Penguins Rout Phantoms 5-1

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Penguins even season series with Phantoms

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

WILKES-BARRE - For just the second time this season, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (32-15-2) have lost back-to-back games in regulation following a 5-1 defeat at the hands of rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-11-3) Tuesday night on Valentine's Day.

Oskar Sundqvist had a game-high two goals in the win for the Penguins, while Jean-Sebastien Dea and Dominik Simon added a goal and an assist each for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Tristan Jarry stopped all but one of the 28 shots he faced to improve to 22-8-1 on the season.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel tallied the Phantoms' lone goal in the middle of the second period. Anthony Stolarz surrendered five goals on 43 shots in the loss.

After the jump, a full recap of tonight's action complete with post-game reaction from head coach Scott Gordon and Nicolas Aube-Kubel as well as a video interview with Andy Miele.


Anthony Stolarz (38 saves - 43 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms tonight in Wilkes-Barre. Anthony Stolarz, who surrendered seven goals here last Saturday, had a chance for redemption. Alex Lyon served as Stolie's backup.

Scratches: Taylor Leier (injured), Boyd Gordon (injured), Reece Willcox (healthy) and Scott Laughton (injured)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

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

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

Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon 


The Phantoms got off to a slow start in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday night, being out shot heavily early and not registering their first shot of the game until there was 12:01 left in the first frame.

By that time, the Penguins had already jumped out to a 1-0 lead courtesy a Derrick Pouliot power play goal. With Sam Morin in the box for a shove from behind on Garrett Wilson, Teddy Blueger and Sahir Gill dug out a loose puck after a face-off and got the puck back to Pouliot. Pouliot's rising shot appeared to be tipped in the high slot on its way past Anthony Stolarz, but the goal remained Pouliot's 4th of the season.

Lehigh Valley was having trouble generating much offensively in the opening half of the first period, limited to just one shot on net. They had a few chances on their second power play of the contest in the final 5:37 of the period, but it was the Penguins killing it off and extending their lead to 2-0 before the 1st intermission.

T.J. Brennan attempted to aid Robert Hagg along the boards in the defensive zone, trying to get the puck out of the zone, but instead Jean-Sebastien Dea stole a puck along the wall and quickly sent it to the middle to a wide open Dominik Simon. Simon skated in and fired a quick shot past Stolarz with 2:57 left in the opening period to extend the Pens' lead.

The Phantoms trailed 2-0 heading into the middle frame, but a late period penalty by the Penguins gave them 1:33 of carryover power play time - a chance to make it a one-goal game, perhaps.

It wasn't meant to be, as T.J. Brennan couldn't handle a pass cleanly at the center point and it sent Oskar Sundqvist off to the races - beating Stolarz on a breakaway 57 seconds into the middle frame to put the Phantoms in a 3-0 hole.

To be fair, the Phantoms responded and arguably out-played the Penguins for the rest of the period. They appeared to score moments later when Colin McDonald, from behind the net, lifted his stick up and over the net to bat a puck in behind Tristan Jarry. The referee in position pointed to the net signalling a good goal, but the four officials conversed at center ice afterwards and deemed the puck was played for a high-stick.

The overturned goal kept the Phantoms in a 3-0 hole until near the midway mark of regulation, but a lot of the credit for that has to go to Jarry - he came up big several times in the first half of the period, a period the Phantoms were out-shooting the Penguins 10-4 at one point.

The Phantoms broke through and ended Jarry's shutout bid with 10:50 left in the middle frame on a great individual effort by Nicolas Aube-Kubel after he took a pass from Danick Martel. With speed entering the offensive zone, Aube-Kubel burned the Penguins defense and got a hard shot off from a tough angle that Jarry was able to stop. The rebound came back to Aube-Kubel at the side of the net, and he quickly wrapped it around the net and banked it on off Jarry for his seventh of the season to make it a 3-1 game.

Despite the Phantoms' efforts to make it a one-goal game heading to the third period, the Penguins got some timely saves from Jarry and a timely goal by Jean-Sebastien Dea with 3:17 left before the second intermission that really put the game out of reach for Lehigh Valley. Dea got a puck at the half-wall by the right-wing circle, and from the boards turned and fired a quick shot that picked a corner on Stolarz to put the Penguins ahead 4-1 heading to the third period.

Sundqvist made it 5-1 early in the third period on an attempted pass to the front of the net that banked in past Stolarz off of his left skate to complete the final score.


Head coach Scott Gordon

On final score being indicative of how game was played, or not:
I can't say we deserved the game and I can't say it was closer than 5-1 because when it's all said and done we gave up way too many chances. That's two games in here, and although we have had a ton of chances against them we are not going to win a game if their goalie is playing that well and we are only going to be able to get one, it doesn't matter how many chances you generate. At some point, you have to start to keep the puck out of your net.
On Colin McDonald's goal that was called back early in the second period:
Definitely in the second period, we had some unbelievable chances in tight to the net. Then we had a goal called back, and that's a huge turning point. The call was made off the scoreboard, and not off of what the referee saw on the ice. And then seeing it on the scoreboard, the call was made wrong. That puck wasn't touched by our guy. It went off the netting, bounced up in the air and if anything their guy's stick hit the puck into their net. If any stick hit it, which I don't think it did. It's a huge turning point.
On what the Phantoms aren't doing against the Penguins:
There's a lot of good stuff going on offensively, but we are shooting ourselves in the foot defensively whether it's our breakouts, turnovers, not getting pucks deep or forcing plays that are not there. Two games now, we are feeding their attack. As a result, what should be puck possession in the offensive zone or plays that we should be able to come out of the zone that we are throwing pucks up the middle to their guys. There's something wrong with that. That's where a lot of the issues are right now when we play this team. We are making them a better team. They work hard, they compete and you can't take that away from them but we are making it really easy for them to get their opportunities. It's fixable, but it's two games now that it hasn't been fixed. It's been addressed, but they're still doing it.
Forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel

On tough start, better 2nd period:
The game gets summarized as unlucky bounce for us and a lucky bounce for them. We were ready. Two losses in a row against them doesn't mean we are going to lose the rest of the season. We a lot of strategy to improve, and we'll be ready for the next game.
On increased role with Leier, Laughton & Weal out of the lineup:
A lot of guys want to prove what they have to show. I'm one of them, and I think I take my chances. I took a puck in the neutral zone with speed, so I just wanted to put the puck at the net and create some chances. The wrap around I got lucky - it hit their player.


1st Period

4:21: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (cross-checking)
5:37: WBS - PPG Pouliot (4) - Gill, Blueger
6:00: WBS - (PP) Burton, minor (holding)
11:56: LV - (PP) Knight, minor (hooking)
14:23: WBS - (PP) Burton, minor (boarding)
14:23: WBS - Burton, major (fighting)
14:23: LV - McDonald, major (fighting)
17:03: WBS - Simon (8) - Dea, Gill
19:32: WBS - (PP) Dea, minor (goaltender interference)

2nd Period

0:57: WBS - SHG Sundqvist (15) - unassisted
2:17: WBS - (PP) Gaunce, minor (interference from bench)
3:03: LV - (PP) Sanheim, minor (goaltender interference)
5:22: WBS - (PP) Kostopoulos, minor (tripping)
9:10: LV - Aube-Kubel (7) - Martel 
10:52: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (slashing)
16:43: WBS - Dea (13) - Simon
17:44: WBS - Kostopoulos, minor (tripping)
17:44: LV - Bardreau, minor (embellishment)

3rd Period

1:53: WBS - (PP) Sundqvist, minor (holding)
2:18: LV - (PP) Carey, minor (slashing)
4:20: WBS - Sundqvist (16) - Kostopoulos, Porter
8:29: LV - (PP) O'Neill, minor (tripping)
16:14: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (delay of game)
19:16: WBS - (PP) Prow, minor (cross-checking)


Lehigh Valley  0 - 1 - 0 = 1
W-B/Scranton 2 - 2 - 1 = 5


Lehigh Valley  7 - 14 - 7 = 28
W-B/Scranton 15 - 17 - 11 = 43


LV - Anthony Stolarz (38 saves - 43 shots)
WBS -  Tristan Jarry (27 saves - 28 shots)

Power Play

LV: 0-for-7
WBS: 1-for-7

Penalty Kill

LV: 6-for-7
WBS: 7-for-7

Attendance: 4,088


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