Phantoms Fall To Rival Bears In Final Road Contest

Saturday, April 16, 2016
Phantoms made their final road trip of the season Saturday night in Hershey.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms battled the Hershey Bears to the final horn before ultimately falling short in their final road contest of the season.

Similar to last night's game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, it was a back-and-forth but evenly played first period. The difference tonight was that Lehigh Valley continued to bring the effort and intensity throughout the second period - taking a brief 2-1 lead before a late period goal by Hershey sent the two teams into the final frame tied.

Anthony Stolarz was again stellar in net, making several acrobatic saves to keep his team in a one-goal game until he was pulled for the extra attacker in the final 90 seconds of regulation. Dalton Smith picked up his first goal as a Phantom in the opening period, while Steven Swavely tallied his 2nd pro goal in the middle frame.

The Phantoms call it a season with their finale on home ice Sunday against the Syracuse Crunch. Post-game comments from assistant coach Riley Cote and forward Steven Swavely after the jump.


Riley Cote:

On team's compete level versus last night - I thought we competed a lot better today than we did yesterday. We kind of fell off the map - not sure yesterday was one of our better games. Today I thought we were with it to the end of the second period. We let up there in the third and they score, but we have to do a better job of staying disciplined. I think it was seven power plays to three - certainly not ideal.

On this Hershey team - They're a good team They connect on their plays and find ways to score goals. I think we just have to be a little bit cleaner all around but the effort was much better tonight.

On finishing off the season with a win - No matter what part of the season or type of situation you always want to win. It's a pride thing, it's always for the jersey you're wearing, and there's indivualized reasons and the fans - there's a lot to play for.

On the fan support this season - At the end of the day, these fans have been supporting us all year and all of last year and have been great. We owe it to them to give an honest effort. All we have to do tomorrow is regroup from tonight, come out flying and give them a win. It's all we can really do.

Steven Swavely:

On the second period goal - Oskar made a nice play to me in the neutral zone and I saw I didn't have too much so I tried to beat him wide. [Oskar] got to the net. I saw it sitting there and gave it a couple whacks. I knew it went in, just hoping it went before the whistle.

On chipping in offensively - It builds the confidence. It always feels good to contribute no matter how you can do it. To throw up a goal on the scoreboard, it feels nice.


The Phantoms put themselves in a hole early in Hershey. With Sam Morin in the box on the opening shift after a very soft cross-checking call, the Bears capitalized on the man advantage 1:38 into the game to take a 1-0 lead. Aaron Ness held a puck in at the point and got it to Jakub Vrana on the half-wall before Vrana found Riley Barber in the slot. Barber's quick shot eluded Anthony Stolarz and went five-hole.

Lehigh Valley evened things up just about three minutes later on an opportune bounce off the end boards. Adam Comrie fed a pass across the blue line to Robert Hagg, and although Hagg's hard point blast missed the net the puck bounced off the end boards right to Dalton Smith at the side of the net. Smith tucked it home for his first as a Phantom to even the score at 1-1.

The two teams traded power plays the rest of the opening frame, but headed to the second period tied at 1-1 thanks to some big time stops from Stolarz.

The evenly played game continued in the middle period until the Phantoms were able to take the lead at 2-1 midway through the hockey game. Steven Swavely made a nice play and took the puck behind the net, and his wraparound bid ended up going in. Initially the referee waved off the goal, but after a review it was deemed a good goal. Oskar Lindblom was credited with the lone assist on the play as it was Swavely getting the final whack at it after Lindblom fired Swavely's wraparound shot on net.

Hershey evened the game up late in the second period after an extended shift in the Phantoms' defensive zone. Lehigh Valley was unable to clear out the puck and get a line change, and it ultimately cost them a goal when a fresh off the bench Travis Boyd got to a loose puck in the slot and fired one past Stolarz with 3:49 left before the second intermission.

If not for more impressive saves by Stolarz - including highway robbery on Barber in the final seconds of the period - the Phantoms would have trailed entering the third period. Instead, the two teams headed into the locker room for the second intermission deadlocked at 2-2.

The Phantoms killed off some carry over penalty time to begin the third period, but Hershey was able to take the lead anyway shortly after. With their fourth line on the ice, the Bears were able to circle and cycle the puck before Liam O'Brien got a puck behind the Phantoms' net and fed it out in front to Zach Sill for Sill's ninth of the season.

Lehigh Valley had their chances late, pulling Stolarz in favor of the extra attacker in the final 90 seconds of regulation but were unable to find a game-tying goal before Sean Collins sealed the deal with an empty net goal.


Anthony Stolarz (28 saves - 31 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms tonight. Connor Knapp served as the backup.

Three changes to the Phantoms' lineup as defenseman Reece Willcox and forwards Chris Conner and Dalton Smith returned to the lineup. Travis Sanheim, Phil DeSimone and Danick Martel were scratched to make room.

Sanheim was a healthy scratch last Saturday as well. The plan is for him to play two of three games this weekend just like last weekend.

Conner returned to the lineup after missing Friday night's game with an undisclosed injury. He was skating in practice Thursday on a makeshift 5th line.

Scratches: Jason LaBarbera (out for the season), Travis Sanheim (healthy), Christian Marti (healthy), Phil DeSimone (healthy), Michael Parks (out for the season), Aaron Palushaj (healthy), Danick Martel (healthy), Radel Fazleev (out for the season), Jay Rosehill (healthy) and Logan Pyett (out for the season)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Oskar Lindblom - Tim Brent - Chris Conner
Taylor Leier - Cole Bardreau - Colin McDonald
Petr Straka - Steven Swavely - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Tyrell Goulbourne - Pavel Padakin - Dalton Smith

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

Anthony Stolarz - Connor Knapp


1st Period

0:32: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (cross-checking)
1:38: HER - PPG Barber (26) - Vrana, Ness
4:34: LV - Smith (2) - Hagg, Comrie
6:06: LV - (PP) Straka, minor (high-sticking)
9:13: HER - (PP) Bourque, minor (slashing)
14:01: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (delay of game)

2nd Period

6:37: LV - (PP) Aube-Kubel, minor (tripping)
9:51: LV - Swavely (2) - Lindblom
16:21: HER - Boyd (21) - Stanton, Stevenson
16:36: HER - (PP) Stanton, minor (interference)
18:55: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (holding)

3rd Period

2:19: HER - Sill (9) - O'Brien, Mitchell
8:21: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (holding)
13:17: HER - (PP) Collins, minor (tripping)
15:05: LV - (PP) Stolarz, minor (tripping) - served by Aube-Kubel
19:23: HER - ENG Collins (16) - Bourque, Sill


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