The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (5-3-1-0) are starting to get on the same page with one another and its showing – they’ve won three straight games entering this week’s schedule.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ top minor league affiliate hasn’t had much trouble providing offensive scoring chances and power play goals, but up until last week was allowing too many scoring chances and odd man rushes against. They’ve tightened up defensively and have simplified things, and so far so good for the Phantoms.
They continue a tough stretch – 10 of 13 games on the road – with a three-in-three weekend starting Friday in Utica, but another strong showing could pay dividends later on in the season with more home games coming up on their schedule after this road swing.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (5-3-1-0)
Wednesday, November 2nd: Lehigh Valley – 4 at Hartford – 0
Hartford – In a rare 11 a.m. morning game Wednesday at the XL Center, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms came prepared and certainly weren’t sluggish in a 4-0 shutout win over the Hartford WolfPack.
Anthony Stolarz recorded a 33-save shutout – his first since December 19th, 2014 in Hershey – that really set the tone for the game. T.J. Brennan tallied a goal and two assists, with both of his helpers coming in the way of his shots from the point getting re-directed into the net.
Cole Bardreau, Corban Knight and Mark Zengerle also tallied goals for the Phantoms in the win as the Phantoms improve to 2-0-1 in the season series with the WolfPack, with the last two games at the XL Center being lopsided Phantoms’ wins.
WATCH: T.J. Brennan talks about the odd start time, his three-point performance and more.
Friday, November 4th: Lehigh Valley – 4 at Providence – 2
Providence – The Phantoms finished their five-game road trip with back-to-back wins, including Friday’s 4-2 win up in Providence. The Phantoms went 3-2 on their longest road trip of the season.
Mark Zengerle, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Greg Carey scored goals to give Lehigh Valley a 3-1 lead before Providence narrowed it to a one-goal game late in regulation.
Scott Laughton, playing in a limited fourth line role in his first game this season, tallied an unassisted empty net goal in the final minute to seal the deal on the 4-2 win. Anthony Stolarz stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced to pick up.
Saturday, November 5th: Springfield – 4 at Lehigh Valley – 5
With 10 minutes left in the third period, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (5-3-1) found themselves down & out in a 4-2 deficit to the Springfield Thunderbirds in front of 7,920 fans at PPL Center for ’80’s Night’.
Lehigh Valley was being widely out-shot and out-chanced by the Thunderbirds, and it seemed like the Phantoms’ were having trouble getting the puck up ice and into the offensive zone.
Then, the Phantoms offense erupted for four goals – the game-tying and game-winning goals coming 32 seconds apart – in a bigtime comeback win in regulation. As Greg Carey said post-game, two is a fluke and three is a streak.
The Phantoms finished the week a perfect 3-0 and look to keep it going next weekend with a 3-in-3 weekend beginning Friday in Utica.
WATCH: Scott Laughton talks about getting back into the swing of things.
The Week Ahead
Friday, November 11th: Lehigh Valley at Utica – 7:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, November 12th: Toronto at Lehigh Valley – 7:05 p.m. ET
Sunday, November 13th: Lehigh Valley at Hershey – 5:00 p.m. ET
- Jordan Weal (9GP, 3G-9A) was as high as second in the AHL in scoring this past weekend. The highly skilled forward is definitely too potent for the AHL level. It’ll be interesting to see if he finds his way back to the Flyers this season at some point.
- Scott Laughton appeared in two games for the Phantoms over the weekend, tallying a goal and an assist in his conditioning stint before joining the Flyers at practice this week. He was reassigned to Lehigh Valley and is expected to play with the Phantoms this weekend, having come off LTIR in Philadelphia prior to his most recent reassignment.
- Goaltender Anthony Stolarz is in a rhythm and will be aiming for his 5th straight start in net Friday night in Utica, having won his last three starts with a .943 save percentage and one shutout. He’s taken over as the Phantoms’ clear number one goaltender for the time being.
- The Phantoms appear to have some injury concerns heading into this weekend’s three-game set as forward Andy Miele (upper body) left Saturday’s game early and hasn’t practiced yet this week. Robert Hagg took a point shot up under his visor last Saturday night and was cut. He’s been stitched up but also hasn’t practiced this week.