Phantoms Sweep St. John's Following Shootout Win

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Phantoms/IceCaps from Mile One Centre Wednesday night. Photo courtesy Scott Walsh (@scottwalsh_)
Lehigh Valley steals four points in franchise's final visit to Newfoundland

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

The story of the 2016-17 season for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms continued to ring ever true this week for the team's pair of games in St. John's, Newfoundland.

In back-to-back nights, the Phantoms found themselves trailing late in regulation. On Tuesday night, it was a 4-0 deficit late in the second period turned into a 5-4 overtime win. Wednesday night, the Phantoms trailed 2-1 into the final 90 seconds of regulation.

It doesn't seem to matter the score or circumstances. The Phantoms simply find ways to win games and at this time of year, that's all that matters.

A big part of the reason why Lehigh Valley earned two points tonight was the play in net by Anthony Stolarz, earning starts in back-to-back nights - stopping 42 of the 44 shots he faced plus all four shooters he saw in the shootout.

Corban Knight tallied the lone shootout goal in the bottom half of the fourth round to give the Phantoms the 3-2 win in the shootout, setting up another battle for first place when Lehigh Valley hosts Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday night.
Phantoms' Playoff Update - The Phantoms' shootout win Wednesday night gives Lehigh Valley a pair of wins to start the week with a pair of home games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport looming this weekend on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The Phantoms currently trail the first place Penguins by one point. Elsewhere in the division, Hershey took care of Binghamton to remain three points behind the Phantoms in third place. Bridgeport held on and defeated Albany 3-1 to move into a tie for fourth place with 81 points.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' magic number to clinch a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs is currently at 16 points. You can also keep track of the playoff races in the AHL's daily Playoff Primer.


Anthony Stolarz (42 saves - 44 shots) got the start in net in back-to-back nights for Lehigh Valley against St. John's. With an important pair of home games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday and Bridgeport on Sunday - both on home ice - both Stolarz and Alex Lyon will be eager to get more ice time in a four-game week for Lehigh Valley.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed their 2014-3rd round draft pick, defenseman Mark Friedman, to an entry level contract beginning in the 2017-18 season. The former Bowling Green State Univeristy product, who tallied 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 40 games this season in the WCHA, will join the Phantoms this weekend on a tryout contract for the remainder of the season.

Taylor Leier returned to the lineup Saturday in Wilkes-Barre after missing the previous 19 games with lingering symptoms of a concussion he suffered back in late January.

The latest casualty to the injury bug is Chris Conner, who did not travel with the team and missed last Saturday's game with an injury per head coach Scott Gordon. As per usual, no further details were provided on Conner's status moving forward.

Defenseman Will O'Neill left early in the 1st period of Saturday's 4-1 win against Utica after an apparent upper body injury he sustained jamming his left hand/wrist after a fall into the boards.

Robert Hagg and Steven Swavely are also nearing returns to the lineup. Hagg's injury was not as serious as initially feared, which is good news for the Phantoms with O'Neill out with an injury currently. Swavely was reassigned to ECHL Reading on Tuesday per the league's transactions, and it appears he'll be getting back into action soon.

Boyd Gordon, who left in a Wednesday home game against Binghamton after a sliding BSens' forward crunched into his legs in the corner boards, was initially expected to miss a few weeks with a knee injury. He was seen at Friday night's game in Allentown walking with a knee brace over his suit pants.

Scratches: Robert Hagg (lower body), Mark Zengerle (healthy), Will O'Neill (upper body), Steven Swavely (upper body), Chris Conner (undisclosed), Boyd Gordon (lower body), Jesper Pettersson (healthy) and Mark Friedman (signed with Flyers Tuesday, will report to Lehigh Valley)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier (A) - Scott Laughton - Colin McDonald
Greg Carey - Andy Miele - Cole Bardreau
Danick Martel - Corban Knight - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Tyrell Goulbourne - Radel Fazleev - Chris McCarthy

T.J. Brennan - Reece Willcox
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Travis Sanheim - Max Lamarche

Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon


If not for arguably the best period of Anthony Stolarz's season to date, the Phantoms likely would have been trailing heading into the first intermission. Stolarz stopped all 21 shots he faced in the opening frame in waves of St. John's offensive pressure, stealing the show in the opening 20 minutes.

Late in the first period, Cole Bardreau put a hit on IceCaps' defenseman Julien Brouillette near the St. John's bench and sent the blueliner head first into the benches wall. Bardreau was assessed a major penalty for boarding, giving the IceCaps a five-minute power play with 5:27 left before the first intermission.

At that point, the IceCaps were out shooting the Phantoms by a 14-5 margin and appeared destined for the game's opening goal. Instead, it was a cross-ice pass off a skate that led to the Phantoms taking the 1-0 lead on a shorthanded tally.

Radel Fazleev picked up a bouncing puck in the neutral zone after an errant pass and sent Scott Laughton off to the races. Laughton went backhand to forehand past goaltender Yann Danis with 4:41 left in the first frame for his 16th of the season.
Laughton's later minor penalty gave the IceCaps a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play late in the period, but strong saves from Stolarz and a good effort by the Phantoms' penalty kill allowed Lehigh Valley to take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Phantoms had a better go of things in the middle frame as Lehigh Valley out shot St. John's 11-9 in the period, but it was the IceCaps drawing even just past the midway mark of regulation.

With Sam Morin whistled for slashing, the IceCaps scored a power play goal just seconds later off of the offensive zone face-off. Daniel Audette won the face-off to the left wing where a great individual effort by Daniel Carr diving head first and onto his stomach was able to fling one past Stolarz with 6:51 left in the 2nd period to even the score at 1-1.
St. John's took the lead in the third period on a bit of a busted play, with Audette being in the right place at the right time on a partially deflected shot from Chris Terry at the right point. Atop the crease, Audette tracked the loose puck and tapped one in past Stolarz to give the IceCaps a 2-1 lead with with 12:59 left in regulation.
It was not for lack of effort that the Phantoms were unable to tie the game up on a series of back-to-back power plays in the middle of the third period. Some timely saves from Danis and some near-misses on would be goals kept Lehigh Valley in a 2-1 deficit into the final two minutes of regulation.

With the game at 4-on-4 hockey after a minor penalty on each team seconds apart, the Phantoms pulled Stolarz for the extra attacker and Taylor Leier scored his first goal since returning from a 19-game injury absence last weekend - tying the game at 2-2 with 1:16 left in regulation and forcing overtime.
Cole Bardreau nearly ended the game as time expired in the third period, but Danis came up with a big glove save to get it to the extra session.

After no goals came in overtime, it was on to the shootout where the goaltenders stood tall through the first seven shooters before Corban Knight's game winner in the bottom half of the fourth round for the Phantoms.


1st Period

3:58: LV - (PP) Aube-Kubel, minor (hooking)
14:33: LV - (PP) Bardreau, major (boarding)
15:19: LV - SHG Laughton (16) - Fazleev
17:16: LV - (PP) Laughton, minor (roughing)
19:37: STJ - Farnham, major (fighting)
19:37: LV - Bardreau, major (fighting)

2nd Period

6:54: STJ - (PP) Veilleux, minor (tripping)
13:07: LV - (PP) Morin, minor (slashing)
13:09: STJ - PPG Carr (6) - Audette

3rd Period

5:58: LV - (PP) Brennan, minor (holding)
7:01: STJ - PPG Audette (9) - Terry, Hanley
9:21: STJ - (PP) Gregoire, minor (high-sticking)
10:32: STJ - (PP) Hudon, minor (cross-checking)
17:54: LV - (PP) Bardreau, minor (slashing)
18:24: STJ - (PP) Carr, minor (tripping)
18:44: LV - Leier (10) - Carey, Miele


No Scoring


St. John's

Daniel Audette - no goal
Charles Hudon - no goal
Chris Terry - no goal
Daniel Carr - no goal

Lehigh Valley

Andy Miele - no goal
T.J. Brennan - no goal
Scott Laughton - no goal
Corban Knight - GOAL


                          1   2   3  OT  SO
Lehigh Valley  1 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 1 = 3
St. John's         0 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 = 2


Lehigh Valley  6 - 11 - 9 - 1 = 28
St. John's         21 - 9 - 9 - 5 = 44


LV - Anthony Stolarz (42 saves - 44 shots, 4-for-4 in shootout)
STJ - Yann Danis (25 saves - 27 shots, 3-for-4 in shootout)

Power Play

LV: 0-for-4
STJ: 2-for-6

Penalty Kill

LV: 4-for-6
STJ: 4-for-4

Attendance: 3,366


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