|Greg Carey currently leads the AHL with 10 goals and eight power play goals, Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (10-3-1) were certainly not at their best tonight in Providence, but what separates good teams from great teams is the ability to battle through games when things aren't going well.
Down 3-1 entering the third period, the Phantoms made a miraculous comeback effort - getting a pair of power play goals from Greg Carey and outshooting the PBruins 18-5 to force overtime.
Philadelphia Flyers' top prospects Travis Sanheim and Scott Laughton teamed up to extend the Phantoms' winning streak to eight games, with Sanheim getting a puck over to Laughton in the 3-on-3 extra session.
The Phantoms finish the weekend in Bridgeport with a 7:00 face-off against the Sound Tigers Saturday night. Quick recap after the jump.
The Phantoms got off to a slow and sloppy start in Providence, taking several trips to the penalty box - three in the first 9:22 of the contest - and finding themselves down 2-0 early.
First, Tommy Cross's point blast eluded Alex Lyon to give the PBruins a 1-0 lead 3:57 into the game. Less than three minutes later, on another man advantage, Wayne Simpson was able to put a rebound past an outstretched Lyon to extend Providence's lead to two.
The shots were 14-5 PBruins with 4:18 left in the opening period, and with the Phantoms down 2-0 it wasn't looking good for Lehigh Valley. A Jordan Szwarz hooking minor with 3:54 left before the first intermission gave the Phantoms a chance to get back into the game. They made the most of it.
Danick Martel spotted Max Lamarche cutting to the net from his position on the blue line and sent a cross-ice feed that Lamarche stepped into, beating Malcolm Subban and giving the Phantoms some life heading into the middle frame trailing 2-1.
The early period penalties theme continued in the second period, as Reece Willcox went off for holding on the first shift of the stanza. The Phantoms were able to kill off the ensuing power play, but it slowed their ability to get much of anything going offensively.
Providence took back the two-goal lead midway through the middle period, as Colby Cave tallied his 2nd of the season on a feed from Wayne Simpson. Matt Bartkowski added an assist on the PBruins' tally at the 10:58 mark.
Late in the period, the Phantoms got into serious penalty trouble - taking two quick minors and putting themselves shorthanded two men in the final 1:24. Not only were the Phantoms able to kill off the 5-on-3, but nearly made it a one goal game going into third when Nicolas Aube-Kubel stepped out of the penalty box and gave a drop pass to Corban Knight for a shorthanded chance.
The Phantoms really came out and dominated the third period, outshooting the PBruins 18-5 in the final 20 minutes of regulation. It wasn't until the second half of the period that the Phantoms' persistent pressure paid off with some goals.
Greg Carey made it a one-goal game with 7:24 left in regulation, tallying his ninth of the season (his 7th on the power play) after a great individual effort to split the defense and beat Subban with a quick shot. Carey wasn't done there either, tallying another power play goal and tying the game with 2:33 left in regulation.
Scott Laughton completed the comeback in overtime after the two teams traded odd-man rushes and dangerous scoring chances in the three-on-three session. Travis Sanheim took a pass from Taylor Leier and headed to the net, double clutching and setting up Scott Laughton for the game-winning goal.
ROSTER NOTES - Phantoms
Alex Lyon (33 saves - 36 shots) got the start in net for Lehigh Valley tonight in Providence. Martin Ouellette served as the team's backup.
Jordan Weal took the morning skate but wasn't able to play tonight. Steven Swavely was recalled from Reading, who luckily were in nearby Manchester, NH, and Swavely made his 2016-17 Phantoms' debut tonight.
Andy Miele and Robert Hagg skated this morning but are both still out of action for Lehigh Valley.
Scratches: Robert Hagg (injured), Andy Miele (injured) and Jordan Weal (injured)
Taylor Leier (A) - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald (C)
Greg Carey - Mark Zengerle - Chris Conner
Danick Martel - Radel Fazleev - Corban Knight
Steven Swavely - Cole Bardreau - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox
Will O'Neill - Max Lamarche
Sam Morin - Travis Sanheim
Alex Lyon - Martin Ouellette
2:32: LV - (PP) Lamarche, minor (hooking)
3:57: PRO - PPG Cross (2) - Grzelcyk
5:17: LV - (PP) Bardreau, minor (slashing)
6:49: PRO - PPG Simpson (3) - Szwarz, Cross
9:22: LV - (PP) O'Neill, minor (high-sticking)
16:06: PRO - (PP) Szwarz, minor (hooking)
18:02: LV - PPG Lamarche (1) - Martel, Leier
0:43: LV - (PP) Willcox, minor (holding)
10:58: PRO - Cave (2) - Blidh, Simpson
15:23: PRO - (PP) Bartkowski, minor (hooking)
17:47: LV - (PP) Aube-Kubel, minor (hooking)
18:36: LV - (PP) Sanheim, minor (holding)
10:49: PRO - (PP) Szwarz, minor (hooking)
12:36: LV - PPG Carey (9) - Conner, Martel
16:36: PRO - (PP) O'Gara, minor (slashing)
17:27: LV - PPG Carey (10) - O'Neill
2:41: LV - Laughton (2) - Leier, Sanheim