“I close my eyes when (the Phantoms play real) sad
I think thoughts that I know are bad
I close my eyes and I count to ten
Hope (the game’s) over when I open them
I want the things that I had before
Like a (Calder Cup) poster on my bedroom door
I wish I could count to ten
Make everything be wonderful again”
Bloodied but yet unbowed, the good partners in the community known in some quarters as the whiteboarding Hamilton Street Heroes will endeavor to end an unsightly seven-game losing streak when the 11-time Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears come to town for another installment of the always exciting, action-packed American Hockey League intra-state rivalry match.
As it is, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms might be hard pressed to light the lamp when the Brown Team come calling on Wednesday night. Decidedly in-form Dan Ellis (36 ga, 2.34 avg, .910 svpct), the 32-year-old veteran who has posted the impressive record of 14 wins against only four overall losses since New Year’s Day, figures to be between the pipes considering the fact that the Hershey Bears have been faithfully rotating their two goaltenders all season long. And this does not bode well for the Phantoms because Ellis has only given up more than two goals once in his last twelve starts.
As of yet, no sign of Russian sniper Stanislav Galiev on a sudden conditioning assignment but …
… Jakub Vrana (24 ga, 10 go, 24 pts, + 5 def), the extremely talented teenager from the Czech Republic who was the 1st round selection (# 13 overall) of the Washington Capitals at the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, has picked up right where he left off for the Hershey Bears last fall after going down with a wrist injury that would require surgery just six games into the new 2015/16 season. And veteran AHL star Chris Bourque (61 ga, 26 go, 42 as, 68 pts, + 12 def) is currently leading the entire league in scoring by a comfortable margin at the moment. So, in other words, the pair described by Bears head coach Troy Mann the team’s two veritable game-breakers are on song and ready to wreak havoc on the Phantoms.
Meanwhile, an interesting comparison of two rookie defensemen in the American Hockey League this season who were both members of the same 2013 NHL Draft class as well as the same Canada junior national team that won the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships a couple of seasons ago :
58 ga, 23 pts, + 19 def, 40 pen … Madison Bowey, Hershey
65 ga, 15 pts, – 12 def, 86 pen … Samuel Morin, Lehigh Valley
Bowey, to review, was the # 53 overall player taken in the second round by the Washington Capitals whereas Morin was the 11th overall player chosen in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Lastly, a question for Kram :
When does Lehigh Valley Phantoms assistant coach Riley Cote stop telling Service Electric TV’s Kristi Fulkerson how wonderful everything is going each and every time he does an interview on the giant scoreboard at the PPL Center?
[Kram responds: I’m a Kristi Fulkerson fan, so I’m glad she’s doing those interviews. However, I can never hear a word that is said because the sound system in the arena is so bad. It sounds like so much of Charlie Brown’s teacher. And it’s not Kristi’s fault because there’s so much other stuff I can’t hear, either. Not that I’m complaining. There seems to be a concerted effort to squelch “complaining.” But that’s a story for another day. I just want to win a @#$!& hockey game. ]
Categories: Phantoms Hockey