Stortini Stuns Phantoms In His Return To PPL Center

Sunday, November 8, 2015
The Phantoms drop their third straight game.
Despite controlling large portions of the play Sunday evening against Binghamton, the Phantoms entered the third period trailing by one goal for the third straight night this weekend. After a strong effort by the Phantoms in the first 14 minutes of the third period, a pair of Senators' goals sent a frustrated Phantoms team to their locker room with a third straight defeat.

Lehigh Valley gets a chance to get back in the win column against these same Binghamton Senators on Wednesday night in the southern tier of New York.

Post-game thoughts will be up later tonight as the Phantoms hosted a youth hockey game directly after the contest and had their in-game music blasting over the loud speakers.

EDIT: Post-game reaction has been added.


Scott Gordon on trying to be positive:
It's hard to take positives when you lose three straight but certainly our effort was there tonight. For 50 minutes, I thought we had the better of the play. When you look at the 50 minutes of hockey we played up to that point, it didn't feel like a 2-1 game it felt like we were in control. Give credit to them, they found a way and we didn't.
Gordon on what he's looking for before Wednesday's rematch:
To get healthy. The tough part for us right now is that we cannot get a consistent lineup. But as I told the guys after the game, huge strides from where we were in the first period last night.That's the encouraging part. We didn't get the end result, but if we do more of what we did tonight everything will be alright.
Gordon on how team fared in 3rd game of 3-in-3 this time:
I thought our guys managed the game much better. Not putting themselves in difficult situations with their decision making. simplified it a little bit and that's the way you have to be.
Chris Conner on this weekend's results:
Yeah it is disappointing. Obviously, we play this game to win. We just have to keep moving forward. We play 3 games this week coming up. Have a good practice and get back at it Wednesday.
Conner on facing Binghamton in their building Wednesday:
That's a small rink. It's a tough rink to play in. We are going to have to be ready from the start. Take away the positives, keep moving our feet and I think good things will happen.
Conner on the power play goal they scored:
We got it down low and kind of worked it back and forth. I passed it across there and Timmy [Brent] made a good play to put it in.
Conner on re-grouping after tough weekend:
I think we have to look at the positives. it was 2-1. We had some good chances to score. We just have to stick with it and keep working hard.
Tim Brent on what went wrong tonight:
We just got a couple of bad bounces. I think we did a lot of good things. I think we controlled the play for a majority of the game. Three of those goals were unlucky bounces for us, but that's hockey.
Brent on re-grouping for Wednesday's rematch:
I think we try and forget about this game. We take the positives from it because there were a lot of them and forget about those bounces and know that if we continue to do the right things that things will turn in our favor.
Tyrell Goulbourne on tonight's game:
Obviously it's not the result we wanted, but we felt good about our game. We are working hard and the effort is always there . We just have to keep playing the right way and good things will come.
 Goulbourne on his fight off the opening face-off with Stortini:
Actually he went after me. I just answered the bell. It's scary to see those kind of things happen. I'm glad he's okay, and it shows a lot about his character to come back out after something like that happens.
Goulbourne on how team should approach Wednesday's rematch:
We just have to play the same way. They had some good bounces tonight and we didn't have any at all. I don't want to blame the game on that, but again it helps a lot when the game is going your way.

Tonight's game started off with a bang. Literally. Former Phantoms forward and now BSens captain Zack Stortini dropped the gloves off the opening face-off with Tyrell Goulbourne and the Phantoms rookie knocked Stortini out with a hard right handed punch to the chin.

The Phantoms didn't have time to get much momentum from the big fight, as Chris Conner was whistled for hooking and the BSens cashed in to take a 1-0 lead. Tobias Lindberg's initial shot was stopped by Jason LaBarbera but the Phantoms penalty killers were unable to clear the rebound out of the slot and Eric O'Dell was able to re-direct Lindberg's rebound attempt past LaBarbera. Colin Greening added as secondary assist on the play 1:59 into the game.

Much like last night against Syracuse, it took the Phantoms awhile to get their legs going. The Phantoms weren't credited with their first shot until about the midway point of the period.

The Phantoms evened the score early in the second period, thanks to back-to-back penalties on Binghamton 16 seconds apart in the opening minute of the middle frame. On the two-man advantage, Andrew MacDonald got a puck down low to Chris Conner, who sent a cross-ice pass atop the crease to Tim Brent. Brent finished it off from a bad angle on Chris Driedger to even the score at 1-1 just 1:09 into the period.

From there, the Phantoms got to their game and continued to pressure the BSens. If not for several nice stops from Driedger, the Phantoms would have taken the lead. Instead, a late BSens goal off the rush gave Binghamton the 2-1 lead heading to the third period.

A nice breakout pass from Patrick Mullen to David Dziurzynski sent the BSens into the Phantoms' defensive zone on an odd-man rush. Dziurzynski slowed up in the right-wing face-off circle and hit a trailing Colin Greening, who sniped one past LaBarbera to the top corner with 3:23 left in the 2nd period to give the BSens the lead back at 2-1. The goal was later changed to Stortini's as he put in what looked at the time to be a puck that had already went in.

Despite out-playing Binghamton in most of the middle frame, the Phantoms found themselves trailing by a goal heading into the third period for the third straight game.

Lehigh Valley didn't give in in the final frame, but couldn't get any bounces to go their way. In fact, after dominating most of the first 14 minutes of the third period the BSens got some fortunate bounces of their own to add to their one goal lead.

First, Dziurzynski won an offensive face-off back to the point to Guillaume Lepine and re-directed his point shot past LaBarbera to make it 3-1 with 5:29 left in regulation. Andrew MacDonald took a hooking minor less than a minute later and Zack Stortini picked up a puck in the slot after a weird bounce off of LaBarbera and tallied his second of the night to complete the 4-1 final score.

Jason LaBarbera (23 saves - 27 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms. Anthony Stolarz backed him up after getting the start in net last night in Syracuse.

With several extras, there were quite a few lineup changes at the tail end of a three-in-three weekend.

On defense, Jesper Pettersson and Matt Lashoff were out of the lineup. Christian Marti returned on defense after being a healthy scratch on Saturday.

Up front, Aaron Palushaj was banged up in Syracuse and sat out tonight. Brandon Alderson was a healthy scratch. Back in the lineup were Jay Rosehill, Evan Rankin and Cole Bardreau. For Bardreau, it was his first action since being cut by a skate in Wilkes-Barre on October 17th.

Phantoms Scratches: Jesper Pettersson (healthy), Colin McDonald (injured), Michael Parks (injured), Aaron Palushaj (injured), Brandon Alderson (healthy), Nick Cousins (injured), Derek Mathers (healthy) Matt Lashoff (healthy/veteran) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)


Taylor Leier - Tim Brent - Chris Conner
Kevin Sundher - Danick Martel - Petr Straka
Tyrell Goulbourne - Kevin Goumas - Evan Rankin
Jay Rosehill - Cole Bardreau - Pavel Padakin

Shayne Gostisbehere - Andrew MacDonald
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Robert Hagg - Christian Marti

Jason LaBarbera - Anthony Stolarz


1st Period

0:05: LV - Goulbourne, major (fighting)
0:05: BNG - Stortini, major (fighting)
1:41: LV - (PP) Conner, minor (hooking)
1:59: BNG - PPG O'Dell (6) - Lindberg, Greening
3:10: LV - Bardreau, minor (roughing)
3:10: BNG - McCormick, minor (interference)
4:18: LV - (PP) Straka, minor (tripping)
16:58: BNG - (PP) Stortini, minor (interference)

2nd Period

0:34: BNG - (PP) Dziurzynski, minor (tripping)
0:50: BNG - (PP) Ewanyk, minor (roughing)
1:09: LV - PPG Brent (3) - Conner, MacDonald
7:52: BNG - Schneider, minor (roughing)
7:52: LV - Martel, minor (slashing)
11:23: LV - (PP) Gostisbehere, minor (roughing)
16:37: BNG - Stortini (1) - Greening, Dziurzynski

3rd Period

14:31: BNG - Dziurzynski (4) - Lepine
15:23: LV - (PP) MacDonald, minor (hooking)
15:48: BNG - PPG Stortini (2) - O'Dell, Kotska
17:17: BNG - (PP) Ewanyk, minor (roughing)
17:17: BNG - Ewanyk, major (fighting)
17:17: LV - Martel, major (fighting)


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