Game 60 Preview: Utica at Lehigh Valley

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Lehigh Valley looks for third straight win to finish week

Editor's Note: I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Utica Comets, 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.

ALLENTOWN - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (33-16-2) look to continue their success against the North Division when they host the red hot Utica Comets () on home ice at the PPL Center.

Lehigh Valley is looking to finish the season series with a 4-0 sweep, but the Comets enter tonight's game riding a six-game win streak in a push towards the postseason of their own.

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: 59 games played, 38-18-3-0 = 79 points
2nd Place Atlantic Division
Streak: 2-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 6-3-1-0

UTI: 59 games played, 27-23-7-2 = 63 points
4th Place North  Division
Streak: 7-0-1-0
Last Ten Games: 7-2-1-0

Special Teams

Power Play

LV - 64-for-288: 22.2% = 5th in AHL
UTI - 40-for-256: 15.6% = 22nd in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV - 189-for-226: 83.6% = 7th in AHL
UTI - 208-for-253: 82.2% = 16th in AHL

Leading Scorers

LV: T.J. Brennan (59GP, 17G-32A), Chris Conner (59GP, 19G-29A), Greg Carey (59GP, 26G-18A) and Andy Miele (48GP, 7G-34A)

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

Starting Goaltenders

LV: Alex Lyon (32GP, 23-11-3, 2.67 GAA, .912 SV%, 4 SO)
UTI: Michael Garteig (4GP, 0-1-2, 2.85 GAA, .907 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

Tonight's game between Lehigh Valley and Utica marks the fourth and final scheduled meeting scheduled this season. The Phantoms are 3-0 against the Comets this season, with their most recent meeting a 7-4 come from behind win for Lehigh Valley in Utica back on Sunday February 19th. Alex Lyon's first career pro win came 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.

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 - 7 at Utica - 4
Saturday, March 11th: Utica at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

Alex Lyon is expected back between the pipes tonight against  coming off of his shutout win Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre. Anthony Stolarz got the win Friday night vs. Hershey.

Defenseman Robert Hagg (suspected lower body) and forward Danick Martel (suspected concussion protocol) both exited with injuries in the second period last Friday night in Springfield. Neither skated with the team at practice this week.

EDIT: Danick Martel took the warmup skate and made his return to the Phantoms' lineup tonight after missing the team's last four games.

Tyrell Goulbourne was called up to Lehigh Valley and joined the team in Hartford Saturday morning. giving the Phantoms 12 healthy forwards.

Reece Willcox had been the team's extra defenseman, but with Hagg's injury is back into the lineup alongside T.J. Brennan.

Steven Swavely blocked a shot during the third period in Utica two weekends ago, and left the game. It's safe to say Swavely will likely miss several weeks as he was seen at last Thursday's practice with his left hand/wrist in a cast.

Taylor Leier (suspected concussion symptoms) will miss his 15th straight game, having not played since the AHL All-Star challenge on January 30th. Leier skated briefly with the team at practice last week at PPL Center, but was the only skater wearing a green jersey and he exited the ice about 15-20 minutes after I arrived for the 10:30 practice. There are no updates being given on Leier's status or a timetable for his return from Phantoms' head coach Scott Gordon.

Boyd Gordon, who left in a Wednesday home game against Binghamton on February after a sliding BSens' forward crunched into his legs in the corner boards, was expected to miss a few weeks with a lower body injury. No update from HC Scott Gordon on any potential timetable for a return to the lineup for Gordon or any of the injured players as per his usual vagueness with updating injured players.

Expected Scratches: Robert Hagg (lower body), Steven Swavely (upper body), Taylor Leier (concussion), Chris McCarthy (healthy) and Boyd Gordon (lower body)

Expected Lines:

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

T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox
Will O'Neill - Mark Alt
Sam Morin - Travis Sanheim

Alex Lyon - Anthony Stolarz

Recent Transactions

3/4: ADD - F Tyrell Goulbourne recalled from loan to Reading (ECHL)
3/1: DEL - F Jordan Weal recalled from loan by Philadelphia (NHL)
3/1: ADD - F Jordan Weal returned on loan from Philadelphia (NHL)
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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