|The Phantoms host Springfield tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Written by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook
I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Springfield Thunderbirds. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following along on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock and Facebook (be sure to like the Facebook page!) for all the latest updates and information this evening. Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms kick off their third season tonight at the PPL Center against the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7:05 p.m. ET. A plethora of offseason additions have the team and fans alike excited for the 2016-17 season, and tonight the Phantoms drop the puck and do it for real.
Springfield is a different team than the one that called the Mass Mutual Center home last season. The Arizona Coyotes moved their farm team to Tucson, and the Florida Panthers now house their top minor league affiliate in southern Massachusetts (formerly the Portland Pirates).
A veteran goaltender duo of Mike McKenna and Reto Berra are at the helm for the Thunderbirds, and a pair of veteran defenders in Jakub Kindl and Adam Pardy stabilize what should be a strong defensively-minded hockey club similar to what their team identified as last year.
After the jump, a full preview of everything you need to know in advance of tonight's game.
You can help keep me on the road covering the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season by making a donation via GoFundMe or PayPal.
By The Numbers
Leading Scorers (2015-16 Stats)
LV: T.J. Brennan (69GP, 25G-43A), Andy Miele (75GP, 18G-44A), Chris Conner (58GP, 16G-39A)
SPR: Paul Thompson (56GP, 13G-22A), Kyle Rau (63GP, 17G-14A) Chase Balisy (69GP, 9G-17A)
Expected Starting Goaltenders (2015-16 Stats)
LV: Anthony Stolarz (47GP, 21-18-7, 2.60 GAA, .916 SV%, 0 SO)
SPR: Mike McKenna (57GP, 33-17-3, 2.45 GAA, .921 SV%, 3 SO)
This is the first of meetings between the Phantoms and Thunderbirds this season.
Season Series Schedule
Saturday, October 15th: Springfield at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, Novermber 5th: Springfield at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Monday, January 16th: Lehigh Valley at Springfield - 1:05 p.m. ET
Friday, February 24th: Lehigh Valley at Springfield - 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday, March 3rd: Lehigh Valley at Springfield - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 8th: Springfield at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Anthony Stolarz is expected to get the start in net for the Phantoms tonight. Alex Lyon will serve as the backup.
The Phantoms loaned defensemen Max Lamarche and Jesper Pettersson to Reading (ECHL) in advance of tonight's game, leaving the AHL roster with six defensemen who are all expected to play tonight.
Forward Cole Bardreau is expected to be held out of the Phantoms' lineup tonight, though he should be back in the lineup next weekend.
Scratches: Cole Bardreau, Petr Straka and Derek Mathers
Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics):
Greg Carey - Andy Miele (A) - Chris Conner
Taylor Leier - Mark Zengerle - Colin McDonald (C)
Danick Martel - Jordan Weal - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Tyrell Goulbourne - Radel Fazleev - Corban Knight
Sam Morin - Will O'Neill (A)
Robert Hagg - Travis Sanheim
T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox
Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon
10/15: DEL - D Max Lamarache loaned to Reading (ECHL)
10/15: DEL - D Jesper Pettersson loaned to Reading (ECHL)
10/12: ADD - F Jordan Weal loaned to Lehigh Valley (AHL) from Philadelphia (NHL)