HOCKEY NIGHT IN ALLENTOWN: “March Comes In Like A Bear” 3/2/2018

“Great moments are born from great opportunities.”
-Herb Brooks

Photo: Cheryl Pursell


Now We Here

After taking 2 out of 3 and grabbing points in each contest during the penultimate weekend in February, the Hamilton Street Heroes headed out on the road in order to free up the Pawlowski Palace for monster trucks last weekend.  A week ago Wednesday they beat Utica 6-4.  Then on Friday their point streak was snapped versus a very difficult Syracuse squad 2-1.  Finally, they grabbed another win in Binghamton 2-1 before heading home.

Syracuse then beat Wilkes Barre the night after beating us, so no damage in the standings.  First place doesn’t mean a hill of beans before games have even begun in March, but it sure is nice to look at:


1 LV 57 35 15 3 4 77 0.675
2 WBS 53 32 16 4 1 69 0.651
3 PRO 55 32 18 3 2 69 0.627
4 CHA 57 31 23 0 3 65 0.570
5 BRI 56 26 22 5 3 60 0.536
6 HFD 58 26 25 4 3 59 0.509
7 HER 57 23 26 4 4 54 0.474
8 SPR 56 25 28 2 1 53 0.473


Roster Report

Woo where to begin….

G Alex Lyon remains in Philadelphia where they did manage to add a veteran goalie before the trade deadline.  Elliot and Neuvirth shall return sometime near the end of March?  We’ll see.  In any case, Lyon was moved to Lehigh Valley via a paper move before the deadline, in order for him to remain eligible for the AHL playoffs.  He was then immediately recalled on emergency basis.

Meanwhile, G John “Moose” Muse passed through waivers for the purpose of ripping up his AHL-only contract and replacing it with a two-way NHL/AHL deal.  It’s a nice reward for him and makes him eligible for the NHL regular season and playoffs if he were needed.

G Anthony Stolarz is officially with the Phantoms now, and practicing.  You’ll see him scratched when they announce the lineups.  They are ramping up his activity and monitoring his surgically repaired knee.  He could return to game action in a week or two, I suppose.  I also wouldn’t be tremendously surprised to see him get a start in Reading, but it sounds like he’s really motivated to be part of a playoff team here in Allentown.

D Reece Willcox has been out for some time but looks to be ready to return after practicing fully this week.

F Oscar Lindblom is with the Flyers, and I’ve heard only good things about his performance on the big stage.  He was also moved on paper before the deadline, and immediately recalled to the Flyers counting as #1 of their 4 possible non-emergency roster call-ups before the end of this season.  He’ll be eligible to return to the Phantoms should the Flyers deem that appropriate for the playoffs or at any time.

F Matt Read was recalled to the Flyers prior to the deadline which makes him ineligible to play for the Phantoms in the regular season or playoffs.  He wasn’t flashy while he was here, but he was solid for a team that has plenty of scoring firepower.

Photo: Cheryl Pursell


The event begins at 7:05PM and we’ll get to see hockey around 7:15PM.  Lots of good seats still remain for this contest.  With poor weather and high winds, we’re looking for the electricity in PPL Center to stay ON tonight–literally and figuratively.  How else are you going to kill the bear?

Hershey beat Hartford and Toronto recently, but then lost to Rockford and Scranton to close last weekend.  Following their trades and the conclusion of the Olympics, they should be solidifying their roster just about now, but it looks like Travis Boyd is back to the NHL so that hurts them.  I’ve seen our “friend” Copley have some good games lately, but I think we get in his head a little.  He took the loss versus Scranton the other day, so we’ll see if he’s back out there tonight.

I’d advise deck parking over the lots and streets tonight given the in-climate weather.

It’s “Go Green” night, so if you want to wear the green jerseys then this might be one of the appropriate games to break those puppies out.  There will be a shopping bag giveaway at the gates–although I think the bag might be orange.  No matter, make sure you’re not too late and that you use the main entrances if you want the swag.


Referee Stephen Reneau (#34)

Referee Cameron Voss (#41)

Linesman Bob Goodman (#90)

Linesman Jason Mandroc (#17)



Photo: Cheryl Pursell

5 Things To Watch

  • As always, watch who gets the start in net.  They’ve both been playing well–Muse and Tokarski–and have been alternating.  Whomever gets the start tonight will also probably start in the rematch in Hershey on Sunday.
  • Watch to see if Reece Willcox gets back on the ice.  He and Brennan have a lot of games together.
  • Watch to see how long it takes for the “Co—–Pleee” chants to start if he’s in net and gives us an early goal.
  • Check the lines now, with Read and Lindblom gone.  Will the Martel/Vecchione/NAK line still be a thing?  What will the “fourth” line look like?
  • I’ll be curious about the number of Hershey jerseys in the stands tonight.  What with the bad weather and the sucky Bears team, too.  But they do have a big following and they do travel well.
  • BONUS:  Stop by the Phan Nation table to check out Phan Club events and really cool raffles.  I think they have a half-price thing going for the remainder of the season, too, if you haven’t joined this season.
  • DOUBLE BONUS:  Stop by the team tent to leave a $50 deposit towards your playoff tickets.  You’ll get a T-Shirt for your trouble, and any unused funds go towards next season.  You’re credit card will  only get charged as the team advances.

Up Next

We’re right back at it tomorrow, on “Pig Day” (observed) when my least favorite AHL team (Binghamton) arrives for a Saturday night tilt.  We’ve got a few games against that dreadful squad here in early March.  Then, as I mentioned, the team will head down to Hershey on Sunday for a rematch of tonight’s game.

There are NO mid-week games–home or away–in March.  And, it’s three-in-three for three weekends in a row!  Such scheduling oddities!  Plus we’ve got NCAA weekend coming at the end of the month.  Stay tuned!


See you at the arena,


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

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