“I mean, you can’t give a team that many power plays and not expect them to score.”
-Travis Sanheim (via @LVPhantoms)
About Last Night
A 2-0 lead evaporated last night amidst a third period squandered in the name of penalties–some of them soft and some of them maybe more sloppy in nature. Multiple chances for an OT win were denied by their goalie and we end with a shootout loss. Tonight’s opponent, Scranton, also lost in OT at home last night.
D Sam Morin and D Reece Willcox remain out with injuries. I did hear a rumor last night that Morin may be getting closer–but I’d expect to see him skating with the team before I start predicting that he’ll appear in a game. I do not have an update on Willcox.
Alt and Leier remain in the press box at the Farg.
Scratches Last Night: TJ Brennan was the veteran scratch (never ideal), Danick Martel was a planned healthy scratch, and Fazleev was the other healthy scratch–to go along with Willcox and Morin (injured).
Reading’s point streak came to an end last night as they lost to Brampton at the Salamander. They sit comfortably in fourth place in the ECHL North, just one point behind Wheeling and Adirondack in second and third. Manchester has a nice grip on first place right now. Our friends Swavely and McCarthy each had two helpers last night.
It’s a rare Sunday home game at the PPL Center and the events of the night will kick off at 5:05 with a planned puck drop at 5:17PM. It’s meLVin’s birthday, so expect plenty of furry guests in town to help him celebrate. The mascot hockey is always my favorite! Oh, and if you see Tux tell him that Rochester just scored again.
Doors will open at 4:00PM, and last I checked, street parking is free on Sundays (YMMV). A smattering of upper-level tickets remain for this game–grab them before you head downtown. For pre-game, please double check to make sure your favorite restaurant/bar is open on Sunday (Bell Hall and Bay Leaf are closed, for instance).
Following the game, the “gold” jerseys worn last night will be auctioned off, live, in the Morning Call Club section. Happy bidding! (Read: Bring lots of money). I thought they looked fine last night–but not as good as I had hoped. As many have pointed out, they might have looked better with a black helmet instead of white. But, with the Wolfpack sporting dark, maybe there’s a rule about the hats have to be different? An overlooked cool thing: The players had flag patches on one shoulder recognizing their home country. I’m not sure what was on the other shoulder, but there are some cool details in there.
The Penguins of the Wyoming Valley are in town for their penultimate visit to the PPL Center for the 2017-18 regular season. The Phantoms currently lead the Pens 5-4-1 on the season, and 71 pts to 65 pts in the overall standings. The final regular season meeting between these teams will be right back here in the final game of said regular season, Saturday 4/14. There are no more games between the teams up in Wilkes Barre this regular season.
Referee Guillaume Labonte (#35)
Referee Terry Koharski (#10)
Linesman Bevan Mills (#53)
Linesman Tom DellaFranco (#71)
5 Things To Watch
- Following the game, G Dustin Tokarski had some strong words about the penalties the Phantoms surrendered during the third period last night. Will the strong words be seen as leadership and get him another start tonight? (I thought he played well) or will Muse get a shot at the formerly-in-first-place Penguins? We’ll see. It’s a quick turnaround and I think it will be Muse, but have nothing to do with strong words.
- Expect to see Danick back in there today. Can he notch a couple of scoring marks like he did in Springfield? Can the Penguins resist the urge to try to hit him in the jaw?
- A nice, rested, TJ Brennan could portend good things for the Phantoms. I’m assuming he’ll be out there tonight unless there’s a surprise injury to announce.
- Watch both teams to see how they look in the third period. Both squads played extra hockey last night. The Pens got walloped 12-3 Friday night, and lost a couple players to injury to boot. Meanwhile the third period has been the Phantoms bugaboo. How will that all shake out when the legs get tired at the very end of this 3/3 for both teams?
- Watch to see who the veteran scratch is. I think this is an important game on several levels–one I’d really like to win. Which veteran scratch would give us the best chance to win? Matt Read might be a possibility–but he has the experience size and tends to be pretty responsible in the defensive zone. I’m thinking Chris Conner–as much as I love him–the Pens have some giant defenders and the diminutive veteran attacker has had some quiet games against WBS this season.
Stop by the Phan Club table today–yesterday they were behind 106 but they’re often behind 103–to renew your membership (or start a new one!) and enter several cool raffles for sticks and jerseys! Can’t afford a jersey auction? Take a chance with a few bucks and maybe you score one! They have a trip coming up, too. Check it out.
The next Phan Club meeting is a week from Tuesday (2/27) at Chickies. Check them out on SpaceBook here
The Hamilton Street Heroes take to the road this week on a tour of New York. First they stop in Utica to play a hard-nosed Comets squad on Wednesday night. Then, they head upstate to Syracuse Friday and make a stop south on I-81 in Binghamton Saturday on their way home.
The next game at PPL Center will be Friday, March 2 versus Hershey.
See you at the arena,