HOCKEY NIGHT IN ALLENTOWN 12/18/2015: “The Phantoms Awaken”

“…well, let’s hope so.”



Strax! Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Strax! Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Looking Back

I admit, I took the loss Wednesday night pretty hard.  Heck, I was even expecting to lose, but something about the 3-0 loss got under my skin.  Was it the lack of shots on net?  Uninspired play?  Rude Penguin fans?

Nah.  I think it was lack of fights.

Let me explain–I don’t go to hockey games to see fights.  Really, I don’t.  I’m way more happy if the Phantoms can win at hockey and I can go home listening to the post-game on the radio.  Remember my stated goal:  Playoff Hockey.  And you really don’t need fights to get there.  I mean, look at the Penguins…

Right.  So in a game where we were out-classed, out-played, and probably out-coached, we also couldn’t get a fight going because that team just doesn’t fight.  I suppose they don’t have to.

But if Reading fans and team administrators and onlookers and comment board rabble rousers want more from Phantoms fans, they’re going to have to score some goals.  Or, beat the stuffing out of somebody.  Who says we can’t do both?

Now, we’ve got the Hershey Browns coming in–another quality opponent and 2 points we need to meet my mini-goal 6/10 available for this home stand.  Let’s get it!


Player Report

  • Barbie started the game Wednesday night–his first in almost 40 days.  He shook the rust off; I thought one or two of the goals were a bit soft, and he had a misadventure playing the puck.  In all, though, not his fault we lost.
  • I’m expecting Stolie tonight.
  • Tim Brent skating non-contact now, which might represent a “downgrade.”  I’m not expecting him back tonight, but we’ll have to wait and see.
  • Christian Marti skating non-contact
  • I haven’t heard anything about F Michael Parks–he was skating non-contact, and then not seen.
  • At some point, somebody’s gonna have to come back from the Flyers.  And, they’re gonna have to do it in a way that saves them cap money.  Early conjecture was on Ghost.  Even now, as the hockey purists point out his every defensive miscue, he’s scoring goals and putting fans in the seats for the Flyers and it’s difficult to see them sending him down.  Manning was a player thought to come down for a while, perhaps when Streit comes back, but I haven’t heard anything lately.  The most recent name getting buzz for demotion is Scotty Laughts.  We’ll see.


I’ll hold off on lines–they’ve been a bit jumbled and might continue that way to try to generate some offense.


"How YOU doin'?" Stolie by Cheryl Pursell

“How YOU doin’?” Stolie by Cheryl Pursell

Reading Report

The Royals won big in Norfolk Wednesday night–Padakin had 3 helpers on the night in a 6-goal Royal effort.  They’re home for Elmira tonight–and will be tomorrow, too, if you’re looking for something to do other than indoor lacrosse.

Nothing doing for January 2 yet, but I’ve got a star on my calendar reminding me that’s the next day I might go down to Reading.  Let me know if you want in.



Hershey beat Bimmington and Bridgeport last weekend, but have been off since.  They’re 4-0-1-1 in the month of December.

Friday night’s not good for Fyten–He’s been sent down to ECHL South Carolina, d.E. tells me.  Another Hershey roster note:  Blue line sniper Connor Carrick is currently up with Washington.

Puck Drop:  7:05PM

Doors:  6:00PM

Tickets and Parking:  Good seats remain for this game–and remember to check out the VIP-seat package they’ve been offering, if you’re up for that sort of thing.  It sells out, so you have to plan ahead.  Lately, pre-purchase parking in the arena deck has been available with ticket purchases or by using the link from the PPL Center “game day” email.  Remember, it’s not a good idea to try to get in the arena deck without a pre-purchased pass!  I’ve used the new “Community” deck on 6th street a couple times while eating down the street at grain. and Bell Hall.  It’s a nice facility, well-lit, and I’ve had no trouble getting in or out.  Finally, I’ve taken advantage of the “Park Free” promotion a few times, by either presenting my parking ticket for validation, or my receipt for $6 reimbursement, as I’m usually downtown to eat before the games. It’s worked perfectly on all recent visits.

Media Kit:  Bears Game 12-18-2015

Rosters:  Print pages 11 and 12 of the Media Kit above

Broadcast:  TV2/AM1470/IHeartRadio/ 89.9 (real-time in arena)

Pre-Game:  TV 6:30PM from Chickie’s.  Radio for the drive in AM 1470 starting at 6:20PM.

Meal:  Had some nice Nachos at Bell Hall Wednesday evening–and just about finished tasting my way through their entire “on tap” collection when they went and changed a couple of them.  Good service at the bar Wednesday night, and a nice Macallan 18 with my buddy DiPro to cap it off pre-game!

Tonight it’s up to Kram3–he’s coming for the promo.  We’ll have to see where he wants to go.  Chickie’s?  He’s a bit of a foodie, though, so I could see us at ROAR or grain.  He liked our last visit to Bell Hall, as well.

Promotion:  Winter hat for the first 2,500 kiddos.  Note that the other kiddo promos have been 3,500–so I could see them running out–get there early if you must have one (we will!)

winter hat


What to Watch

  • I’ve already said that I think Stolie will be in goal.  Let’s see if I’m right.
  • Watch to see if we can get a better push towards the goal, and take more shots.  Yes, I want quality, but sometimes you’ve got to throw some stuff on-net and gather the rebound, too.  It’s all about aggressiveness in the offensive zone, and we sometimes lack it.  If our strategy is to try to play the game in their zone, then we’re going to have to keep the puck in there.  That means some difficult work for the forwards along the boards.  I know it’s nasty business, but we’re not always up for it each and every game.  Will the Brown Bears bring it out of us?  A fight?
  • If Rosie has skates for this game, watch to see if he pounds somebody if we go down 3-0 like Wednesday.  Somebody mentioned Goulbourne, but he’s not one to start stuff.  He finishes it!
  • Watch to see if any of the injured guys can crack the lineup.
See if Straka can get a goal. He's had several versus Hershey. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

See if Straka can get a goal. He’s had several versus Hershey.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Looking Ahead

The Phantoms head up the line to Binghamton for another game tomorrow night.  Then, they’ve got six nights off for the holiday, and back at the PPL Center on Boxing Day versus Bridgeport.

Star Wars night is coming Sunday, January 10th.  It’s not clear what that entails, exactly.  A jersey?  Auction?  meLVin with a lightsaber battling the Phantom of the Arena?


Inside Information

If you’ve made it this far through the post, here’s a reward:

  • I’ve learned that the Season Ticket Holder gift will be announced shortly after the start of the New Year.
  • We’ll also get a date and time for the Phantoms Carnival in March–also a STH perk.
  • Call your ticket rep if you need to have the name plates put on your seats, or updated.  (5-yr plans)
  • There WILL be a 20-yr commemorative jersey, similar to the “inaugural” one last season.  It will be worn four times before a post-game auction on March 4.  Design was not released to me, but it will include the 20-yr logo prominently.
  • No word on why they’re not wearing the orange jerseys at home and/or on Fridays this season.
  • 20-Years-of-Phantoms-1

Remember, inside info is subject to change–especially once they find out I wrote about it!  😉


See you at the arena,


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

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