Game 27 Preview: Hershey at Lehigh Valley

Friday, December 16, 2016
Bitter rivals in the Atlantic Division meet tonight at PPL Center. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Round Five - Phantoms Host Hershey 

Written by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook

I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Hershey Bears. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following along on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock & 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 (18-7-1) look to remain perfect on their current six-game homestand when they host Atlantic Division rival, the Hershey Bears (15-5-5), at 7:05 p.m. ET.

The two teams battled in a home and home series in the beginning of the month and much like the season series has played out, the two teams split the weekend two weeks ago. In the last meeting between these two teams back on December 3rd in Hershey, Jordan Weal was the overtime hero in a big win for Lehigh Valley in the midst of a three-in-three weekend.

Tonight's matchup has the potential to be a good hockey game between two great hockey teams in the American Hockey League (AHL). Both are among the top teams in the league, competing for two important points in an Atlantic Division that has five of the top six teams in the Eastern Conference. Both the Phantoms and Bears have won seven of their last 10 games entering tonight's contest.

After the jump, a preview full of the latest news and notes to get you ready for 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: 25 games played, 18-7-1-0 = 37 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 3-0-0-0
Last 10 Games: 7-3-0-0

HER: 24 games played, 15-5-4-1 = 35 points
3rd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Last 10 Games: 7-1-2-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 31-for-127: 24.4% = 5th in AHL
HER - 20-for-106: 18.9% = 14th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 81-for-96: 84.4% = 8th in AHL
HER - 96-for-116: 82.8% = 13th in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV: Jordan Weal (24GP, 10G-17A), T.J. Brennan (26GP, 9G-13A) and Greg Carey (26GP, 12G-8A)
HER: Travis Boyd (25GP, 7G-16A), Chris Bourque (25GP, 5G-17A) and Christian Thomas (22GP, 12G-6A)

Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (17GP. 11-5-1, 2.77 GAA, .909 SV%, 1 SO)
BST: Vitek Vanecek (12GP, 7-3-2, 2.00 GAA, .924 SV%, 2 SO)

Season Series

Tonight marks the fifth of 12 regular season meetings between the Phantoms and Bears. Lehigh Valley is 2-2 against Hershey this season, with the most recent meeting back on December 3rd being a 3-2 overtime win.

Season Series Schedule

Sunday, October 30th: Lehigh Valley - 2 at Hershey - 3
Sunday, November 13th: Lehigh Valley - 3 at Hershey - 1
Friday, December 2nd: Hershey - 4 at Lehigh Valley - 3
Saturday, December 3rd: Lehigh Valley - 3 at Hershey - 2 (OT)
Friday, December 16th: Hershey at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Monday, December 26th: Hershey at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday, January 13th: Hershey at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, January 14th: Lehigh Valley at Hershey - 7:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, January 22nd: Lehigh Valley at Hershey - 5:00 p.m. ET
Friday, March 10th: Hershey at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Sunday, April 2nd: Lehigh Valley at Hershey - 5:00 p.m. ET
Wednesday, April 5th: Hershey at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes 

Alex Lyon is expected to get the start in net tonight against Hershey.

Defenseman Max Lamarche and forward Steven Swavely have rejoined the Phantoms after a two-game weekend stint with Reading. Swavely tallied a goal and an assist last weekend, while Lamarche was a plus three in two games. Both were healthy scratches for Lehigh Valley for Wednesday night, and are expected to sit out again tonight.

Mark Alt is skating at practice with the Phantoms in a red no-contact jersey. While he's not expected back until the end of the month, it's always a good sign to see a guy get back on the ice with the team after an extended absence. Alt's shoulder injury in the September 28th NHL preseason game against the New Jersey Devils required surgery and he hasn't played in a game yet this year.

Scratches: Reece Willcox (healthy) and Steven Swavely (healthy)


Cole Bardreau - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald (C)
Danick Martel - Jordan Weal - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Corban Knight - Radel Fazleev - Mark Zengerle

T.J. Brennan - Max Lamarche
Sam Morin - Travis Sanheim
Will O'Neill (A) - Robert Hagg

Alex Lyon - Martin Ouellette

Recent Transactions

12/11: ADD - F Steven Swavely returned from loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/11: ADD - D Max Lamarche returned from loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/11: DEL - F Kevin Sundher returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/9: ADD - F Kevin Sundher returned from loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/9: DEL - D Max Lamarche returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/9: DEL - F Steven Swavely returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/5: ADD - C Scott Laughton loaned from Philadelphia (NHL)
12/5: DEL - F Taylor Leier recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)


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