Game 40 Preview: Lehigh Valley at Hershey

Sunday, January 22, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms Hope To Rebound Against Hershey Sunday

I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Hershey Bears live from Highland Park Hockey HQ! The puck drops at 5:00 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 (26-11-2) were blown out by the Providence Bruins on Saturday - dropping a 9-1 decision on home ice.

Tonight, the Phantoms conclude a three-game weekend with an important match up against the reeling Hershey Bears (19-12-9) who have just two wins in their last 10 games - one of which was last Saturday's game at Giant Center against the Phantoms. The Bears are also coming off a blowout loss Saturday at the hands of the Penguins in a 5-1 drubbing.

It's the third game in three nights for both teams, and both are coming off a humiliating loss the night before. The two teams also don't like each other, so this evening's game should be very interesting and likely a hard fought battle.

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: 39 games played, 26-11-2-0 = 54 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 0-1-0-0
Last Ten Games: 6-3-1-0

HER: 40 games played, 19-12-7-2 = 47 points
4th Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 0-3-0-0
Last Ten Games: 2-6-2-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 44-for-189: 23.3% = 4th in AHL
HER - 38-for-176: 21.6% = 7th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 122-for-147: 83.0% = 13th in AHL
HER - 157-for-189: 83.1% = 12th in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV: Jordan Weal (36GP, 12G-26A), T.J. Brennan (39GP, 12G-20A), Chris Conner (39GP, 10G-22A) and Greg Carey (39GP, 21G-9A)

HER: Travis Boyd (40GP, 10G-24A), Chris Bourque (40GP, 9G-23A), Christian Thomas (37GP, 16G-15A) and Paul Carey (33GP, 12G-17A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (26GP. 16-8-2, 2.79 GAA, .906 SV%, 2 SO)

HER: Joe Cannata (20GP, 10-4-4, 3.14 GAA, .878 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

Tonight marks the ninth of 12 regular season meetings between the Phantoms and Bears. Lehigh Valley is 4-4 against Hershey this season, having split a home and home series with the Bears last weekend.

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 - 5 at Lehigh Valley - 2
Friday, January 13th: Hershey - 2 at Lehigh Valley - 6
Saturday, January 14th: Lehigh Valley - 4 at Hershey - 6
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 this evening at Giant Center after being pulled midway through the second period in last night's 9-1 loss to Providence. Mark Dekanich will likely serve as Lyon's backup.

Anthony Stolarz has suffered a minor lower body injury - likely during Friday night's win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, a source close to the situation told Highland Park Hockey Saturday evening.

Jordan Weal was also a late scratch Saturday night, though head coach Scott Gordon said after the game that he expects Weal will be back in the lineup tonight in Hershey.

Expected Scratches: Reece Willcox (healthy), Anthony Stolarz (injured) and Nicolas Aube-Kubel (healthy)

Expected Lines:

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

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

Alex Lyon - Mark Dekanich

Recent Transactions

1/21: ADD - G Mark Dekanich recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
1/21: ADD - D Reece Willcox reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL)  from Reading (ECHL)
1/21: ADD - F Radel Fazleev reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL)  from Reading (ECHL)
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)


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