Four Is More - Ouellette Shuts Out St. John's For Fourth Straight Win

Saturday, April 2, 2016
Martin Ouellette stole the show for Lehigh Valley this weekend. Photo: Scott Walsh
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (31-32-4-3) put forth another strong effort in St. John's Saturday night to sweep the weekend series with a 4-0 win over the St. John's IceCaps (29-32-8-3) at the Mile One Centre.

It was both the Lehigh Valley and Martin Ouellette's fourth straight win as the Phantoms netminder posted his first career AHL shutout in what was largely a night of first for many Phantoms' players.

Reece Willcox opened the scoring midway through the 1st frame, tallying his first career pro goal in just his second game. Oskar Lindblom picked up his 1st career AHL assist in his second game, getting an apple on Tim Brent's 8th of the season to give Lehigh Valley an early 2-0 lead that the Phantoms never looked back on behind the strong performance from Ouellette in net.

The Phantoms have just six games left on the regular season schedule, finishing the year with a pair of three-in-three weekends. Lehigh Valley's next game is Friday, April 8th at 7:05 p.m. ET when they take on their rival, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

You can help keep me on the road covering the Lehigh Valley Phantoms by making a donation via GoFundMe or PayPal.


After an uneventful opening 10 minutes of play between the Phantoms and IceCaps, Lehigh Valley's offense caught fire - opening up a 3-0 lead on just six shots on goal.

First, it was Reece Willcox tallying his first career pro goal, picking up a puck from Colin McDonald along the right-wing wall and skating down by the face-off circle before firing a bad angle shot that eluded IceCaps goaltender Ben Scrivens to make it 1-0 Phantoms 10:50 into the contest.

Exactly five minutes later, Tim Brent backhanded one to the top shelf off a feed from Chris Conner to make it a 2-0 Phantoms lead with 4:10 left before the first intermission. Conner won a race to a loose puck in the corner and sent one to Oskar Lindblom atop the crease. Lindblom had his stick checked and was unable to get a good shot off, but Brent was right there to lift the backhander into the net.

The Phantoms weren't done there either, getting a third goal with 1:05 left to play by team captain Colin McDonald. It won't show up on the stat sheet, but Phantoms' equipment manager Andy Rannells deserves credit for the Phantoms' third goal of the period.

McDonald blocked a shot in the defensive zone and broke his stick. He headed to the bench for a new stick that Rannells handed to him on the fly as the Phantoms were heading up ice. McDonald then, in stride, caught a pass from Cole Bardreau and was off to the races going forehand to backhand and five-hole on Scrivens to send Lehigh Valley into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.

The 3-0 lead remained untouched in the middle frame, but the IceCaps out shot the Phantoms 16-6 in the period and were unable to solve Ouellette - who played fantastic all weekend long. In the final two minutes of the period, Jay Rosehill lined up and caught IceCaps defenseman Josiah Didier in the head. Rosehill received a match penalty for checking the head of an opponent and ejected from the game. He will almost certainly be receiving a suspension for the hit, as all match penalties are automatically reviewed by the league.

Nevertheless, Lehigh Valley killed off the entirety of the five-minute IceCaps power play, which stretched into the opening three minutes of the third period. In fact, the Phantoms went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill tonight and 11-for-11 on the two-game weekend - adding a shorthanded unassisted goal from Cole Bardreau with 11:37 left in regulation to complete the 4-0 final score.


Martin Ouellette (31 saves - 31 shots) got his 5th straight start in net tonight for Lehigh Valley, coming off a 27-save performance last night and back-to-back wins last weekend. Connor Knapp was the team's backup goaltender.

Only lineup change from last night is Jay Rosehill entered the lineup and Aaron Palushaj sat as a healthy scratch. Rosehill was later ejected with 1:57 left in the middle frame for an illegal check to the head of an opponent and will likely be receiving supplemental discipline in the form of a suspension for his actions.

Jason LaBarbera is out for the season, per Flyers' GM Ron Hextall. Ouellette and Knapp will be the Phantoms' duo in net the remainder of the season.

The Phantoms reassigned defenseman Max Lamarche to Reading, leaving Lehigh Valley with seven defensemen on the roster.

Two players made their AHL debuts Friday night. Defenseman Reece Willcox got his first taste of pro hockey on the back end, while promising forward Oskar Lindblom played left wing on a line with veteran forwards Chris Conner and Tim Brent.

Scratches: Jason LaBarbera (out for season), Christian Marti (healthy), Phil DeSimone (healthy), Michael Parks (out for season), Aaron Palushaj (healthy), Dalton Smith (healthy) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics):

Oskar Lindblom - Tim Brent (A) - Chris Conner
Taylor Leier - Cole Bardreau - Colin McDonald (C)
Petr Straka - Steven Swavely - Danick Martel
Tyrell Goulbourne - Pavel Padakin - Jay Rosehill

Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Davis Drewiske (A) - Reece Willcox
Adam Comrie - Robert Hagg

Martin Ouellette - Connor Knapp


1st Period

10:50: LV - Willcox (1) - McDonald, Drewiske
15:50: LV - Brent (8) - Conner, Lindblom
18:55: LV - McDonald (13) - Bardreau
19:50: LV - (PP) Padakin, minor (hooking)

2nd Period

6:37: LV - (PP) Padakin, minor (hooking)
9:00: STJ - (PP) Johnston, minor (hooking)
18:03: LV - (PP) Rosehill, match penalty (checking to the head)

3rd Period

3:17: LV - (PP) Martel, minor (high-sticking)
7:16: LV - (PP) Leier, minor (slashing)
8:23: LV - SHG Bardreau (12) - unassisted
15:29: STJ - (PP) Scrivens, minor (interference)
19:47: STJ - (PP) Gregoire, minor (cross-checking)


Post a Comment