|Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook
ALLENTOWN - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' goaltending depth took a big blow this week when Anthony Stolarz went down with a lower body injury in the opening minutes of Wednesday night's playoff-clinching win in Wilkes-Barre.
As first reported here Wednesday night, Stolarz left the Mohegan Sun Arena on crutches and it was feared he would be lost for the season. After Friday night's win over Providence, Phantoms' head coach Scott Gordon confirmed that Anthony Stolarz is going to be out for the rest of the season including the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Gordon said in his post-game press conference Friday night that Stolarz will miss three to four months and while he didn't dive into specifics of the lower body injury it's believed he will need surgery to repair his left knee.
The weight of the Phantoms' net will rest solely on Alex Lyon heading into the regular season finale Saturday night in Binghamton.
Carter Hart joining Phantoms postseason run
There was some good news in the goaltending department as Jesse Geleynse - Everett Herald sports journalist covering the WHL's Everett Silvertips - reported Saturday evening that Carter Hart will be joining the Phantoms for their postseason run following his teams' early exit in the WHL playoffs.
Geleynse had this on Hart Sunday afternoon during Everett's exit interviews.
The Flyers' 2nd round draft pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Hart put together a remarkable season with Everett - going a stellar 32-11-2 in the regular season on the way to a division championship. His 1.99 goals-against average (1st), .927 save percentage (T-1st) and nine shutouts (1st) were tops among the WHL's goaltenders in the 2016-17 season.
While Lyon is still the likely starter in net moving forward, it'll be interesting to see what kind of role Hart plays in the Phantoms' push towards the Calder Cup this spring.