Game 39 Preview: Providence at Lehigh Valley

Saturday, January 21, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms back at it tonight against Providence

I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Providence Bruins live from the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, Pa. The puck drops at 7:05 p.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.

After a big 5-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Friday night to tighten the gap for first place in the Atlantic Division, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (26-10-2) need to put last night's game behind them and get ready to face another one of the league's top teams when they host Zac Rinaldo and the Providence Bruins (23-10-4-3) in the middle of a three-game weekend.

Rinaldo appears to be a changed man since his time with the Philadelphia Flyers organization. He tallied the game's opening goal for the PBruins last night in a 4-3 win over Rochester, has goals in back-to-back games - including four goals in his last 10 games - and has only nine minor penalties in 27 games played this season. Not a single fight for Rinaldo in 2016-17, a night and day difference from his 331 penalty minute season with the Adirondack Phantoms in 2010-11.

EDIT: Bruins beat reporter Mark Divver reported this morning that Rinaldo did not make the trip to Allentown for tonight's game.

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.

Written by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook

By The Numbers

LV: 38 games played, 26-10-2-0 = 54 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 2-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 6-3-1-0

PRO: 40 games played, 23-10-4-3 = 53 points
3rd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 7-3-0-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 44-for-187: 23.5% = 5th in AHL
PRO - 27-for-146: 18.5% = 10th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 120-for-145: 82.8% = 13th in AHL
PRO - 132-for-153: 86.3% = 3rd in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV: Jordan Weal (36GP, 12G-26A), T.J. Brennan (38GP, 12G-20A), Chris Conner (38GP, 10G-22A) and Greg Carey (38GP, 21G-9A)

PRO: Wayne Simpson (40GP, 11G-15A), Jordan Szwarz (36GP, 9G-17A), Peter Cehlarik (34GP, 15G-10A) and Alex Grant (36GP, 7G-17A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (11GP. 16-7-2, 2.68 GAA, .909 SV%, 2 SO)

PRO: Malcolm Subban (17GP, 4-9-4, 2.96 GAA, .905 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

This is the fourth of six scheduled meetings between the Phantoms and Bruins this season. The Phantoms are 3-0 against Providence this season, with their latest win the 7-1 blowout before the holiday break back on December 17th.

Season Series Schedule

Saturday, December 17th: Providence - 1 at Lehigh Valley - 7
Saturday, January 21st: Providence at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Sunday, March 5th: Lehigh Valley at Providence - 3:05 p.m. ET
Friday, April 14th: Providence at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

EDIT: Anthony Stolarz has suffered a minor lower body injury, a source close to the situation told Highland Park Hockey Saturday evening. Jordan Weal was also a late scratch, with team broadcaster Bob Rotruck tweeting that Weal was also nicked up in last night's game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Alex Lyon is expected to get the start in net tonight against Providence. Anthony Stolarz picked up the win last night on his 23rd birthday.

Back from Reading after a one-game ECHL stint, defenseman Reece Willcox and forward Radel Fazleev returned to Lehigh Valley. Also listed on AHL transactions this morning was the addition of goaltender Mark Dekanich - a curious move as no goalies in the organization appeared to have suffered any injuries in recent days.

Boyd Gordon made his Phantoms' debut Friday night after clearing waivers and being reassigned to Lehigh Valley from Philadelphia last weekend. Gordon skated with his new team for the first time Wednesday. Despite being 100% healthy, it's unlikely that Gordon will play all three games this weekend in his return to game action.

Scratches: Reece Willcox (healthy), Anthony Stolarz (injured), Jordan Weal (injured) and Radel Fazleev (healthy)


Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald (C)
Danick Martel - Corban Knight - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Cole Bardreau - Boyd Gordon - Mark Zengerle

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

Alex Lyon - Mark Dekanich

Recent Transactions

1/20: DEL - D Reece Willcox reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL)  to Reading (ECHL)
1/20: DEL - F Radel Fazleev reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL)  to Reading (ECHL)
1/14: ADD - F Boyd Gordon loaned from Philadelphia (NHL)
1/6: ADD - D Mark Alt loaned  


Post a Comment