Phantoms Offense Firing On All Cylinders In Win Over Rochester

Friday, November 13, 2015
Anthony Stolarz backstopped the Phantoms with a 33-save performance.
For the first time this season, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms put forth back-to-back wins. Tonight, it was a 7-1 win over the Rochester Americans - a franchise high seven goals for Lehigh Valley

The Phantoms are firing on all cylinders right now. Their 12 goals in the last two games have been scored by 10 different players. A total team effort and balanced scoring attack has the Phantoms looking for a third straight win tomorrow night at home against the Albany Devils.

Anthony Stolarz made 33 saves on 34 shots and despite the lop-sided score was a real difference maker tonight. He improves to 5-3-0 on the season and has picked up back-to-back wins this week.

Nick Cousins led the Phantoms attack with four points (1G-3A), Danick Martel (2G-1A) added three points, and Chris Conner (1G-1A), Petr Straka (1G-1A) and Shayne Gostisbehere (0G-2A) all chipped in two points each in the win.

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Scott Gordon on the balance offensively:
It's great for all of the guys to feel like their part of it and we're not counting on one guy to get the job done. It's an important part of it to know we are getting contributions from everyone whether it's forwards that are scoring, defensemen making stops or the goalie making big saves. It was a total team effort.
Gordon on Stolarz:
Stolie played tonight the way he has played all season. He's been real consistent. The thing I like about what he's been doing is if he's not controlling his rebounds he's tracking them really well and is always prepared for the 2nd shot. That in of itself has made the game easier for him.
Gordon on finishing the weekend right:
You can't get three wins in a row without getting two. That's the simplest way to put it. 
Anthony Stolarz on back-to-back wins in net:
Right now things are clicking. We are working on all cylinders. The PK has been good, the PP has been great and the guys in front of me have been doing a great job of clearing pucks out and letting me see the shot.
Stolarz on his own performance:
I thought it was a pretty easy game. I knew going in they like to throw pucks at the net and they like to get a lot of shots. I didn't get the first one until ten minutes in, so I had to stay sharp. But overall, I thought it was a good team win.
Stolarz on what made the night successful for him:
I think the biggest thing was the guys let me see the puck from the point. The defense did a good job of boxing guys out, and I was able to track the puck. Any pucks I didn't see, the wingers and defense did a good job of blocking shots. I think if we keep that up, we'll have a lot of success.
Danick Martel on back-to-back wins:
For sure, but every game is a new game. Tomorrow is a new game. The two wins are behind us. We just need to start [over] and [bring our] work ethic.
Martel on the team firing on all cylinders:
We have a lot of players that can score goals on this team. If we are playing the right way, goals will come. We were playing the right way three games ago and we didn't have the goals, but we bounced back on Wednesday and got six goals and played well today and got seven. We just have to play the right way and everything will be fine.
Nick Cousins on the total team effort:
Everyone is playing with confidence. 6 and 7 goals, that's the most we've ever scored since I've been on the team. It's nice to see everyone contributing, it's not just one line. It's all the lines. It's good to see and it's only going to help our group moving forward playing with confidence.
Cousins on finishing the weekend strong:
We have to take the positives out of tonight and bring the same energy and style of play for tomorrow. Albany is a good team and they play good defensively. If we play like we did tonight, I think we'll be okay.

The Phantoms were ready to play tonight and it showed. After a few early series' of pressure, the home team struck first and took the 1-0 lead 4:37 into the contest.

Nick Cousins slowed down a puck in the offensive zone above the right-wing face-off circle and got it back to the point to Shayne Gostisbehere. The Phantoms defenseman opted for a slap-pass and worked it to perfection, hitting Chris Conner just atop the crease for a re-direction past Amerks' goaltender Nathan Lieuwen to get the Phantoms on the board first.

After the Phantoms killed off the game's first power play, they got a power play of their own with about eight minutes left in the opening frame. Although they didn't score on the man advantage, the pressure carried over as Amerks' defenseman Colby Robak exited the penalty box.

Tim Brent got a puck back to Christian Marti at the point. Marti's big shot from the blue line was stopped by Lieuwen, but Danick Martel was in position atop the crease to locate the rebound and make it a 2-0 Phantoms lead with 6:04 left in the period. The assist was Marti's first career professional point in North America and the goal came just five seconds after the penalty to Rochester had expired.

Rochester came out strong to open the middle frame and if not for some sharp saves by Anthony Stolarz, the Amerks would have made it a one-goal game. Instead, the third line got to work on the fore-check and made it a 3-1 Phantoms lead.

Tyrell Goulbourne has been playing with confidence and he got in on the fore-check and disrupted things behind the Amerks' net. Evan Rankin got to the turnover created by Goulbourne and the two teamed up to set up Kevin Sundher in the slot for a quick shot wired to the top shelf 1:44 into the period to extend the Phantoms lead to 3-0.

From there, the Amerks went back to pressuring the Phantoms and after drawing a power play converted on the man advantage to get on the board. Nick Baptiste got a puck to the point to Matt Donovan, who sent a cross-ice pass to Colby Robak for a shot that eluded Stolarz to make it a 3-1 game.

Danick Martel appeared to have scored on a mini-breakaway after being stopped on his initial shot, putting his rebound off the inside of the post. The referee in position waved no goal and upon a subsequent review, the call was upheld. The right call was made - the puck never crossed the line.

On that play, Jerome Leduc played a puck into the stands and was called for delay of game. Instead of the goal, the Phantoms were awarded a power play which they converted after some excellent puck movement.

In a matter of seconds, the puck went from the center-point with Gostisbehere to the half-wall to Cousins and one-timed to the middle for an expert re-direct past Lieuwen by Taylor Leier. Leier's 4th of the season and first in six games gave the Phantoms a 4-1 lead with 12:20 left in the middle frame.

The Phantoms weren't done there either. Just over six minutes later, and with 6:10 left in the 2nd period, some great cycling by the 2nd line set up Cousins for his 1st of the night. Petr Straka and Chris Conner started the cycle and Cousins picked it up at the half-wall, skating to the right-wing face-off dot and beating Lieuwen to the short side top right corner to put Phantoms ahead by a 5-1 margin.

In the third period, Martel finally got his second of the night after being robbed a few times in the second period. Pavel Padakin picked up a loose puck at the Phantoms defensive blue line and skated up ice with Martel on an odd-man rush - giving Martel the puck and letting him do the rest. Martel's 5th of the night and 2nd of the game 6:32 into the 3rd period made it a 6-1 Phantoms lead.

Petr Straka added a power play goal for his team-leading 8th goal of the season to cap the scoring at 7-1 with 2:05 to play.


Anthony Stolarz (33 saves - 34 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms for the second straight game. Veteran Jason LaBarbera served as the team's backup goaltender.

No lineup changes for the Phantoms tonight after their 6-3 win. The team rolled with the same 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

Aaron Palushaj missed his third straight game with an upper body injury suffered last Saturday night in Syracuse.

Cole Bardreau is out of the lineup again after returning Sunday versus Binghamton.

Phantoms Scratches: Cole Bardreau (injured), Colin McDonald (injured), Michael Parks (injured), Aaron Palushaj (injured), Brandon Alderson (healthy), Matt Lashoff (healthy), Jay Rosehill (healthy) & Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Taylor Leier - Tim Brent - Danick Martel
Petr Straka - Nick Cousins - Chris Conner
Tyrell Goulbourne - Kevin Sundher - Evan Rankin
Kevin Goumas - Pavel Padakin

Shayne Gostisbehere - Andrew MacDonald
Davis Drewiske - Robert Hagg
Samuel Morin - Mark Alt
Christian Marti

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera


1st Period

4:37: LV - Conner (5) - Gostisbehere, Cousins
6:34: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (tripping)
11:51: RCH - (PP) Robak, minor (cross-checking)
13:56: LV - Martel (4) - Marti, Brent

2nd Period

1:44: LV - Sundher (1) Goulbourne, Rankin
4:45: LV - (PP) Rankin, minor (tripping)
5:13: RCH - PPG Robak (2) - Donovan, Baptiste
6:36: RCH - (PP) Leduc, minor (delay of game)
7:40: LV - PPG Leier (4) - Cousins, Gostisbehere
8:17: LV - (PP) Alt, minor (hooking)
13:50: LV - Cousins (5) - Conner, Straka

3rd Period

6:32: LV - Martel (5) - Padakin, Alt
7:58: LV - (PP) Cousins, minor (delay of game)
12:52: RCH - (PP) Varone, minor (tripping)
17:40: RCH - (PP) Dupuy, minor (delay of game)
17:55: LV - PPG Straka (8) - Martel, Cousins
18:24: RCH - (PP) Carrier, minor (high-sticking)


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