Another Third Period Comeback - Phantoms Steal Two Points From Springfield

Sunday, February 21, 2016
Mark Alt completes Phantoms' third period comeback in Springfield.
For the second straight night, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms were staring down a 4-2 third period deficit. Unlike Saturday versus Bridgeport where the Phantoms tied things up only to lose in the shootout, Lehigh Valley posted a thrilling third period comeback and stole a 5-4 regulation win in Springfield Sunday to take five out of a possible six points on their three-game weekend.

Phil DeSimone tied things up with 4:06 left in regulation, before holding a puck in at the offensive zone blue line in the final seconds before setting up Mark Alt with a point blast goal with 2.8 seconds left to lift the Phantoms to the thrilling come-from-behind win.

Anthony Stolarz stopped 34 of the 38 shots he faced, starting all three games this weekend for Lehigh Valley.

The win keeps Lehigh Valley's playoff hopes alive, as five out of a possible six points this weekend brings the Phantoms within six points of what is currently the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They'll have a day off tomorrow before getting a full week of practice to prepare for another just as crucial three-game weekend starting next Friday night at home against the Hartford Wolf Pack - a team just two points ahead of the Phantoms in the Atlantic Division standings.

Quick recap of the thrilling comeback after the jump.


The two teams traded power plays in the first half of the opening period, and it was the Phantoms taking a 1-0 lead 7:18 into the contest on their second man advantage of the game. 

Taylor Leier stopped at the left wing circle and got the puck down low to Chris Conner, who from behind the net sent one in front to Cole Bardreau for a quick snap shot past Marek Langhamer. The goal was Bardreau's ninth of the season, while Leier tallied his 18th point in his last 13 games.

From there the Phantoms got into a bit of penalty trouble taking back-to-back minors after taking the lead. Springfield capitalized on the second of those two man advantages, with Corey Potter winding up a blast that beat Stolarz to even the score at 1-1 with 5:50 left in the period.

The Phantoms had some great chances on a power play of their own late in the period, but after taking another penalty the Falcons took a 2-1 lead with their second power play goal of the period. Alex Grant at the center point got the puck to the right-wing half wall to Dustin Jeffrey, who sent one in front to Falcons leading scorer Greg Carey to the left of Stolarz's net. Carey used a nice spin move toward the net and put the puck past Stolarz for his 23rd of the season.

Springfield took momentum late in the first period and it carried over into the middle frame, which started with carry-over power play time. The Falcons didn't score on that power play, or the subsequent one less than five minutes into the middle frame, but were dominating play and made it 3-1 with 9:11 left in the period.

The Falcons caught the Phantoms on a quick transition, as a defensemen sent a stretch pass ahead to Dustin Jeffrey and he set up Craig Cunningham and Carey on a 2-on-1 rush. Cunningham shuffled it across to Carey for his 2nd of the night and 24th of the season.

At that point, the Falcons were out shooting the Phantoms 12-3 in the period and really controlling large portions of play. The Phantoms crashed Langhamer's net with 5:11 left in the period and started to show some signs of life, later getting a 4-on-3 power play late in the period.

Lehigh Valley didn't capitalize on the power play, but made it a one-goal game with 16.2 seconds left before the second intermission on a goal by Tyrell Goulbourne, his first in his last 34 games. Kevin Goumas nudged a puck out of the zone ahead to Davis Drewiske, who joined the rush up ice and sent the puck to the left wing to Goulbourne entering the offensive zone. Goulbourne sent a floating shot from atop the left wing circle that eluded Langhamer and made it a 3-2 deficit for the Phantoms heading into the third period.

The Falcons made it 4-2 on the opening shift and for the second straight night the Phantoms were staring a 4-2 deficit in the third period. But much like last night against Bridgeport, the team never quit.

Adam Comrie tallied a power play goal on a blast from the point to make it a 4-3 game with 15:22 left in regulation, taking a pass from Petr Straka and winding up a cannon of a shot that beat Langhamer through traffic.

It wasn't until there was 4:06 left in regulation that the Phantoms tied things up, using a flare for the dramatics that would soon be topped. Pavel Padakin got a puck down low to Petr Straka who found Phil DeSimone in front of the net who slammed one home for his third of the season.

Then, in the final seconds of what seemed like a game destined for overtime DeSimone kept a puck in the offensive zone and fired a snap shot that Langhamer blockered into the corner. DeSimone got to the loose puck and sent a pass to Mark Alt at the point for a blast that beat a down and out Langhamer with 2.8 seconds left to lift Lehigh Valley to the 5-4 win.

The goal came with a bit of controversy as Goulbourne and Philip Samuelsson were jostling for position in front of the net and made contact with the Falcons' goaltender. The call stood and the game ended with a thrilling comeback regulation win for the Phantoms


Anthony Stolarz (34 saves - 38 shots) got his third straight start this weekend. It's possible that Jason LaBarbera isn't 100%, but head coach Scott Gordon didn't comment on LaBarbera's status when asked why Stolarz started back-to-back games after Saturday night's game.

No lineup changes for the Phantoms Sunday in Springfield.

Christian Marti was a healthy scratch for the second straight night and Jay Rosehill played in back-to-back games.

Scratches: Christian Marti (healthy) Kevin Sundher (lower body since 12/27), Colin McDonald (upper body), Michael Parks (upper body since 10/17), Pavel Padakin (healthy), Tim Brent (hand/wrist surgery) and Logan Pyett (out indefinitely)

Lines (Starters in Bold/Italics)

Petr Straka - Cole Bardreau - Pavel Padakin
Taylor Leier (A) - Phil DeSimone - Chris Conner (A)
Danick Martel - Kevin Goumas - Aaron Palushaj
Tyrell Goulbourne - Joe Rehkamp - Jay Rosehill

Davis Drewiske (A) - Robert Hagg
Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Adam Comrie - Max Lamarche

Anthony Stolarz - Jason LaBarbera


1st Period

0:55: SPR - (PP) Dauphin, minor (kneeing)
3:05: LV - (PP) Hagg, minor (slashing)
6:28: SPR - (PP) Selleck, minor (tripping)
7:18: LV - PPG Bardreau (9) - Conner, Leier
7:55: LV - (PP) Rehkamp, minor (hooking)
13:01: LV - (PP) minor, delay of game (served by DeSimone)
14:10: SPR - PPG Potter (5) - Szwarz, Mermis 
16:04: SPR - (PP) Bunting, minor (goaltender interference)
17:38: LV - (PP) Leier, minor (holding)
19:01: SPR - PPG Carey (23) - Jeffrey, Grant
19:52: LV - (PP) Palushaj, minor (tripping)

2nd Period

4:52: LV - (PP) Palushaj, minor (tripping)
10:49: SPR - Carey (24) - Cunningham, Jeffrey
14:49: LV - Rosehill, minor (roughing)
14:49: SPR - Hache, minor (roughing)
15:30: SPR - (PP) Dauphin, minor (holding)
19:43: LV - Goulbourne (7) - Drewiske, Goumas

3rd Period

0:39: SPR - Cunningham (14) - Carey, Jeffrey
3:14: SPR - (PP) Fournier, minor (boarding)
4:38: LV - PPG Comrie (3) - Straka, Conner
7:16: SPR - (PP) H. Samuelsson, minor (slashing)
10:41: SPR - (PP) Szwarz, minor (interference)
11:13: LV - (PP) unsportsmanlike conduct - disputing decision (served by Palushaj)
14:31: LV - Morin, major (fighting)
14:31: SPR - Selleck, major (fighting)
15:54: LV - DeSimone (3) - Straka, Padakin
19:57: LV - Alt (4) - DeSimone
20:00: SPR - Delisle, game misconduct (abuse of officials)


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