Monday's Catch Up & Links 3/21

Monday, March 21, 2016
Steven Swavely isn't the newest collegiate product joining Phantoms, but who is? Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (27-31-4-3) enter the final four weeks of the season 11 points out of the playoff race and will have to turn to playing the role of spoiler in their final 11 games of the 2015-16 season. They have several games against playoff contenders, including all three games this week against Hershey, Providence and Hartford.

The mantra in the locker room after last night's loss was that although it's a tough position to be in at this time of year, they are still professional hockey players and as such have a job to do - bringing their best to the rink every single day whether it's for a 10:30 a.m. practice at PPL Center or a 7:05 p.m. face-off.

It's also the time of year where hockey players from the junior and collegiate level finish up their seasons and look to turn pro. The Phantoms have already added two players from the collegiate level - Maine University's captain centerman Steven Swavely and Cornell University's captain defenseman Reece Wilcox.- and will look to get these younger guys a taste of pro hockey this spring before the season finale on April 17th.

After the jump, a quick list of Flyers prospects playing at the collegiate/junior level getting ready for their respective playoffs that could possibly join the Phantoms this spring.

Please note that while players must be 20 years old to play in the AHL normally, younger guys can join teams on amateur tryouts after their respective seasons have ended to remain NCAA/junior eligible:


C Cooper Marody (University of Michigan - Big 10)
D Mark Friedman (Bowling Green State University - WCHA)
D Terrence Amorosa (Clarkson Univeristy - ECAC)
D David Drake (University of Connecticut - Hockey East)
G Merrick Madsen (Harvard University - ECAC)


C Travis Konecny (Sarnia Sting)


LW Samuel Dove-McFalls (St. John Seadogs)
RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel (Val d'Or Foreurs)


D Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings)
D Travis Sanheim (Calgary Hitmen)
LW Radel Fazleev (Calgary Hitmen)

Lehigh Valley Phantoms (27-31-4-3)

Last Week

Wednesday 3/16, Lehigh Valley - 1 at Rochester - 3

Another game where the Phantoms  out-worked and out-chanced their opponent led to another frustrating defeat, this time to the tune of a 3-1 setback on a Wednesday night in Rochester.

The Phantoms have seen opposing goaltenders pull off some spectacular performances against them all season long, and Wednesday night was no different. Linus Ullmark stopped 42 of 43 shots the Phantoms threw at him to preserve the two points for the home team, who got goals from Cole Schneider, Justin Bailey and Chad Ruhwedel.

Lehigh Valley's lone goal came in the first frame after Aaron Palushaj's attempted centering pass for Tim Brent deflected off a Rochester Americans defender and in past Ullmark with 2:36 left before the first intermission.

Friday 3/18, Lehigh Valley - 2 at Toronto - 3 (OT)

The Phantoms appeared again to be well on their way to a regulation win up 2-0 on the Toronto Marlies with under six minutes left in the third period. Instead, as has often happened during the team's five-game road trip, the Phantoms surrendered the lead before ultimately falling in overtime to the American Hockey League's top team.

The overtime loss extended the Phantoms' winless skid and further pushed them towards elimination from the postseason. With 12 games left on their regular season schedule, the Phantoms now trail two teams fighting for the final playoff spot - the Portland Pirates and Hartford Wolf Pack.

Sunday 3/20, Portland - 4 at Lehigh Valley - 2

The team isn't using it as an excuse, but there's no doubting that an overnight bus ride back from Toronto Friday night into Saturday morning - which saw the Lehigh Valley Phantoms get back into town at 6 a.m. ET - took its toll on the team in the opening period against Portland.

The home team just didn't have their skating legs in the first ten minutes, or what several players post-game said was the necessary mental focus to be competitive. The early hole proved costly as the 3-0 deficit was too much to overcome, extending the Phantoms' winless skid to seven games (0-5-2) after a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Portland Pirates.

With 11 games left on the regular season schedule and the Phantoms 11 points out of playoff contention, the mantra in the locker room is to band together and play for each other.

The Week Ahead

Wednesday 3/23, Hershey at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday 3/25, Providence at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday 3/26, Hartford at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET


  • The Philadelphia Flyers called up goaltender Anthony Stolarz Sunday due to Michal Neuvirth's lower body injury that will cause him to miss three weeks. Stolarz is likely going to remain in the NHL the rest of the season.
  • The Flyers signed defensemen Reece Wilcox to an entry-level contract today and he will join the Phantoms on an ATO contract for the remainder of the season. Wilcox, 22, recently finished his senior season at the University of Cornell where he captained the team and tallied 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 33 games. The Flyers' 5th round pick in 2012 is also a former teammate of current Phantoms forward Cole Bardreau.
  • Defenseman Max Lamarche and forward Colin McDonald both missed this weekend's games with upper body injuries. Both are considered day-to-day and could return to the lineup as soon as Wednesday night against Hershey.
  • Head coach Scott Gordon was very complimentary of recently added forward Steven Swavely, speaking of his hockey sense and ability to be a quick learner. Gordon noted Swavely, a Reading, Pa native, is winning his fair share of face-offs and while he's not getting a ton of playing time on the fourth line he's making the most of his shifts and playing a role on the penalty kill.
  • Plenty of roster movement today as goaltender Connor Knapp and forward Pavel Padakin have been called up from Reading (ECHL). Also, Joe Rehkamp has been released from his PTO.
Weekly Links

Last week at The Home News, my weekly Phantoms feature was on local product Steven Swavely's surreal moment joining the Philadelphia Flyers organization. Stay tuned for this week's story.

Sam Carchidi, Flyers beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, had this piece on Anthony Stolarz joining Flyers in the thick of their playoff race.

My latest at Hockey's Future on Anthony Stolarz took a look at his development/progression in his second season.

Dave Isaac of the Courier Post had this story on Jake Voracek's prediction for Flyers in their final 12 games.

Nobody previews Flyers games like's Bill Meltzer. Here's his full preview of tonight's Flyers/Islanders game.


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