The PPL Power Play wasn’t much of an advantage last evening, as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms dropped their pre-season opener at the PPL Center in Allentown. The final was 3-1 as the Hershey Bears got the win.
5,232 were in attendance last evening to watch the first real hockey at the PPL Center. The Phantoms took the lead on Brett Hextall’s goal in the first period. Kevin Goumas had been in the sin bin for tripping, and made a break on a loose puck. Brett followed it up and put it away for a 1-0 Phantoms lead.
The power-play difficulty really became evident in the second as the Phantoms and goalkeeper Anthony Stolarz gave up a short-handed goal. We headed to the final period 1-1, with visions of overtime dancing in our heads. Alas, it was not to be. Two Hershey goals in the third period ended the game on time, and sans drama.
The Phantoms were 0-for-8 on the power play, and out-shot the Bears 24-18. The Phantoms had some nice chances, but were ultimately unable to solve Hershey goalie Phoenix Copley. However, there were a few healthy scratches last night, and players still to come from Philly. I’m optimistic about our chances and our talent going forward.
Other news and notes:
The arena sure felt more comfortable with 5232 compared with 8600 or 10,000. Lines were shorter and the concourses were navigable. Sure, they’re still working on things, and the lines for the rest rooms and the team shop were at times daunting. But, the concessions and the staff seem to be getting into the swing of it a bit better. Now, if they can just get the horn to sound when the goals are scored, and the right power-play PA read, things will be a bit better. FWIW, I’ve been told that a permanent PA announcer has not been installed as of yet.
I did not bring my radio for the game, but did listen to AM-1470 on the way home. The post-game was valuable and informative. I recommend it.
See you at the arena,
PS: If you’re looking for DiPro at the arena, he’ll be in the Miller Lite Loft. I knew he would like it up there!