Phantoms Split Weekend Series With Hershey

Saturday, January 14, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms Come Up Short In Hershey

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

HERSHEY - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (24-10-2) came into Giant Center looking for a weekend sweep of the home and home series, but it wasn't meant to be in a 6-4 loss to Atlantic Division rival Hershey (19-9-9).

The Bears came out with purpose after dropping a 6-2 game to the Phantoms in Allentown Friday night, and got some fortunate bounces and puck luck to snap their five-game losing skid Saturday night.

Travis Sanheim pulled the Phantoms out of a 2-0 hole in the second period with a pair of goals - including a brilliant coast-to-coast tally to tie the game - but a bad angle centering pass by Hershey on the next shift bounced off a leg in front and went in to restore Hershey's lead just 46 seconds later.

With the Phantoms down 5-2 early in the third, Greg Carey was able to tally his team-leading 18th and 19th goals of the season to get Lehigh Valley within a goal in the final minutes of regulation, but it wasn't enough to get any points in the standings.

After the jump, a full recap of the action complete with post-game reaction from head coach Scott Gordon and Greg Carey.


Head coach Scott Gordon:

On the first period:
I think it was more that they got that early power play they gained some momentum on. We do a good job of killing it and then we give them the puck right back and they score a goal on it. Then the next goal they got was on the power play. A guy falls down at the blue line, our forward doesn't know that he's falling and probably doesn't go out and chase. They ended up getting a pretty good shot from a good spot. A guy loses his stick and a guy falls out of the zone, and that kind of set the tempo in the first period. We're down 2-0 and we didn't have much going on after that.
On the response in the second period:
Obviously we come back in the second period and they don't have a shot until there was nine minutes left in the period. Again, we get ourselves into penalty trouble and they scored on that. Before that on the third goal it was a nothing play. Then on top of that it goes in off our forward's foot.
On making a game of it in the third:
I don't think we had a whole lot going on as far as offensive zone time but I think we certainly had enough chances to be able to win the game. Given the circumstances on how those goals went in on us, were just stuff that we don't normally do.
Forward Greg Carey:

On his thoughts about the game:
I thought we played them good 5-on-5 all night. I don't know how many power play goals they banged in, but their power play was clicking. We got away from our systems but they played us hard. We knew they were going to play us hard. They have a big crowd and a ton of support. It was a good battle. I thought we had a chance there with our goalie pulled.
On his goals in third:
Good play Miels (Miele) there, and good play by Cons (Conner). I just try to get to the net with my stick down, but there's a lot that has to happen for me to get the puck. It's five guys on the play. Unfortunately we didn't score enough to win tonight but hopefully we can come back with a good game in Springfield on Monday.


It was pretty obvious in the first period that Hershey was not happy about their 6-2 loss to Lehigh Valley last night in Allentown. Tonight at the Giant Center, the Bears came out flying with all kinds of energy - opening up an 8-3 advantage in shots and a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard.

After the Phantoms failed to score on an early power play 1:21 into the contest, it was the Bears getting on the man advantage and generating momentum - getting a brief stint of 4-on-3 power play time and taking the 1-0 lead shortly after the two teams got back to full strength.

Paul Carey took a pass from Christian Thomas in the offensive zone and did the rest, weaving his way in and out of Phantoms' defenders on his way to a shot from the slot that beat Alex Lyon to the far-side just inside the right post. Carey's 11th of the season came 11:06 into the contest.

Sam Morin was whistled for elbowing on what appeared to be a relatively clean, but hard hit on 5-foot-8 Nathan Walker and the Bears capitalized on the man advantage to take a 2-0 lead with 6:16 left before the 1st intermission.

Thomas got the puck across the top of the face-off circles cross ice to Jakub Vrana, who set up Aaron Ness at the center point for a quick shot that went top shelf on Lyon past a screen in front by Paul Carey. 

The rough stuff and Hershey's attempt to settle the score with Will O'Neill from that incident after the 12/26 game was still there. Tonight, it was Brad Malone going after O'Neill on several occasions - first at the Phantoms' team bench 7:44 into the game and later in the final minute of the period.

The Phantoms had a great chance to cut the Bears' lead in half before the first intermission on a brief 5-on-3, but a hit post by Mark Zengerle was as close as they came to getting on the scoreboard.

Travis Sanheim was the story of the second period for Lehigh Valley. After each team was whistled for hooking penalties on back-to-back shifts, Sanheim scored his 6th of the season while it was 4-on-4 to cut the Phantoms' deficit in half.

Andy Miele did a great job to win an offensive zone face-off and get the puck back to Sanheim at the center point, and Sanheim skated in and fired a hard wrist shot past Cannata 7:10 into the middle frame to make it a 2-1 game.

Then, Sanheim took matters into his own hands - going coast to coast and weaving his way through the Bears' defense in route to his second goal of the night to tie the game at 2-2 with 10:20 left in the 2nd period. 
Unfortunately for Lehigh Valley, Hershey re-gained the lead on the next shift after a bad bounce ended up in the back of the Phantoms' net. Colby Williams came down the right wing and tried to center one in front but the puck bounced off the back of Radel Fazleev's leg and darted in past Lyon to make it a 3-2 game less than a minute after Sanheim's second of the period had tied the game up at 2-2.

The Phantoms got themselves into penalty trouble shortly after and the Bears cashed in on the power play to extend their lead back to two goals on a tic-tac-toe passing display that saw Stanislav Galiev finish off a pass from Carey with 5:56 left before the second intermission.

It appeared as though the Bears would cruise to the win when they opened up a 5-2 lead on a tap in goal from Jakub Vrana less than three minutes into the third period, but the Phantoms battled back and made things interesting in the final minutes thanks to a pair of goals from Greg Carey.

Both of Carey's goals were similar in style. On the first one, he took a pass from Andy Miele and fought off a hook in the slot to beat Cannata five-hole. The second, which made it a one-goal game with 3:29 left, came after a toe-drag deke by Chris Conner at the goal line and pass across to Carey all alone in the slot that he was able to pick a corner on Cannata. 

It ended up being too little too late for Lehigh Valley, as they pulled Lyon for the extra attacker and had some great chances to tie it up in the final 90 seconds. Zach Sill tallied an empty net goal in the final 35 seconds to complete the 6-4 final score.


Alex Lyon (21 saves - 26 shots) got the start in net for Lehigh Valley tonight against Hershey. Anthony Stolarz, who picked up his seventh win of the season last night, served as Lyon's backup

Boyd Gordon cleared waivers and was assigned to the Phantoms, but was not in Hershey for tonight's game and was a healthy scratch.

Danick Martel, who left the game in the second period and did not return for the third last night in Allentown, was held out of the lineup tonight.

Reece Willcox remained the seventh defenseman and was a healthy scratch in both games against Hershey this weekend.

Scratches: Danick Martel (injured) and Reece Willcox (healthy)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald
Mark Zengerle - Jordan Weal - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Cole Bardreau - Radel Fazleev - Corban Knight

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

Alex Lyon - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

1:21: HER - (PP) Mitchell, minor (tripping)
7:44: LV - O'Neill. minor (cross-checking)
7:44: HER - Malone, minor (cross-checking)
8:49: LV - (PP) Knight, minor (hooking)
11:06: HER - Carey (11) - Thomas
12:11: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (elbowing)
13:44: HER - PPG Ness (5) - Vrana, Thomas
17:23: HER - (PP) Carey, minor (tripping)
19:08: LV - O'Neill, minor (roughing)
19:08: LV - O'Neill, ten-minute misconduct
19:08: HER - (PP) Malone, minor (hooking)
19:08: HER - Malone, minor (roughing)
19:08: HER - Malone, ten-minute misconduct

2nd Period

5:48: LV - (PP) Laughton, minor (hooking)
6:19: HER - (PP) Ness, minor (hooking)
7:10: LV - Sanheim (6) - Miele
9:40: LV - Sanheim (7) - Morin, Laughton
10:26: HER - Williams (3) - Carey, Boyd
12:04: LV - (PP) Laughton, minor (roughing)
14:04: HER - PPG Galiev (7) - Carey, Vrana

3rd Period

2:54: HER - Vrana (10) - Walker
3:21: LV - Morin, major (fighting)
3:21: HER - Mitchell, major (fighting)
3:25: LV - (PP) Sanheim, minor (delay of game)
13:20: LV - Carey (18) - Miele, Hagg
15:47: HER - (PP) Boyd, minor (tripping)
16:31: LV - PPG Carey (19) - Conner, Weal
19:25: HER - ENG Sill (7) - O'Brien


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