|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 a.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.
Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action.Don't forget to subscribe to Highland Park Hockey's YouTube channel for post-game interviews with AHL hockey players.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (4-3-1) return home with wins in their previous two games to not only conclude their season-high five game road trip with six out of a possible ten points, but get them back on track to playing the way they need to in order to be successful.
Jordan Weal enters tonight's game tied for second in the American Hockey League (AHL) in scoring with 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in eight games. In his last five contests, he's registered 10 points (three goals, seven assists).
The Thunderbirds have veteran goaltending and experienced skaters leading the way to their 5-2-1 start, and they're looking to avenge their season opening loss to the Phantoms back in Lehigh Valley
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
LV: 8 games played, 4-3-1-0 = 9 points
5th Place Atlantic Division
SPR: 8 games played, 5-2-1-0 = 11 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
LV: Jordan Weal (8GP, 3G-9A), T.J. Brennan (8GP, 3G-7A) and Mark Zengerle (8GP, 4G-2A)
SPR: Chase Balisy (8GP, 2G-4A), Dryden Hunt (8GP, 3G-2A) and Paul Thompson (8GP, 2G-3A)
Expected Starting Goaltenders
LV: Anthony Stolarz (6GP. 4-2-0, 2.18 GAA, .932 SV%, 1 SO)
SPR: Reto Berra (4GP, 3-1-0, 1.50 GAA, .939 SV%, 2 SO)
This is the second of six meetings between the Phantoms and Thunderbirds this season. Lehigh Valley defeated Springfield in their season opener back on October 15th, but since then the Thunderbirds have gone 5-1-1 entering tonight's contest.
Season Series Schedule
Saturday, October 15th: Springfield - 2 at Lehigh Valley - 4
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
With Anthony Stolarz playing really well in starting the Phantom's previous three games, I'd expect he'll get the start in net again tonight against Springfield, leaving Alex Lyon as the team's backup goaltender for the time being.
Scott Laughton was reassigned to Lehigh Valley Thursday and is expected to be in the lineup again tonight. He scored the game-sealing empty net goal in last night's 4-2 win but wasn't overly noticeable in a limited role on the team's 4th line. Should get a closer look at Laughton tonight vs. Springfield - he's only expected to be with the Phantoms this weekend.
Forward Danick Martel, who took a knee-on-knee hit Saturday night in Bridgeport, practiced Tuesday and could return to the Phantoms' lineup as soon as this week or even in tonight's game. EDIT: Martel is in tonight's lineup. Corban Knight was scratched to make room up front.
Healthy Scratches: Tyrell Goulbourne, Corban Knight, Max Lamarche and Petr Straka
Greg Carey - Andy Miele (A) - Colin McDonald (C)
Danick Martel - Jordan Weal - Chris Conner
Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Mark Zengerle
Cole Bardreau - Radel Fazleev - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox
Will O'Neill (A) - Robert Hagg
Sam Morin - Travis Sanheim
Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon
11/3: ADD - C Scott Laughton conditioning loan from Philadelphia
10/27: ADD - LW Taylor Leier returned on loan from Philadelphia (NHL)
10/25: DEL - LW Taylor Leier recalled by Philadelphia (NHL)