Same Old Song & Dance For Lehigh Valley In Rochester

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Aaron Palushaj tallied the Phantoms' lone goal in the loss tonight. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
Another game where the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (27-30-3-3) 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 tonight 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.

Anthony Stolarz stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced in the loss, which extends the Phantoms' win-less skid to five games (0-4-1) heading into the final game of their five-game road trip which ends Friday night against the league's top team, the Toronto Marlies (44-14-5).

Quick recap after the jump.


A chippy, penalty-filled first period saw the Rochester Americans strike first to take a 1-0 lead. After a pair of unsuccessful power plays for Lehigh Valley, the Amerks made the most of their opportunity halfway through the first frame.

A pair of former Binghamton Senators forwards teamed up to put Rochester ahead, as Eric O'Dell took a pass from Matt Donovan and fed a perfect pass through the slot from one face-off circle to the other for a one-timer by Cole Schneider that beat Anthony Stolarz to the spot with 8:59 left before the first intermission.

It wasn't until late in the opening period that the Phantoms were able to tie the game at 1-1. From the cornerboards behind the goal line, Aaron Palushaj sent a centering pass intended for Tim Brent deflected in past Amerks goaltender Linus Ullmark off his own defenseman Chad Ruhwedel.

The Phantoms continued to bring a solid effort in the middle frame, but Ullmark was always up to the task. Rochester took a 2-1 lead on a rebound goal by Justin Bailey just moments after he was denied on a breakaway chance. William Carrier's intial shot was stopped by Stolarz, but atop the crease Bailey finished the play with a nifty spinning backhand shot 8:34 into the middle frame.

Lehigh Valley pressured for most of the third period, but were not rewarded. Instead, Ruhwedel got perfect poetic justice after a puck bounced off him and into his own net for the Phantoms' lone tally in the first period. This time, it was Sam Morin accidentally swatting a puck into his own net to put the Amerks ahead 3-1 with 7:11 left in regulation.


Anthony Stolarz (28 saves - 31 shots) got the start in net for Lehigh Valley, with Jason LaBarbera serving as the team's backup goaltender.

Max Lamarche (upper body) sat out tonight's game after taking a check to the head in the 1st period of Saturday's game in Hartford.

Christian Marti returned to the lineup after sitting out as a healthy scratch the last time out.

Scratches: Michael Parks (upper body since 10/17), Max Lamarche (upper body since 3/12), Jay Rosehill (healthy), Joe Rehkamp (healthy) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely).

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Aaron Palushaj - Cole Bardreau - Colin McDonald (C)
Taylor Leier - Phil DeSimone - Chris Conner
Danick Martel - Tim Brent - Petr Straka
Tyrell Goulbourne - Steven Swavely - Dalton Smith

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

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera


1st Period

3:21: LV - Goulbourne, minor (interference)
3:21: RCH - Kaleta, minor (diving/embellishment)
3:56: RCH - (PP) Carrier, minor (holding)
6:19: RCH - (PP) Rodrigues, minor (tripping)
9:50: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (high-sticking)
11:01: RCH - PPG Schneider () - O'Dell, Donovan
14:24: LV - Smith, minor (roughing)
14:24: RCH - Kaleta, minor (roughing)
17:24: LV - Palushaj (11) - McDonald

2nd Period

1:31: LV - (PP) Conner, minor (holding)
8:34: RCH - Bailey (13) - Carrier, Mormina
9:15: RCH - (PP) Carrier, minor (hooking)
16:20: RCH - (PP) Schneider, minor (interference)
18:36: LV - (PP) Brent, minor (holding the stick)
3rd Period

1:42: RCH - (PP) Austin, minor (delay of game)
12:49: RCH - Ruhwedel (8) - unassisted
12:52: LV - Bardreau, major (fighting)
12:52: RCH - Guptill, major (fighting)
17:37: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (high-sticking)


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