Phantoms Win Season-High Third Straight Game

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Phantoms continue their winning ways Wednesday night at PPL Center.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms were staring at another loss to the Binghamton Senators in the third period after Eric O'Dell tallied his 2nd power play goal of the night with 14:49 left in regulation to put Binghamton ahead 3-2.

The BSens have been a thorn in the Phantoms' proverbial side this season, defeating the Phantoms in four of the five previous meetings between the two team. Not tonight.

The Phantoms rallied for four unanswered goals in the final frame behind a five-point night from team captain Colin McDonald (three goals, two assists) and and back-to-back goals from Nick Cousins in route to their third straight win - marking a new season high and coming at a crucial time with the Phantoms trying to climb back up the standings.

Cole Bardreau had another strong game, following up his two-goal performance Monday night in Hershey with a goal and an assist tonight. In all, Bardreau has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in nine January games.

Lehigh Valley has two more games this weekend before the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic, with a home and home series against Atlantic Division leading and rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins starting Friday night at home in the PPL Center.

Thoughts from head coach Scott Gordon, Cole Bardreau and Colin McDonald after the jump.


Scott Gordon on putting together a win streak down the stretch:
Especially with how tight it is with the teams in front of us, it's important that we get some kind of streak going here. Just about every team in our division has had one except for us. Now is the time. We need it now. To be down 3-2 and be able to come up with four goals in the third is huge. 
Cole Bardreau on tonight's big win:
I think this was a big game for us to show that we can battle through a little bit of adversity, same with Hershey Monday night. Those are the teams that are going to go the furthest to push back at times like that. We had everyone going tonight and for us to be successful that's what we have to do.
Bardreau on finally beating Binghamton in regulation:
A team that you play that much, you get a little more hyped up and like you said they have been taking more points from us than we like to see so we just want to keep the momentum going.  
Colin McDonald on his five-point night, no hats thrown for his hat trick:
I wasn't sure what was going on, I don't know. We kind of laughed it off and I know it's cliche but it was just a really big win for us and that's all we really were concerned about.
McDonald on his line's recent success:
I know Cole from the summer. We trained together and skated together, so I know exactly what type of player he is even coming into this season. I like playing with guys like that. I think you guys see we are pretty much the same kind of player, just hard-nosed, gritty, physical. I like to play with guys like that. 

The Phantoms and Senators played a very physical, borderline dirty first period as extra curricular activities post-whistle were commonplace in the opening period.

Lehigh Valley had the early jump, taking a 4-0 shots advantage in the opening shifts and taking a 1-0 lead on the game's first power play after Conor Allen extended one of the many post-whistle scrums as mentioned above.

On the power play, the Phantoms quickly went to work - moving the puck around with ease and keeping the BSens penalty killers off balance. Andrew MacDonald slid the puck across the point to the other side for Nick Cousins, who spotted Colin McDonald cutting to the slot. Cousins fired a hard pass in that area that McDonald was able to get a stick on and direct past Matt O'Connor to put the Phantoms ahead 1-0 with 12:30 left in the first period.

From there, the penalties continued to make the contest a special teams affair. After minors to each team were assessed eight seconds apart, the BSens evened the score while the play was 4-on-4. Defenseman Chris Carlisle joined a rush into the Phantoms' defensive zone with Ryan Dzingel and centered it to Dzingel, who used a Phantoms defender as a screen and sent a low hard shot that went five-hole on Stolarz with 9:43 left in the period.

The middle frame wasn't as hot-tempered as the first period, but the minor penalties continued to rack up. The BSens took a 2-1 lead on their third power play of the 2nd period, with Eric O'Dell getting the rebound of a Stolarz pad save in the slot and tapping it into basically an empty net. Stolarz stopped the hard point shot from Michael Kostka, but was late seeing the shot and was only able to throw his right leg out to keep it out of the net. Unfortunately for the Phantoms, the rebound bounced out to O'Dell.

The Phantoms nearly tied it on the ensuing shift, but after some hard work from Cole Bardeau to disrupt the BSens defense down low, Danick Martel got to a loose puck in the left-wing face-off circle and set up McDonald for his second goal of the night with 1:29 left before the second intermission to send the two teams to the third period tied at 2-2.

Binghamton took a 3-2 lead early in the final frame in a carbon copy of their power play goal in the second period, with Stolarz stopping a Kostka point shot and pushing the rebound right to O'Dell. Instead of letting the frustration build, the Phantoms turned things around and in a big way - netting four unanswered goals in a big win.

First, it was Bardreau finishing one off just about two and a half minutes after O'Dell's second goal of the night. O'Connor stopped McDonald's shot and Martel's rebound attempt, but Bardreau forced his way to net to clean up and tally his 5th of the season to tie the game at 3-3.

After back-to-back penalties gave the Phantoms 1:25 of two-man advantage time, Nick Cousins got a pass from McDonald at the center point and fired a hard shot on net that deflected off of a Binghamton penalty killer and past O'Connor to give the Phantoms a 4-3 lead with 9:04 to go.

Cousins wasn't done there either, finishing off a feed from Chris Conner atop the crease after Conner nearly netted a goal of his own on a mini-breakaway from the blue line. Conner was slashed and lost control of the puck, but re-gained possession behind the net and swung around in front to feed it across to Cousins for the tap in goal.

Cousins' 2nd of the night and 12th of the season was an insurance marker before McDonald completed the hat trick with 27.3 seconds left to cap the scoring in a 6-3 Phantoms win.


Anthony Stolarz (30 saves - 33 shots) got the start in net tonight for Lehigh Valley. Martin Ouellette, recalled by the Phantoms earlier today from Reading, served as Stolarz's backup.

Jason LaBarbera was called up to Philadelphia to back up Michal Neuvirth against the Washington Capitals.

Tim Brent is going to be out long term after having surgery today to repair his injured hand. The Home News first reported the unfortunate news Wednesday morning.

Aaron Palushaj didn't play tonight for Lehigh Valley, likely recovering from a slew foot hit from Liam O'Brien in the third period of Monday's game in Hershey.

Andrew MacDonald was back in the Phantoms lineup tonight after sitting out Monday's game in Hershey due to an on-going injury he's been dealing with according to head coach Scott Gordon.

Christian Marti sat as the lone healthy scratch.

Scratches: Christian Marti (healthy), Kevin Sundher (lower body), Michael Parks (upper body), Aaron Palushaj (undisclosed), Petr Straka (lower body), Tim Brent (upper body), Jay Rosehill (undisclosed) & Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)


Taylor Leier - Nick Cousins - Chris Conner
Danick Martel - Cole Bardreau - Colin McDonald
Tyrell Goulbourne - Philip DeSimone - Pavel Padakin
Kevin Goumas - Joe Rehkamp

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

Anthony Stolarz - Adam Comrie


1st Period

7:17: BNG - (PP) Allen, minor (roughing)
7:30: LV - PPG McDonald (5) - Cousins, MacDonald
9:58: BNG - (PP) Dziurzynski, minor (interference)
10:06: LV - (PP) McDonald , minor (tripping)
11:17: BNG - Dzingel (11) - Carlisle, O'Dell
11:34: BNG - (PP) Schneider, major (elbowing)
11:34: LV - (PP) Rehkamp, minor (roughing)
14:41: LV - (PP) Leier, minor (hooking)
15:20: BNG - (PP) Lepine, minor (boarding)

2nd Period

4:07: LV - (PP) McDonald, minor (hooking)
6:25: BNG - (PP) bench minor, too many men (served by Dzingel)
10:48: LV - (PP) Martel, minor (interference)
14:46: LV - (PP) Padakin, minor (hooking)
15:40: BNG - PPG O'Dell (15) - Kostka, Schneider
18:31: LV - McDonald (6) - Martel, Bardreau

3rd Period

2:01: BNG - (PP) Wideman, minor (hooking)
3:24: LV - MacDonald, minor (roughing)
3:24: BNG - Dziurzynski, minor (roughing)
4:53: LV - (PP) Bardreau, minor (high-sticking)
5:11: BNG - PPG O'Dell (16) - Kostka, Lindberg
7:48: LV - Bardreau (5) - Martel, McDonald
10:09: BNG - (PP) Kostka, minor (slashing)
10:44: BNG - (PP) Fraser, minor (cross-checking)
10:56: LV - PPG Cousins (11) - McDonald, MacDonald
14:43: LV - Cousins (12) - Conner, Leier
15:24: BNG - Ewanyk, minor (roughing) 
15:24: BNG - Ewanyk, ten minute misconduct
15:24: LV - Hagg, minor (roughing) 
15:24: LV - Hagg, ten minute misconduct
19:32: LV - ENG McDonald (7) - unassisted


Post a Comment