|Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Written by: Tony Androckitis, Facebook/Twitter
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2-3-1) had a disappointing finish to the weekend after Friday night's win in Hartford gave the Phantoms a chance to salvage four of a possible six points on the weekend entering Sunday's tilt against the Hershey Bears.
Untimely penalties at the tail end of the second period led to their demise.
The Phantoms took a 1-0 lead in the first period, and played pretty well throughout the game - similar to Saturday night's loss in Bridgeport. Again, key mistakes at key junctures of the game made the difference and have the Phantoms heading home 1-2 on their current five-game road trip.
The Phantoms are back in action Wednesday in a rare 11 a.m. ET afternoon game at the XL Center in Hartford. A quick recap of events after the jump.
The Phantoms began their third game in three nights controlling the play in the first seven minutes, spending several shifts in the offensive zone and creating scoring chances with a 5-2 shots advantage. They had a glorious chance to take the lead on a double-minor high-sticking penalty assessed to Travis Boyd, but were unable to convert on the man advantage.
Lehigh Valley took the 1-0 lead late in the 1st period off of an offensive zone face-off win by Mark Zengerle. Zengerle won a puck back to T.J. Brennan, who gave the puck to his defense partner Will O'Neill for a shot that was deflected past Bears' goaltender Vitek Vanacek by Nicolas Aube-Kubel. It was Kubel's first of the season.
Some of the poor decision-making habits the Phantoms exhibited last night in Bridgeport returned late in the opening period, allowing Hershey to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the middle frame. Brennan's ill-advised pinch in the offensive zone saw Madison Bowey pass a puck up ice to Brad Malone, sending the Bears forward on a 2-on-1 rush that he would convert high blocker on Anthony Stolarz with 2:34 left before the first intermission.
The Bears gained obvious momentum from the late period goal, and took a 12-10 shots advantage into the second period.
Hershey's edge in play continued early in the second period, as they went to the power play 29 seconds into play after Travis Sanheim was whistled for slashing. They didn't convert on the man advantage, but continued to pressure until taking a 2-1 lead 5:29 into the middle frame.
Travis Boyd from the wall had an excellent spin-o-rama pass to Jakub Vrana in front who had a step on a Phantoms' defender. Vrana went low blocker on Stolarz for his 5th of the season to give Hershey their first lead of the night.
The Phantoms killed off a penalty to Sam Morin, and found themselves in the offensive zone to tie the game at 2-2 shortly after. A great setup from Greg Carey, who from his knees behind the Bears' net, shoveled one into the slot for Colin McDonald who buried one past Vanacek to even the score.
From there, some late period penalties proved costly for Lehigh Valley - taking three minor penalties in the final 4:02 of the period and surrendering a 5-on-3 goal with 16.7 seconds left before the second intermission.
Paul Carey gave the Bears a lead they would never look back on, as the third period was more about retribution for Morin's second period hit on Travis Boyd than anything else.
Morin is likely facing a suspension for this hit on Travis Boyd in the second period.
ROSTER NOTES - Phantoms
Anthony Stolarz (30 saves - 33 shots) got the start in net tonight for Lehigh Valley. Alex Lyon, who allowed five goals on 35 shots last night in Bridgeport, served as the team's backup.
Danick Martel (left leg) took a scary knee-on-knee hit from Kyle Burroughs last night and didn't return. He sat out tonight, and Cole Bardreau took his spot on that line with Jordan Weal and Chris Conner.
No other lineup changes for Lehigh Valley.
Scratches: Danick Martel (lower body), Max Lamarche and Petr Straka
Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Colin McDonald (C)
Taylor Leier (A) - Mark Zengerle - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Chris Conner - Jordan Weal - Cole Bardreau
Tyrell Goulbourne - Radel Fazleev - Corban Knight
Will O'Neill - T.J. Brennan
Robert Hagg - Travis Sanheim
Sam Morin - Reece Willcox
Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon
8:49: HER - (PP) Boyd, double-minor (high-sticking)
14:38: LV - Aube-Kubel (1) - O'Neill, Brennan
17:26: HER - Malone (3) - Bowey, Barber
0:29: LV - (PP) Sanheim, minor (slashing)
5:29: HER - Vrana (5) - Boyd
6:23: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (tripping)
9:35: LV - McDonald (4) - Carey, Miele
11:51: HER - (PP) Dietz, minor (tripping)
15:58: LV - (PP) Weal, minor (cross-checking)
18:14: LV - (PP) Conner, minor (high-sticking)
19:01: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (boarding)
19:43: HER - PPG Carey (3) - Vrana, Bourque
20:00: HER - (PP) Lewington, minor (unsportsmanlike)
2:44: HER - (PP) Lewington, minor (holding the stick)
8:13: LV - Morin, minor (roughing)
8:13: LV - Morin, minor (unsportsmanlike)
8:13: HER - O'Brien, minor (roughing)
8:13: LV - O'Brien, minor (unsportsmanlike)
15:25: LV - Bardreau, major (fighting)
15:25: HER - Walker, major (fighting)