“All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
The Phantoms went 1-2 over last weekend, gathering but 2 of the 6 available points following a loss to Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
There’s not much break, because we’re right back at it versus a difficult opponent tonight at the PPL Center: the Ice Caps are in town for the first of two (they’ll be here Friday night as well).
It’s tough sledding, and the 7th-place Phantoms are going to need to start stacking wins and gathering points in order to rise in the standings. I’m trying as hard as I can not to say bad words…
The team is among the lowest in penalty minutes at this point in the season, and that’s a good thing to see.
Attendance has been strong, as the Phantoms are behind some of the newer teams in California and some of the bigger arenas only.
Robert Hagg and Danick Martel skated non-contact yesterday, but will remain sidelined with injuries–along with Colin McDonald, Cole Bardreau and Michael Parks. Martel is thought to be the closest to returning; we’ll watch for reports out of practice tomorrow and Friday to see if he can return Friday night.
Recently reported practice lines looked something like this–but keep in mind we’ll likely need to scratch a “veteran” tonight to stay within the AHL roster rules:
23 Leier – 37 Brent – 16 Palushaj
24 Straka – 25 Cousins – 22 Conner
12 Goulbourne – 17 Goumas – 10 Rankin
38 Rosehill – 27 Padakin – 19 Alderson (29 Mathers)
14 Gostisbehere – 47 MacDonald
5 Drewiske – 2 Alt
3 Morin – 26 Lashoff (8 Pettersson)
33 Ouellette (41 Stolarz)
The Royals are home as well, this evening. They remain tied for second place in their division.
Phan Nation is going to Reading! CLICK HERE to find out how you can get discounted tickets for Friday, November 20, as Phan Nation rises up in Reading. The Phantoms are off that weekend, so you’re going to need hockey anyway…. Our group code is: Phan
Opponent: The St. John’s IceCaps are the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens and are home in St. John’s, Newfoundland–not the one in the Virgin Islands, although almost as far away. A full Phantoms preview follows in the next post, and the “enemy camp” has a write up here.
Puck Drop: 7:05PM
Doors Open: 6:00PM — It appears the 5:30 door times will be reserved for the Friday and Saturday night games, as the Sunday early start and now the Wednesday mid-week start are back to one hour. I think it’s fine, and I’m happy they’ve made the adjustment for the more highly-attended weekend evening games, when it was most needed. We had recommended such in the off-season.
Tickets: Good seats are still available from PPLCenter.com, but some deals are available on the secondary market–check out StubHub and Craigs List and all that, as well. Check around a little if you don’t already have tickets!
Parking: Parking should be a bit easier, as attendance at this game is expected to be lower. Remember that meters are monitored until 10PM, but you may be able to feed them remotely from your phone. If there’s a close-by lot that you like, it will probably have space today–and pre-purchase in the arena deck is likely still available.
Broadcast: TV via Service Electric TV-2 and AHL-Live. Radio via AM-1470 and FM-89.9 in the arena. Web audio via phantomshockey.com or IHeartRadio app.
Promotion: “Pink in the Rink” to promote Breast Cancer Awareness month. Wear pink to the game to support awareness. Special “pink” ticket packages and pucks are available–with part of the proceeds to benefit a local cancer foundation. The ice will NOT be pink, as was done in other arenas last season. There has been no mention of a “happy hour” for this game, as we had last season for Wednesday affairs. I’ll update if I hear anything different.
PreGame: Radio pre-game at 6:20PM; TV at 6:30PM live from Chickie’s and Pete’s.
The pre-game meal on Sunday turned into a post-game dinner. We visited “grain.” for the first time, in the 500-block of Hamilton. I believe it’s the old Federal Grill, now under the control of some of the team behind The Bayou in Bethlehem. The food was outstanding and the service was as well. There were beers and wines to choose from, aplenty, and nothing on the regular food menu was more than $20.00. They feature appetizers, sandwiches, dinners–whatever you want–with a bit of a southern flair. They take reservations through OpenTable, which I would recommend as it’s not a terribly large establishment. Several large, gorgeous TV’s in the bar area downstairs, and more of a dining area upstairs. We’ll be going back! But tonight, we’ll see. Whiskey Wednesday at The Hamilton? Back to Bell Hall for a burger? Chickie’s to get out of the rain? So many good choices…
What To Watch
- Will the A-Mac / Ghost pair be what the doctor ordered to get Ghost into the scoring column?
- Will Ouellette get the call in goal tonight? If so, how will he do in his first AHL action of the season?
- Will Lashoff get back on the ice? Can he help keep Morin out of the box, if they’re indeed paired together?
- Rosie is climbing the leader-board for team penalty minutes. Is it time for him to get another “veteran scratch?”
- How many in the house? I feel like this might end up being one of the least-attended games ever–but I could be wrong.
- Will they announce a happy-hour to try to punch up the attendance? That might be a good idea.
- It’s been written that the Phantoms are “just missing” on a lot of scoring opportunities. I’m not so sure about that, but if so, we’re due for a break-out. Could this be the game?
- It’s good to see the home white jerseys back. I assume we’re back to our normal schedule and will see orange on Friday. I haven’t heard anything about a pink warm-up, but that might be a good way to raise money for research if they’re want to do so.
I imagine both teams will head out golfing tomorrow, weather permitting, and then they’ll face off again on Friday. It will be “cap night” sponsored by Service Electric. Then, on the buses to Hershey for Sunday’s away game.
See you at the arena,