonight we created some offensive opportunities, power play got some goals and that's great. The offensive part was good and the defensive part wasn't so good.
Petr Straka on the power play tonight:\
Even if we didn't score the last few games, we still did a pretty good job against teams that play aggressive. Tonight the pk unit they had was totally something different. They were passive and making sure they were closing lanes. Sometimes I thought we were a bit passive with them too. We could have moved the puck a little faster but at the end of the day we got two goals and that's what matters.
Straka on his shootout goal:
I saw [Leier] score before and he brought it to his blocker side. I talked to [Labarbera] a few times about it and he said goalies usually think about it and make sure it's not going to happen again. Obviously we are all watching on the bench. We see where he got scored on. I tried to sell it that I was going that way and went the opposite way with it and I think it hit his shoulder and caught the post and went in.
Andrew MacDonald on the teddy bear toss goal:
We were joking about it. I don't if you guys ever seen that clip of Padakin, the Calgary one, where he does the snow angels. We were all going to go down and do that, but I don't think that was the best idea.
It kind of seemed this game was full of delays and didn't seem to want to end, but we are fortunate enough to come out of it with two points after not a great effort.
Anytime you can contribute to a team win, whether it's scoring or making good plays out there it's always nice. It doesn't matter who does it on a nightly basis, just as long we get the wins out there.
MacDonald on Ron Hextall's message:
They said they were happy how I played against New York. Obviously Gudas came back so I came out for the other two games. As far as I can tell, they are happy with how things are going. Just have to be patient and see how everything plays out. 


The Phantoms had the early jump in their step, getting some offensive zone time and getting some scoring chances in the opening two and a half minutes. Back-to-back penalties on Lehigh Valley slowed their early momentum but after two successful penalty kills, the Phantoms took the 1-0 lead and sent the teddy bears onto ice.

Cole Bardreau won an offensive zone face-off to Evan Rankin, who played it back to Bardreau at the the half-wall. Bardreau sent a puck down low to Jay Rosehill, who swept it around the net and set up Andrew MacDonald between the face-off circles for a one-timer past Nicklas Truetle with 9:57 left in the opening period.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Falcons' forward Domenic Monardo won the race to a stretch pass from Corey Potter and beat Stolarz high to the glove side going bar-down to even the game at 1-1 just 1:08 after MacDonald's teddy bear toss goal.

Springfield had a golden opportunity to take the lead with 6:48 left in the first frame as MacDonald was forced into hooking Dustin Jeffrey on a breakaway. Stolarz came up big on Jeffrey's penalty shot attempt, getting a blocker save and keeping the game tied at 1-1.

MacDonald's eventful first period continued during a 4-on-4 situation late in the period as he was high-sticked by Phil Lane - drawing a four-minute, double-minor penalty for his team with 3:20 left in the period.

The Phantoms capitalized on the ensuing 4-on-3 power play, something they were unable to do in an 0-for-7 showing with the man advantage last night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Nick Cousins got the puck at the point and although his shot was stopped, his teammates crashed the net and got it past Treutle with 2:35 left in the opening frame to get the lead back at 2-1.

Petr Straka had the first whack at the rebound, but it hopped over his stick and he was only able to get a piece of it. Luckily for the Phantoms, the puck went right to Taylor Leier at the side of the net and he was able to push it past the Falcons' netminder for his 7th of the season.

It appeared the Phantoms were off and running in the second, with a decided edge in play and puck possession favoring the home team. Leier drew a slashing minor on Laurent Dauphin and the Phantoms power play seemed ready to take control of the game.

Instead, the Falcons killed it off and Dauphin exited the box to set up the tying goal - skating behind the net and wrapping it around in front to Dan O'Donoghue and in past Stolarz 4:43 into the third.

The Phantoms seemed to again be in control in the third - scoring two goals 2:15 apart in the opening minutes of the period to break a 2-2 tie into a 4-2 lead. Danick Martel took a cross-ice pass from Maxim Lamarche from behind the net out in front and from a bad angle beat Treutle for his 10th of the season. Then, while on a power play, Straka and Cousins teamed up for another special teams goal - setting up MacDonald for his second of the night.

Credit to Springfield for not packing it in down 4-2 with about 11 minutes left in regulation. Dustin Jeffrey finished off a rebound of a Jon DiSalvatore shot at 9:41 and less than four minutes later former Phantoms defenseman Steven Delisle's shot from the point hit the post and was put home by Eric Selleck to make it a 4-4 game with 6:36 left to force overtime.


Anthony Stolarz (33 saves - 37 shots) made his sixth straight start in net for Lehigh Valley tonight against Springfield. Jason LaBarbera served as Stolarz's backup for the third straight game.

Tim Brent, who left last night's game in the 2nd period and didn't return, was out of the lineup tonight. Jay Rosehill slotted into the lineup on the fourth line as the 12th forward and Joe Rehkamp moved into the top line center position for tonight's game.

Andrew MacDonald was re-assigned to the Phantoms this afternoon and returned to the Phantoms' blue line. Matt Lashoff was scratched to make room for him.

Jesper Pettersson (lower body) missed his third straight game due to injury.

Scratches: Martin Ouellette (healthy), Christian Marti (upper body), Jesper Pettersson (lower body), Kevin Sundher (lower body), Michael Parks (upper body), Brandon Alderson (healthy), Chris Conner (upper body), Matt Lashoff (healthy/veteran), Jay Rosehill (healthy/veteran) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier - Joe Rehkamp - Danick Martel
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Aaron Palushaj
Tyrell Goulbourne - Kevin Goumas - Colin McDonald (C)
Jay Rosehill - Cole Bardreau - Evan Rankin

Andrew MacDonald (A) - Robert Hagg
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Davis Drewiske (A) - Maxim Lamarche

Anthony Stolarz - Martin Ouellette


1st Period

2:56: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (tripping)
5:55: LV - (PP) Lamarche, minor (goaltender interference)
10:03: LV - MacDonald (2) - Rosehill, Bardreau
11:11: SPR - Monardo (3) - Potter, Samuelsson
15:42: SPR - Dauphin, minor (goaltender interference)
15:42: LV - Palushaj, minor (hooking)
16:40: SPR - (PP) Lane, double-minor (high-sticking)
17:25: LV - PPG Leier (7) - Straka, Cousins

2nd Period

2:27: SPR - (PP) Dauphin, minor (slashing)
4:43: SPR - O'Donoghue (2) - Dauphin, Plachta
12:48: LV - (PP) Lamarche, minor (hooking)
15:12: SPR - (PP) Mauermann, minor (interference)
16:58: SPR - Potter, minor (cross-checking)
16:58: LV - Goulbourne, minor (embellishment)

3rd Period

1:29: LV - Martel (10) - Lamarche, Drewiske
2:33: SPR - (PP) Bunting, minor (hooking)
3:44: LV - MacDonald (3) - Cousins, Straka
6:47: LV - (PP) bench minor, too many men (served by Martel)
9:41: SPR - Jeffrey (9) - DiSalvatore, Delisle
13:24: SPR - Selleck (3) - Delisle, Mauermann


2:17: LV - (PP) Palushaj, minor (tripping)


Lehigh Valley

Leier - GOAL
Straka - GOAL


Jeffrey - no goal
DiSalvatore - no goal


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