Game 34 Preview: Utica at Lehigh Valley

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
 Phantoms Finish Three-Game Weekend Against Utica

I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Utica Comets. The puck drops at 5:05 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 (22-9-2) conclude their three-game weekend at home against the Utica Comets (12-15-5-1) this evening on Star Wars Night at the PPL Center.

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: 33 games played, 22-9-2-0 = 46 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Last 10 Games: 7-2-1-0

UTI: 33 games played, 12-15-5-1 = 30 points
5th Place North Division
Streak: 2-0-0-0
Last 10 Games: 2-3-4-1

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 35-for-159: 22.0% = 7th in AHL
UTI - 27-for-155: 17.4% = 16th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 106-for-126: 84.1% = 9th in AHL
UTI - 126-for-155: 81.3% = 18th in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV: Jordan Weal (31GP, 11G-22A), T.J. Brennan (33GP, 10G-19A) and Greg Carey (33GP, 17G-8A)
UTI: Alexandre Grenier (31GP, 10G-16A), Curtis Valk (32GP, 12G-10A) and Darren Archibald (33GP, 9G-12A)

Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (23GP, 15-6-2, 2.65 GAA, .911 SV%, 2 SO)
UTI: Richard Bachman (11GP, 4-6-1, 3.13 GAA, .884 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

Tonight is the second of four scheduled meetings between the Phantoms and Comets this season. Lehigh Valley leads the season series 1-0 after a 4-1 win in Utica back on November 11th, which was Alex Lyon's first career AHL win.

Season Series Schedule

Friday, November 11th: Lehigh Valley - 4 at Utica - 1
Sunday January 8th: Utica at Lehigh Valley - 5:05 p.m. ET
Sunday, February 19th: Lehigh Valley at Utica - 3:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 11th: Utica at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes 

Anthony Stolarz is expected to get the start in net this evening against Utica. Alex Lyon pitched a 31-save shutout last night against Albany, so Stolarz will need a strong performance today or risk sharing more starts with Lyon down the road than he already will be.

Mark Alt is expected back in the lineup today as he made his season debut Friday night in Hartford. Scott Gordon said the plan heading into the weekend was to give Alt Saturday night off as to ease him back into the lineup. Reece Willcox is expected to be scratched to make room for Alt.

The forwards continue to rotate in and out of the lineup on the fourth line this weekend with three games in three nights. Corban Knight sat as the healthy scratch Friday night, while Radel Fazleev served as the 13th forward on Saturday. Expect one of Mark Zengerle or Cole Bardreau to be the odd man out today if the trend is to continue.

Expected Scratches: Mark Zengerle (healthy) and Reece Willcox (healthy)

Expected Lines:

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

T.J. Brennan - Robert Hagg
Will O'Neill - Mark Alt
Sam Morin - Travis Sanheim

Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon

Recent Transactions

1/3: DEL - G Martin Ouellette returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/3: ADD - G Anthony Stolarz returned on loan from Philadelphia (NHL)
1/2: DEL - D Max Lamarche returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/2: DEL - F Steven Swavely returned on loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/1: ADD - F Taylor Leier returned on loan from Philadelphia (NHL) 



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