Phantoms Fall to Devils 4-2

Saturday, January 9, 2016
Phantoms unable to pick up any points on the road in Albany tonight.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms were the better team five-on-five in the first two periods but got away from things in the third period and were unable to secure any points in the standings in a 4-2 loss in Albany tonight.

Joe Rehkamp and Davis Drewiske each tallied their first goals of the season for the Phantoms, with Rehkamp's goal early in the 2nd period his first career AHL goal on a puck he sniped to the top corner of the net. Unfortunately for the Phantoms, a pair of Albany power play goals and a bad Phantoms turnover early in the third prevented Lehigh Valley from making any progress in the standings.

It was Albany's sixth straight win and sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opponent, but the Phantoms really out-played the Devils in the first two periods at even strength and were not rewarded. The team is staying positive heading back home to Allentown with a Sunday evening face-off looming and a chance to salvage the three-game weekend with two points on the line against Binghamton at the PPL Center Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.

Thoughts from head coach Scott Gordon, Joe Rehkamp and Sam Morin after the jump.

Would you like to see my coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms while they're on the road continue? Please lend a helping hand to keep me providing live coverage of the team while they're on the road this season by making a generous donation to my GoFundMe page.


Scott Gordon on tonight's loss;
It was a pretty good first and second period. Five-on-five, I thought we controlled the play. I don't think the power plays they got were any indication of the way the period itself went in the 2nd. I like what we did in the 1st and 2nd period but we got away from it in the third. As a result, the things we talked about not doing we did in the 3rd that just didn't allow us to sustain pressure and gave them more opportunities than they had probably the entire game.
Joe Rehkamp on 1st career AHL goal:
It felt really good to put one in there, but Tyrell and Sammy made a nice play on the boards to move the puck and then I just got lucky enough it went in.
Rehkamp on the success the 4th line has been having:
We just all play with the same mentality - a hard-working mentality. Just try to get in on teams, get pucks to the net, finish checks. It's easy when all three guys out there have the same mindset.
Sam Morin's thoughts:
Our PK and power play wasn't good tonight. I think we lost the game because of that. 5-on-5 we played really well. 

The Phantoms did a lot of things right in the first period, out shooting the Devils 12-6 and controlling large portions of play, but headed to the st intermission trailing 1-0.

After failing to convert on the game's first power play, the Phantoms were stuck in their own zone for a shift and it cost them. Mike Sislo dug a puck out of a battle along the boards in the corner and got it to the point to Reece Scarlett, who shuffled it across to Seth Helgeson for a point shot that bounced in past LaBarbera off a Phantoms defender in front. Helgeson's first of the season gave Albany the 1-0 lead 9:55 into the contest.

From there, the Phantoms continued to press and drew themselves another power play after Colin McDonald laid out Devils defensemen Dan Kelly with a big hit in the offensive zone. Scarlett challenged McDonald to a fight and was assessed an extra minor penalty for instigating. The man advantage unit was unable to capitalize and the two teams headed to the first intermission with a 1-0 score.

Lehigh Valley continued to be the better team early in the 2nd, and they were rewarded 3:20 into the middle frame. Joe Rehkamp took a pass from Tyrell Goulbourne and skated in 1-on-1 into the offensive zone, using the defenseman as a screen and sniping one to the top left corner bar-down for his first career AHL goal. Sam Morin added a secondary assist, extending his points streak to five games (1G-4A). 11 of Morin's 13 points on the season have come in his last 17 games, an encouraging sign for the rookie defenseman.

The even score was short-lived, however. Just 41 seconds later Kevin Goumas was whistled for hooking and eight seconds into the Devils' power play Albany ended the Phantoms' impressive 38-straight penalties killed streak. Sislo shot one towards the net and Blake Pietila was in front of LaBarbera with his back to the goaltender, seeing the shot and re-directing one in to give Albany the lead back at 2-1.

The middle frame was largely a special teams affair, with six minor penalties assessed in the period (four for LV, two for ALB.) After back-to-back penalties four seconds apart on Nick Cousins and Mark Alt gave the Devils 1:56 of five-on-three power play time the Devils cashed in on the man advantage again late in the second period to extend their lead to 3-1. A tic-tac-toe passing play from Scarlett to Matt Lorito to Brian O'Neill at the side of the goal cage saw O'Neill tally his 2nd AHL goal of the season to give Albany an insurance marker with 3:43 left in the period.

Lehigh Valley knew they were up against it heading into the third down two goals, and things went from bad to worse as a turnover behind the Phantoms net in one of the opening shifts ended up in the back of their net. The Devils' top line was in on the goal again for Albany, with O'Neill causing the turnover and Lorito getting it in front to Sislo for Sislo's 16th of the season just 1:29 into the period.

The Phantoms came right back and got a goal of their own to close the gap back to a two-goal deficit. Petr Straka got the puck to Tim Brent down low and Brent fed it to the center point to Davis Drewiske who scored his first of the season with the help of a borderline goaltender interference play by Chris Conner brushing up against Scott Wedgewood as the shot was coming toward him.

But from there, Albany took it to Lehigh Valley. Instead of packing it in and defending, the Devils got in on the attack out-shooting the Phantoms 11-8 in the final 20 minutes in route to the 4-2 win.


Jason LaBarbera (27 saves - 31 shots) got the start in net tonight for the Phantoms after relieving Anthony Stolarz last night at home against Wilkes-Barre.

Defenseman Andrew MacDonald remained out of the lineup, missing his third straight game.

Forward Petr Straka returned to the lineup after missing last night's game. To make room for Straka, the Phantoms scratched Cole Bardreau.

Scratches: Cole Bardreau (healthy), Evan Rankin (healthy), Kevin Sundher (lower body), Michael Parks (upper body), Matt Lashoff (healthy/veteran), Jay Rosehill (healthy/veteran), Logan Pyett (out indefinitely) and Andrew MacDonald (undisclosed/veteran)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Petr Straka - Tim Brent (A) - Chris Conner
Taylor Leier - Nick Cousins - Aaron Palushaj
Danick Martel - Sam Gagner - Colin McDonald (C)
Tyrell Goulbourne - Cole Bardreau - Joe Rehkamp

Davis Drewiske (A) - Jesper Pettersson
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Robert Hagg - Max Lamarche

Jason LaBarbera - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

6:53: ALB - (PP) Mozik, minor (hooking)
9:55: ALB - Helgeson (1) - Scarlett, Sislo
10:49: LV - McDonald, major (fighting)
10:49: ALB - (PP) Scarlett, minor (instigating)
10:49: ALB - Scarlett, major (fighting)
10:49: ALB - Scarlett, ten-minute misconduct

2nd Period

3:20: LV - Rehkamp (1) - Goulbourne, Morin
4:01: LV - (PP) Goumas, minor (hooking)
4:09: ALB - PPG Pietila (6) - Sislo, Mozik
6:56: ALB - (PP) Kelly, minor (cross-checking)
10:29: LV - (PP) Lamarche, minor (hooking)
11:51: ALB - (PP) Mozik, minor (holding)
15:37: LV - Cousins, minor (cross-checking)
15:41: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (delay of game)
16:17: ALB - PPG O'Neill (2) - Lorito, Scarlett

3rd Period

1:29: ALB - Sislo (16) - Lorito, O'Neill
3:34: LV - Drewiske (1) - Brent, Straka


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