Game 52 Preview: Lehigh Valley at Utica

Sunday, February 19, 2017
Sam Morin returns after serving his two-game suspension. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms Conclude Three-Game Weekend in Utica

Editor's Note: I'll have full coverage of this afternoon's Phantoms game against the Utica Comets! The puck drops at 3:00 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.

UTICA - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (33-16-2) look to finish the weekend with four out six points when they play their third game in two and a half days in Utica this afternoon.

A split at home in a pair of games with the Hartford Wolf Pack has left Lehigh Valley in a dog fight in the Atlantic Division where just five points separate four teams battling for a playoff spot from 2nd place to 5th.

After the jump, a full preview of everything you need to know in advance of tonight's game.

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Written by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook

By The Numbers

LV: 51 games played, 33-16-2-0 = 68 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 5-5-0-0

UTI: 50 games played, 20-22-6-2 = 48 points
6th Place North  Division
Streak: 0-1-0-0
Last Ten Games: 2-6-1-1

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 55-for-251: 21.9% = 5th in AHL
UTI - 36-for-219: 16.4% = 20th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 164-for-198: 82.8% = 10th in AHL
UTI - 173-for-214: 80.8% = 21st in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV:  Chris Conner (51GP, 15G-25A), T.J. Brennan (51GP, 14G-26A), Greg Carey (51GP, 23G-13A) and Andy Miele (40GP, 6G-30A)

UTI: Alexandre Grenier (48GP, 14G-23A), Curtis Valk (49GP, 14G-20A), Darren Archibald (50GP, 15G-16A) and Jordan Subban (42GP, 10G-15A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (32GP, 20-10-2, 2.64 GAA, .910 SV%, 3 SO)
UTI: Thatcher Demko (25GP, 9-10-4, 2.95 GAA, .895 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

This afternoon's game between Lehigh Valley and Utica marks the third of four meetings scheduled this season. The Phantoms are 2-0 against the Comets this season, with Alex Lyon's first career pro win coming in November 11th's 4-1 win in Utica and Stars Wars Night at PPL Center on January 8th resulting in another Phantoms 4-1 victory. After tonight's game, the two teams will conclude their season series March 11th in downtown Allentown, Pa.

Season Series Schedule

Friday, November 11th: Lehigh Valley - 4 at Utica - 1
Sunday January 8th: Utica - 1 at Lehigh Valley - 4
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 Lyon is expected to get the start in net tonight against Hartford, with Anthony Stolarz getting the win last night against Hartford.

Sam Morin will return to the Phantoms' lineup, serving his two-game suspension for a cross-checking hit in Tuesday's loss to the Penguins.

Taylor Leier (concussion) will miss his ninth straight game having not played since the AHL All-Star challenge on January 30th. He was seen getting on the ice after Phantoms' practice Monday, skating with then-injured forward Scott Laughton and injured forward Boyd Gordon, but doesn't appear to be close to a return at this point.

Boyd Gordon, who left in the Wednesday home game against Binghamton after a sliding BSens' forward crunched into his legs in the corner boards, is expected to miss a few weeks with a knee injury.

Expected Scratches: Taylor Leier (concussion symptoms), Chris McCarthy (healthy), Boyd Gordon (lower body) and Reece Willcox (healthy)

Expected Lines:

Mark Zengerle - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald
Danick Martel - Corban Knight - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Steven Swavely  - Radel Fazleev - Cole Bardreau

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

Alex Lyon - Anthony Stolarz

Recent Transactions

2/13: ADD - D Reece Willcox reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL) from Reading (ECHL)
2/12: DEL - D Reece Willcox reassigned by Philadelphia (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
2/11: ADD - F Steven Swavely recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/10: ADD - F Chris McCarthy recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
2/10: DEL - F Jordan Weal recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)


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