About Last Night
The Hershey squad is in trouble. They’re in last place, and looked downright dreadful last night. The Phantoms didn’t play their best game and still won going away. Help is on the way for Hershey; they do have a trade that was completed yesterday afternoon and while the new players weren’t available yet, the old ones were held out. So, that had them a little shorthanded. Anyway, always good to get a division win, and now we’re on to Rochester.
As we noted yesterday, Swavely and Krushelnyski are back from Reading. Reading is on a break and Swaves and Krusher didn’t play last night. Good to have those guys around, though, and perhaps we’ll see one or both tonight.
The big surprise yesterday was the “last minute” call up of D James deHaas. It turns out TJ Brennan is nicked up–he’s “day to day”–and Phil Myers was a last-minute scratch for a minor issue. Both or neither could play tonight; we’ll see.
Fazleev was the healthy scratch again last night, and there was no veteran issue given the Brennan injury. Danick Martel remains out with injury, as does Sam Morin. Mark Alt remains in Philadelphia.
The puck should drop around 7:15PM tonight for the 7:05 Main Event. Doors open at 6:00PM and a smattering of good seats are still available.
Rochester comes to town for the only time this season. The Phantoms lost up in Rochester 3-1 back on January 6th. This game followed the game in Toronto where we sustained a couple injuries–including the ever-valuable Corban Knight–so it may not be fully representative. Still, the ‘Merks are strongly in second place in the AHL North, behind Toronto. This will conclude the two-game series for this regular season.
On Rochester’s roster, I feel like Fs #29 Sahir Gill and #92 Alexander Nylander have been problems for us in the past. Diminutive defenseman #41 Barry Goers is from Pennsylvania. Rochester was off last night, so I imagine we’ll see All Star netminder Linus Ullmark in net. He’s 17-8-6-2 this season with 2.37 GAA and 0.926 SV%.
Referee David Banfield (#77)
Referee Ryan Murphy (#5)
Linesman Jason Mandroc (#17)
Linesman Matt McNulty (#26)
MEDIA KIT (Rosters, Records, etc.)
5 Things To Watch Tonight
- I’m thinking Tokarski gets the start in net, but you never know. Nice game by Lyon last night I wish we could have gotten him the clean sheet. Whomever starts should be on the top of his game knowing the opposing netminder is really good.
- Watch to see if the team plays a disciplined game. I haven’t seen Rochester play, but knowing that they beat us, they have a good goalie, and they’re in second place–it could have a playoff feel to it. I’m looking for crisp passes, forwards who help out in the defensive zone, and a D that plays smart.
- Watch to see if Brennan or Myers can get back in there.
- Continue to watch Corban Knight. He says he’s still doesn’t feel 100% with his timing and so on, coming back from injury. Well, whatever it is, it’s pretty good. 5 points in the last 2 games? I’ll take it. I maintain he’s a key player if this team has designs on going deep in the Calder Cup tournament.
- Rochester is good, but hasn’t been great lately. They’ve lost their last three and don’t have a regulation win since January 20. Having been off last night, they could be hungry for a win. BUT, they’ve played 20 games this season that have gone beyond regulation, in which they’re 9-6-5. Watch to see if we get a hockey skills competition at the end of this one.
The team will be in Bridgeport on Tuesday and then Springfield on Friday. Next weekend is a 3/3, and they’ll be home Saturday and Sunday for Hartford and Wilkes Barre respectively. Hartford is the team that traded with Hershey, and may have made themselves weaker in the process–it seems like the Rangers want to clean house everywhere. We’ll talk more about that on Saturday.
Carnival: I notice folks are finding the old carnival posts which should give them an idea of what to see at the arena tomorrow. I think I’m going to sit this one out, so if a reader would like my tickets, here’s what I want you to do: Find me at the arena tonight and bring me a beer and they’re yours. I’ll have them with me. Here’s a hint though: I won’t be in my regular seats. We have friends in town and of course we’re taking them to hockey.
See you at the arena,
Cover photo by Jack Mitroka