Game 29 Preview: Hershey at Lehigh Valley

Monday, December 26, 2016
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Round Six - Phantoms Host Hershey 

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 holiday hiatus is over for American Hockey League (AHL) teams, and rivals in the Atlantic Division meet tonight when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (20-7-1) host the Hershey Bears (16-6-6) for the sixth of 12 meetings between the two teams this season.

The Phantoms look to finish their season-high six game homestand with a perfect 6-0 record, while also hoping to pick up right where they left off before the holiday break. Hershey has lost the last two meetings to Lehigh Valley, albeit by 3-2 decisions in overtime and a shootout in the last meeting back on December 16th.

Both teams are trying to keep pace with first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Atlantic Division, as all three Pennsylvania teams are atop the standings as the calendar year wraps up.

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

Written by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook

By The Numbers

LV: 28 games played, 20-7-1-0 = 41 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 5-0-0-0
Last 10 Games: 8-2-0-0

HER: 28 games played, 16-6-4-2 = 38 points
3rd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Last 10 Games: 6-2-1-1

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 31-for-136: 22.8% = 7th in AHL
HER - 24-for-117: 20.5% = 8th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 86-for-102: 84.3% = 8th in AHL
HER - 108-for-129: 83.7% = 11th in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV: Jordan Weal (26GP, 10G-19A), T.J. Brennan (28GP, 10G-14A) and Greg Carey (28GP, 14G-8A)
HER: Travis Boyd (28GP, 9G-19A), Chris Bourque (28GP, 7G-18A) and Paul Carey (22GP, 8G-15A)

Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (19GP. 13-5-1, 2.63 GAA, .913 SV%, 1 SO)
BST: Vitek Vanecek (14GP, 8-3-3, 1.85 GAA, .930 SV%, 3 SO)

Season Series

Tonight marks the sixth of 12 regular season meetings between the Phantoms and Bears. Lehigh Valley is 3-2 against Hershey this season, with the last two meetings going to the Phantoms in a pair of 3-2 wins decided past regulation - on December 3rd in overtime and on December 16th in the shootout.

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 - 2 at Lehigh Valley - 3 (SO)
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. He's started all but one of the team's last 17 games entering tonight's tilt.

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.

Expected Scratches: Corban Knight (healthy) and Max Lamarche (healthy)

Phantoms Lines 

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

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

Alex Lyon - Martin Ouellette

Bears Lines

Chris Bourque - Chandler Stephenson - Garrett Mitchell
Liam O'Brien - Travis Boyd - Paul Carey
Nathan Walker - Brad Malone - Stanislav Galiev
Ryan Bourque - Zach Sill - Christian Thomas

Aaron Ness - Tyler Lewington
Christian Djoos - Colby Williams
Hubert Labrie - Darren Dietz

Vitek Vanecek - Joe Cannata

Recent Transactions

12/21: ADD - G Martin Ouellette returned from loan to Reading (ECHL)
12/19: DEL - G Martin Ouellette returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
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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