Phantoms Prevail with Another Shootout Win in Hershey

Monday, January 25, 2016
Phantoms will their way to two points against Hershey.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Hershey Bears played another wild game at the Giant Center, as the meeting that was postponed Saturday night was re-scheduled and played on a rare Monday night. It didn't disappoint.

The Atlantic Division rivals combined for ten goals in regulation, and after a three-on-three overtime didn't produce a game winning goal it was on to the shootout where Taylor Leier and Nick Cousins scored and Anthony Stolarz preserved the win by stopping two of three Hershey shooters.

It was the third shootout win against Hershey this season for Lehigh Valley, who kicks off a busy four-game week with a much needed two points in the standings. On the season, the Phantoms are 6-3 against the Bears with six of the nine games decided by one goal and four of the nine meetings (all Phantoms wins) extending past regulation.

The Phantoms had two of their best out of the lineup with defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Tim Brent out of action due to what head coach Scott Gordon called "on-going injuries", but Lehigh Valley had plenty of guys step up.

Taylor Leier (one goal, two assists) and Chris Conner (three assists) had a game-high three points each, while Cole Bardreau (two goals), Davis Drewiske (one goal, one assist) and team captain Colin McDonald (one goal, one assist) all chipped in with two points apiece in a team effort win.

Thoughts from Scott Gordon and Cole Bardreau after the jump.


Scott Gordon's thoughts:
Typical Hershey game, never dull. It was a sea-saw battle and our guys found a way to get it done in the shootout.
Gordon on the response in the 2nd period:
We were shorthanded four times in the first period and it carried over into the 2nd. Probably 12 out of the first 22 minutes we were shorthanded, so it that was encouraging to have the 1-0 lead but very quickly we lost it for the wrong reasons but our guys didn't get down. They kept at it and that's a good sign by our team to be able to do that.
Gordon on getting two points to kick off a busy week:
We have to start getting some points. To come in here and play a road game against probably their strongest lineup that they have had all year it was huge for our team to get the two points. Now, it doesn't really mean anything unless we come away with two on Wednesday, so we have to turn the page on this one and be ready to play on Wednesday.
Cole Bardreau on his two goals tonight:
They're just me trying to get to the front of the net, but all the credit goes to my line mates out there. Leier with a great shot on the first one I was able to tuck it in, then McDonald put on an absolute clinic out there and just lucky enough to be there tap in. I'm trying to work hard out there and my line mates are doing the rest for me.
Bardreau on the response in the 2nd period:
We have been in a lot of games this year where I think we have out-worked the team and they still come out with the victory, so for us to battle back and actually get the results this time I think it'll be huge for our confidence moving forward and anytime you can beat Hershey it's big too.

It was quickly evident in the opening period tonight that the Phantoms were a team playing their first game in eight days. The passes weren't crisp, the skating legs were not there and Hershey had a distinct edge in play on top of drawing four first period power plays.

Anthony Stolarz was under siege at times in the first frame, but stopped all nine shots he faced - including a Liam O'Brien shorthanded breakaway. At one point, the Bears were out shooting the Phantoms 9-2.

It wasn't until the final two minutes that Lehigh Valley got their first sustained pressure of the evening and even that was stopped by an errant high-sticking penalty on Danick Martel with 59.7 seconds left in the period.

Despite the Bears being on their fourth power play of the night, it was the Phantoms striking first with a shorthanded tally.

Taylor Leier took a clear out of the zone from Davis Drewiske and let loose a hard shot from the right-wing face-off circle that beat Bears' goaltender Justin Peters and hit the inside of the far post. Though it appeared to be close to crossing the line it bounced out right to Cole Bardreau, who slammed it home to put Lehigh Valley ahead 1-0 heading into the second period.

Things opened up in the middle frame, and Hershey scored three goals in a span of 3:04 that seemingly broke the game open and gave the Bears a 3-1 lead midway through the hockey game.

First, Mike Moore let go a floating shot from the point through traffic that eluded Stolarz and evened things at 1-1. Madison Bowey slid the pass across the blue line to set up Moore's goal, who has to love playing against Lehigh Valley. Four of his seven points on the season have come against the Phantoms, including three goals.

Just 90 seconds later, the Bears took the lead as Bowey chipped a puck in behind the Phantoms net and cut to the slot. Sean Collins won a puck battle behind the net and got the puck right out in front to Bowey, who beat Stolarz to make it a 2-1 Hershey lead.

After a sloppy line change by Lehigh Valley, Hershey made it 3-1. NHL veteran forward Scott Gomez, on a PTO with Hershey, connected a pass to Paul Carey on a 3-on-2 rush before Carey went top shelf on Stolarz with 9:45 left in the 2nd period.

Things looked gloomy for the Phantoms, but they quickly turned it around - scoring three straight goals of their own to re-gain the lead at 4-3. It went as follows.

Team captain Colin McDonald gloved down an attempted clear out by Hershey and made a nice toe-drag move to the net. His shot was stopped, but Bardreau came flying into the slot for the rebound and put it past Peters as he was falling head-first for his 2nd of the night to make it a one-goal game with 6:41 left in the middle frame.

The Phantoms tied it up nearly four minutes later after sustained offensive zone time and some good cycling down low between Aaron Palushaj, Chris Conner and Nick Cousins. Palushaj got it to Conner behind the Bears net and he spotted Davis Drewiske all alone in the slot. Conner fed Drewiske a pass and the Phantoms' defensemen squeaked one past Peters' five-hole to tie the game at 3-3.

Lehigh Valley wasn't done there, taking the 4-3 lead with 1:08 left before the 2nd intermission just seven seconds into a man advantage chance. Cousins won a face-off back to Adam Comrie, who got it to Conner atop the right-wing circle. Conner fired a hard pass towards the net to Leier, who tapped it past Peters for his 11th of the season to re-gain Lehigh Valley's lead heading to the third period.

Early in the third period, the Phantoms extended their lead to 5-3 on a blast from McDonald after a great cross-ice feed from Conner. Unfortunately for Lehigh Valley, they were unable to hold the lead.

Hershey tallied back-to-back goals just 1:11 apart to knot things up at 5-5 to force overtime. Travis Boyd cleaned up a puck from the slot after a long shift from the Phantoms, then on their 8th power play of the night Chris Bourque ripped a hard shot from the point that eluded everyone on its way past Stolarz with 5:43 left in regulation


Anthony Stolarz (26 saves - 31 shots) got the start in net tonight to kick off the Phantoms' four-game week. Jason LaBarbera served as the backup tonight, but both goalies will likely see action with the busy game schedule this week.

Two big names were out of the Phantoms lineup with injuries, as both Andrew MacDonald and Tim Brent were out of action tonight in Hershey. Head coach Scott Gordon said post-game that both have had on-going injuries that were enough to hold them out of action tonight.

Defenseman Adam Comrie joined the team and made his AHL season debut tonight for the Phantoms.

With the veteran situation resolved, Aaron Palushaj returned to the Phantoms lineup after sitting out the team's last three games as a healthy scratch.

Newly signed forward Philip DeSimone made his Phantoms debut tonight, giving the Phantoms 12 healthy forwards in the lineup. DeSimone lived with Palushaj when the two played in the AHL with Hamilton in the 2011-12 season. DeSimone also played his college hockey at New Hampshire, where as a senior he played with then freshman Kevin Goumas.

Scratches: Kevin Sundher (lower body), Michael Parks (upper body), Petr Straka (lower body), Tim Brent (injured), Jay Rosehill (injured), Logan Pyett (out indefinitely) and Andrew MacDonald (injured)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier - Nick Cousins - Chris Conner
Danick Martel - Cole Bardreau - Colin McDonald (C)
Philip DeSimone - Kevin Goumas - Aaron Palushaj
Tyrell Goulbourne - Joe Rehkamp

Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Davis Drewiske (A) - Max Lamarche
Robert Hagg - Christian Marti
Adam Comrie

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera


1st Period

5:45: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (hooking)
9:15: LV - (PP) Stolarz, minor (high-sticking served by Martel)
11:00: HER - (PP) Bowey, minor (hooking)
12:32: LV - (PP) bench minor, too many men (served by Palushaj)
19:00: LV - (PP) Martel, minor (high-sticking)
19:12: LV - SHG Bardreau (3) - Leier, Drewiske

2nd Period

1:29: LV - (PP) Bardreau, minor (slashing)
4:14: HER - (PP) Sill, minor (delay of game)
7:11: HER - Moore (4) - Bowey, Barber
8:41: HER - Bowey (3) - Collins, Gomez
10:15: HER - Carey (13) - Gomez, Ness
13:19: LV - Bardreau (4) - McDonald
17:39: LV - Drewiske (2) - Conner, Palushaj
18:45: HER - (PP) Barber, minor (hooking)
18:52: LV - PPG Leier (11) - Conner, Comrie

3rd Period

1:11: HER - (PP) Mitchell, double-minor (high-sticking)
3:34: LV - Martel, minor (roughing)
3:34: HER - Burgdoerfer, minor (roughing)
4:14: LV - PPG McDonald (4) - Conner, Leier
5:21: LV - (PP) Bardreau, minor (high-sticking)
8:04: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (delay of game)
13:06: HER - Boyd (9) - Collins, Carrick
13:39: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (holding)
14:17: HER - PPG Bourque (20) - Gomez, Barber
14:39: LV - Palushaj, minor (holding)
14:39: HER - Sill, minor (hooking)


No Scoring



Bourque - GOAL
Djoos - no goal
Boyd - no goal


Leier - GOAL
Cousins - GOAL


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