HOCKEY NIGHT IN ALLENTOWN 12/9/2015: “Does a Bear Shoot in the Woods?”

“Some people cry and some people die by the wicked ways of [puck];
But I’ll just keep on rollin’ along [and hope my team doesn’t suck].”

–From Heartbreaker, by Led Zeppelin.

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Kram1030-1

“Stoli: The Benchmark for Goalie” Photo: Cheryl Pursell

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Looking Back

The Hamilton Street Heroes left town on a down note, having lost a lackluster effort versus the last-place P-Bruins back on Saturday, November 28 despite a nice effort from Marty Ouellette in net.  A trap game, perhaps, versus a team they had recently defeated twice, coming a day after a nice shoot-out win versus the rival Hershey Bears.

They headed out on the road last week:  Wednesday at Utica again, followed by a rival back-to-back with Scranton on Friday and Hershey on Saturday.  I went into the week saying that we really needed 4 of the 6 possible standings points out of the three games–in any combination possible–in order to remain relevant.  Of course, roster moves, injuries and other such adversity (reviewed below) would impact the games–but doesn’t it for every team?  Nevertheless, the Phantoms garnered the four points I desired:

First, the team avenged an earlier thrashing at the hands of the Utica Comets by beating them 3-1 behind goals by Rankin, Pettersson, and Martel.  Stoli returned to the net after missing a couple games with injury, and was named first star of the game after making 27 of 28 saves.  A-Mac was second, having assisted on two of the goals.

Friday night at the Mohegan in Wilkes-Barre the Phantoms were able to get another 3-1 win in regulation, snapping the Pens 10-game home winning streak in front of a fair few Phatoms Phans who made the trip North.  Goals were scored by Palushaj (PP), Alt, and Martel (EN) as the Heroes silenced the Pens power play six of six times.  And, Stoli was once again stellar:  he made 35 of 36 save opportunities and was highly responsible for the Phantoms’ success on the Penalty Kill.  He was named the #1 star of the game, with Alt #2 following his first goal of the season.  (BTW, not a great weekend for the high-flying Baby Pens, they lost for the first time at home, to the Phantoms Friday night, then again at home to Hartford on Saturday, then completed the 0/3 weekend in Hershey with another loss 4-1.)

Some reinforcements arrived (details below) to solidify the Phantoms attack, in advance of their Saturday game in Hershey.  Stoli was back in net like a boss–he stopped 42 of an astonishing 44 (!) shots on the way to the 2-1 loss.  So we know that Bears “shoot in the arena” at least.  It was a bit of a heartbreaker as the winning goal was scored with only about 20 seconds left in the game.  Alas, the offense couldn’t generate any kind of pressure, and that allowed the Bears to shoot and shoot and shoot at our young, talented netminder.  He was up to the task, but methinks you can only ask so much.  They even broke his mask they shot at him so much.  Nick Cousins had the goal for the Phantoms as the Phan Nation bus trip was in attendance.

 

Video Highlights:

  1. Utica

 

2. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

 

3. Hershey (includes Pettersson injury)

 

 

Team Report

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
1 WBS 21 16 5 0 0 32 0.762
2 HER 23 12 6 0 5 29 0.630
3 BRI 25 15 9 1 0 31 0.620
4 LV 24 11 12 1 0 23 0.479
5 SPR 22 10 11 1 0 21 0.477
6 POR 20 9 10 1 0 19 0.475
7 HFD 24 10 12 2 0 22 0.458
8 PRO 23 8 10 4 1 21 0.457

Keep stacking those points, fellas.  The Phantoms rise up the ranks and even touched .500 prior to their loss in Hershey on Saturday.  However, they still rank a fair deal behind the top three in the division, Pens, Bears and SoundTigers.  Wins in the coming days against those teams would be much appreciated and necessary to climb further.  The Pens are reeling a bit, so hopefully we can get back at them before they right the ship.

 

Attendance

  1. Hershey
  2. San Diego
  3. Lehigh Valley

 

Special Teams

Penalty Kill (overall):  Lehigh Valley 22/30  (Hershey Road PP 24/30)

Power Play (overall):  Lehigh Valley 18/30  (Hershey Road PK 27/30)

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Player Report

  • Chris Conner was lost to injury following the loss to Providence at home.  Rumor has it it’s a broken wrist, which he “played through it” in the entire Providence game.  Whatever the case, he’s said to be out for six weeks.  Hockey guys are freaking tough, man.
  • Forward Joe Rehkamp was signed to a “PTO” and promoted from Reading.  He’s wearing #44.
  • Monday, veteran D-man Andrew MacDonald was recalled to the Flyers in advance of their game last night. Reading captain Maxim Lamarche was added to fill his roster spot.   Lamarche has 4 goals and 6 assists thus far this season with Reading, and is a +10 defensively.  He’ll wear #20 with the Phantoms.
  • Jay Rosehill made a rare appearance on the ice in Wilkes Barre on Friday.  He ended the game with a -1 but committed no penalties.  He’s been a victim of the “veteran roster rule” in many games this season.
  • Forwards Nick Cousins and Colin McDonald returned to the Phantoms from the Flyers in time for Saturday’s loss in Hershey.  Cousins had the lone goal in that game.
  • Partially to make room, and partially to get him on the ice more, Forward Pavel Padakin was sent to Reading on Sunday.  He scored his first professional goal that same day in Reading’s 4-2 loss to Manchester.
  • My favorite diminutive defenceman, Jesper Petterson, has been in the top pair the last couple games, with A-Mac.  Unfortunately, he took a hard hit (lower body) and left early on versus Hershey.  His status is unknown at this time, but the roster moves above suggest that he may be out for a bit.  Stay tuned. I think Petty’s been playing some of his best hockey lately–sorry to see him go out of the lineup this way.
  • Forward Michael Parks who suffered a significant (shoulder?) injury way back at the Pens home opener, is back skating non-contact.  He may be available as soon as this home stand.
  • Forward Cole Bardreau is also skating again, and could return to the lineup soon.
  • Forward Kevin Sundher is injured.  I haven’t hears any updates on when he is expected to return.
  • Goalie Connor Knapp was sent back to Reading prior to the road trip, with Stoli healthy.  Marty Ouellette served as Stoli’s backup on the trip–and sometimes helmet lender.  Veteran netminder Jason LaBarbera is reported to be close to returning, perhaps as soon as tonight.

 

AHL Leaders

Goals

1 * Devin Shore Texas Stars 21 15
2   Petr Straka Lehigh Valley Phantoms 24 14

Goalies (GAA)

1 Peter Budaj Ontario Reign 16 963:52 402 377 25 4 1.56 0.938 12 3 1
2 Yann Danis Albany Devils 19 1151:30 467 435 32 4 1.67 0.931 14 2 3
3   Anthony Stolarz Lehigh Valley Phantoms 16 915:23 450 422 28 0 1.84 0.938 9 5 1

Goalies (SV%)

1 Peter Budaj Ontario Reign 16 963:52 402 377 25 4 1.56 0.938 12 3 1
2 Yann Danis Albany Devils 19 1151:30 467 435 32 4 1.67 0.931 14 2 3
3   Anthony Stolarz Lehigh Valley Phantoms 16 915:23 450 422 28 0 1.84 0.938 9 5 1

 

Lines in Hershey Saturday:

23 Leier – 37 Brent – 16 Palushaj

24 Straka – 25 Cousins – 13 McDonald

12 Goulbourne – 17 Goumas – 18 Martel

10 Rankin – 44 Rekhamp – 19 Alderson

47 MacDonald – 8 Pettersson

5 Drewiske – 5 Hagg

3 Morin – 2 Alt

41 Stolarz

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Reading Report

The Royals are currently 10-10-0-1 and in fourth place in their division.  They dropped two out of three to Manchester last weekend.

Anyone wanna go back down there?  I’m thinking Saturday January 2–the Phantoms are away and it’s along weekend.  Anybody interested?  Hit me up on SoMe and if we have enough I’ll get in touch with them.  Hey, it’s free hat night!

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GAME DAY!

The second-place Hershey Bears come to town with nary a whiteboard in sight.  The Phantoms will face the I-78 rivals 5 times in the course of 9 games over this stretch of the schedule.  This is the fourth such game.  In the 2015-2016 season series, the Phantoms have won twice by shoot-out–once at home and once at the Giant Center–and have lost twice in regulation.  So 2-2 if you’re the Phantoms, 2-0-0-2 if you’re the Bears.

der Eishockeyzuschauer goes “Behind Enemy Lines” and files THIS REPORT on the Bears, in advance of tonight’s game.

Puck Drop:  7:05PM

Doors:  6:00PM

Tickets and Parking:  Plenty of lower-bowl and upper-bowl seats are still available for this game.  On the secondary market (ie Seat Geek, etc.), additional seats–including glass seats and club seats–are available.  Parking passes in the Linden Arena Deck (Arena North) are sold out for this game as far as I can tell:  Use parking authority facilities.  VIP Experience tickets for this game have been sold out.

Broadcast:  As per usual:  TV-2 Service Electric, AHL-Live for video; AM-1470, IHeartRadio (mobile), Phantomshockey.com, and FM 89.9 (arena no buffer) for audio.

Press:  It’s lengthy and detailed, but by request: Media Kit 12 9 2015

Promotion:  “Light The Night” as an ice sculpture of a Menorah will be illuminated outside the arena–as well as other possible “lighting” events throughout the city–perhaps inside and outside the arena!  Details are sketchy.

No word on the return of the “happy hour” for Wednesday night games.

Pre-Game Meal:  The Hamilton has been having a different featured whiskey for “12 days of whiskey” or something.  Whatever, it’s also “Whiskey Wednesday” so I’m hoping to cajole DiPro into joining me at the bar for some whiskey tasting.  Don’t steal my seat.

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What To Watch

  1. Watch to see if LaBarbera is healthy, and if he gets the start in place of Stoli.  Stolarz has absolutely staked his claim to the starting job, but they may want to get Barbie some work at this point.
  2. Lamarche has been playing some good hockey in Reading.  Watch to see how #20 does tonight, and whom he’s paired with.
  3. Watch #44 Rehkamp.  He seems to be a bit of a scrapper, and stuck with the Phantoms on his PTO over Cam Reid.  He’ll be on a lower line, likely, and could see some time on the PK.
  4. With A-Mac gone, that’s one less “veteran.”  Will Rosehill get skates for the game?
  5. Watch to see how the Phantoms hit the ice.  More than a few times this season, the Phantoms have looked listless or unprepared to play the game.  It shouldn’t happen–especially at home after three days off.
  6. Watch to see if Parks or Bardreau return from injury.
  7. Watch the special teams.  With Stoli in goal, the PK has been really good of late–and the Bears don’t have a particularly scary power play (see above).  The return of Cousins (and McDonald) should help the Phantoms Power Play if they can just get organized.

 

Looking Ahead

This is the first of five in a row at the PPL Center for the Hamilton Street Heroes!

Friday night is T-Shirt night, with the Baby Pens in town:

Holiday-Shirt-collage

We’ll have to see what sizes they have for us this time out.  Our first shirt this season was Large or Medium.  Last season it was all XL.

Saturday is a big one.  Springfield is in town and it’s the TEDDY BEAR TOSS PLUS Post-game skate with the players!  More news to come, but please grab your bears and your tickets for this one ahead of time!  (actually, any new, stuffed toys will do)  Also, grab your tickets ahead, too, as this one is likely to sell out.

In addition, Friday and Saturday Phantoms Wives will be selling raffle tickets for special Holiday Prize Trees.  Check their table behind 107!

Next Wednesday the Baby Pens are back for Military Appreciation Night.

A week from Friday, the five-game stretch concludes with another visit from Hershey.  It’s a winter hat giveaway for the kiddos!

On the hockey side, be mindful that this is two with the Pens and two with the Bears–both top teams–sandwiched around one with Springfield.  It’s an important stretch and I’d like to see the Phantoms garner 6 of the available 10 points.  More would be better, certainly, and if the 6 come via regulation wins, there are some advantages.  It’s good stuff, and I’ll…

 

…see you at the arena,

@Kram209

 

 



Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Phantoms Hockey

3 replies

  1. Hi Kram Where can I find the link of the stats of the Bears and the Phantoms all time overall stats this is the 201 meeting of today game

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Hi Bryan–
      I’m not sure. Does the Media Kit above contain any of the “all time” information? (I confess I haven’t read it all…) Next, try TheAHL.com –the stat section is a little clunky with so many tiny drop-downs and so on, but there might be a way to search all-time stats.

      Good luck, see you at the game tonight.

  2. Note To Kram :

    Media kit? What the heck is a “media kit”. Can’t seem to come up with anything for that one in my trusty “English Speaking For Dummies” handbook.

    As far as the all-time “Bears vs Phantoms” record goes, I know for a fact that Rotruck stated the actual hard numbers during Saturday night’s broadcast from the Giant Center.

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