A little different format today, as the season rolls along–and no audio version (I toyed with it) for a variety of reasons….
About Last Night
The Phantoms scored a tough win last night by a 2-1 tally over the visiting Springfield Falcons, who were wearing their road blue sweaters for the last time. The Hamilton Street Heroes fell behind 1-0 early, but never gave up and managed the win behind a greasy goal from Cole Bardreau and a breakaway backhander from Aaron Palushaj. Stolie was the story of the night, though, as he made many tough saves–especially early on–to keep the team in it. His play really inspired his teammates–as did Cole’s fight–and provided the spark for the tough win. Bards ended up an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat trick.
There were several posts hit early on by the Falcons–they even challenged one and lost. Trivia Time: You know what that’s called when the puck hits the post? (Keep reading. The answer is below.)
Or: “Count down to elimination”
It depends on if your glass is half full or 7/8 empty, you know? As we said yesterday, Tony (Highland Park Hockey) tweeted a 20-4-1 record over the last 25 would be necessary to try to claim a playoff spot. d.E. came up with 18-6-1, so I’m going to split the difference and go 19-5-1.
So with last night’s win, we’re at 18-5-1 over the final 24 games. Tonight’s game is against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who are one of the teams who might be catch-able. However, they’re on a 10-game point streak and playing some good hockey. A win (or loss, sadly) tonight in regulation is a 4-point swing in the standings (either way). It’s a big game.
F Colin McDonald was seen skating without any problem earlier in the week at practice, but was then a semi-late scratch with what’s being termed a “minor, nagging injury” which he supposedly suffered last week. Then we’re told that he’ll probably be out the rest of the weekend. This craziness makes me long for the NFL injury reporting rules.
F Pavel Padakin returned to play in the game last night after grabbing some ice time in Reading mid-week.
The Royals lost to first-place Manchester last night 5-2. They head up there for the rematch tonight.
der Eishockeyzuschauer Preview:
Puck Drop: 7:05PM
Tickets and Parking: Only singles remain for seating, yet the web hasn’t been updated for SRO tickets just yet. If they don’t get it up soon, I advise calling for an SRO or getting downtown early to grab one. There is the possibility that this game will completely sell out.
No parking issues to report. I continue to be happy with the Community Deck on 6th/Hamilton.
No security issues to report. They only had Youth/Large T-shirts last night at our entrance–not big enough for my 13-year old soccer player. No matter. We’ll find someone to give it to.
Broadcast: Tonight’s game is available on TV-2 if you have Service Electric, but doesn’t appear to be part of the FMZ-69 Saturday package. Radio: AM-1470, IHeartRadio (mobile), PhantomsHockey.com (web) and FM 89.9 (arena, real time)
Media Kit and Rosters: Sound Tigers 2-20-2016
Promotion: None. I did read that Bernie Parent will be at the game signing autographs, but I do not have any official release or details. I’d like to see some kind of promotion every night, but with tonight selling out anyway, I suppose they don’t really need to.
Pregame: TV goes to pregame at 6:30PM live from Chickie’s and Pete’s; Radio 6:20PM for your drive downtown.
Last night the elusive DiPro emerged from his Winter home and we had good food and service at Chickie’s. I know not everybody has had the same experience, but I’ve really nothing to complain about: My food came out hot, and cooked correctly. Kram3 and DiPro enjoyed their sandwiches. We never wanted for a drink refill or for the dirty plates to be removed. They brought our check and got us out of there quickly when it was time. Really, that’s all I ask for on a Hockey Night.
Tonight marks the start of Lehigh Valley Beer Week. Here are some things happening downtown today/tonight:
- Meet the Brewers: Evil Genius at the Hamilton (“all day”)
- LVBW4 official ale on tap at Allentown BrewWorks
- Skip the game? Local IPA challenge at 7:30PM at Bell Hall
- (There are many others around the valley, but those are the ones I could find for downtown tonight)
What to Watch
- Watch for how Coach Gordon uses his netminders. It’s a 3/3 weekend, so go with the hot hand and Stolie again tonight? Or, let Stolie face Springfield again on Sunday afternoon in Massachusetts? We’ll see.
- Watch how the whole team responds to the challenge of tonight’s game, following last night’s hard-fought win.
- Watch to see how the top two lines play: They’re now missing the captain, as well as Cousins. Palushaj has to continue to step up, as do the youngsters Martel and Bardreau. Strax had a couple assists last night and it’s time for him to get back on the board. Leier could be due for another tally, as well.
- Watch to see who sits atop the “umbrella” on the power play. I saw Straka up there early last night, then Comrie for the rest of the evening. Interesting to watch.
- The Sound Tigers have one of the better PK units, but one of the weakest Power Plays. The Phantoms may have difficulty scoring on the PP, but should be able to kill off any penalties. The team that can reverse that trend has the inside track on a win tonight.
With 3/3 this weekend, the Phantoms will head off for a rematch with Springfield tomorrow afternoon. They’ll then have a similar 3/3 next weekend with Hartford and Utica at home before a rematch in Hartford Sunday afternoon.
Phan Nation News
A couple updates from the Phan Nation–official fan club of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms:
- Memberships have been extended through the 2016-2017 season!
- “Phan Invasions” of away arenas and “Road Trips” are always in the works. Visit their web site or Facebook page for details.
- Wear your Phan Nation T-Shirt to the next two SUNDAY games, as well as to the Season Ticket Holder Carnival, if you’re going.
- “Bleed Orange” blood drive at the PPL Center on Wednesday (2/24) 1:30PM-7:00PM
See you at the arena,
Trivia Answer: It’s called: NOT A GOAL. It doesn’t count for anything at either end of the ice so I don’t want to hear any whining about it either way. It’s not a goal, and we use goals to tell who wins and who loses a game.