HOCKEY NIGHT IN ALLENTOWN: “The Rookies Are Coming!” 9/11/2019

Hockey is back!  But, just a moment…

I’m not sure I ever had to write that date on a post before.  9/11.  I’ll probably be writing it all day today at the office.  Every time I do, it’s still a bit shaking–even 18 years later.  So take a moment today–even right now–and do something for your fellow Americans.  Remember.  Give thanks.  And, put your flag out.


Bunnaman comes to the aid of the battling Misha Vorobyev in a Phantoms contest from last season. Photo: Jack Mitroka

Tonight’s the Night

We welcome back professional hockey, for the start of the sixth season, in downtown Allentown.  Each season, we’ve had a Flyers-related game to kind of kick things off.  This season, it’s the “Rookie Game.”  And, I think it’s about the best.  We’ve talked before about paying NHL prices to see a practice game of mostly-phantoms, and despite the price drop last season, it was still underwhelming.  But, I still went, didn’t I?  Yup.

Anyway, these are the players who have been in Flyers Rookie Camp for the past week and a half.  “Future Flyers” if you will.  You’ll recognize a few names as guys who have already played for the Phantoms, and you might recognize the draft picks as well.  The college kids are already back in school and with their school clubs, but here you’ll see a couple guys with a legitimate shot at a roster spot with the Flyers, players who will be rookies at the AHL level with the Phantoms this year–or Reading.  And, you’ll see some youngsters who will head back to their “Juniors” teams until they’re ready or old enough for the North American professional game.


Here’s a printable PDF I made of that roster photo:  Roster 2019   It might come in handy spotting the numbers.

Players to Watch

Here are the guys I’ll be watching most closely–most should be Phantoms this season:

49 Joel Farabee, F, 2018 1st Round Pick

48 Morgan Frost, C, 2017 1st Round Pick

76 Isaac Ratcliffe, F, 2017 2nd Round Pick

54 Egor Zamula, D, Free Agent (He won a contract as a camp invite last season)

32 Felix Sandstrom, G

67 Kirill Ustimenko, G

Late word from the Flyers (Meltzer) that Bunnaman, Twarynski, Fitzgerald and McCartney (inj) will not dress tonight.


Game Details

Puck Drop:  7:05PM vs New York Islanders Rookies

Doors:  6:00PM

Tickets:  Good seats are still available, only $10.00 (plus FEES), in the lower bowl only, including CLUB section.  Go to to check it out.

Parking:  Downtown continues to evolve, and with it, the parking situation.  I’ll have more news on this front later, but leave an extra few minutes in case your normal parking strategy has to be altered.  For new visitors, the “Spiral Deck” or the “Transportation Center” deck, both on Linden Street, are good bets if you don’t have pre-purchased parking in the Arena “Orange” Deck.  The game is not close to sold out, so parking should be plentiful.

Arena Notice:


To help ensure your safety, PPL Center requires all guests to pass through metal detectors upon entry to events. Guests will not be asked to remove jackets, shoes, belts, watches or coins; but cell phones, keys and cameras must be set in designated bins before passing through the metal detectors.

To expedite the screening process, fans are encouraged to leave non-essential items at home or in their vehicles. Guests may bring in soft-sided bags and purses that do not exceed 16″x8″x16″ in size. Backpacks are not permitted. Drawstring bags are not considered backpacks.  All items are subject to security screening prior to entering the building. Special consideration will be made for guests with medical needs and those caring for infants (diaper bags).

Broadcast:  TV will be Service Electric 2/502 in the Lehigh Valley.  NBC-Sports+ will pick up the broadcast for Philadelphia and surrounding areas.  It’s unknown whether a good stream of the game will be available via NBC-Sports, app, or the Islanders.  Radio broadcast can be heard via the Phantoms365 App, 1470AM, iHeartRadio WSAN 1470, or via Phantoms Radio on TuneIn.  David Fine from the Royals broadcast crew will join Bob in the booth tonight.


Lines and other News

Lines from practice this morning (via Flyers/Bill Meltzer)

76 Isaac Ratcliffe – 48 Morgan Frost – 49 Joel Farabee

64 Maksim Sushko – 50 German Rubtsov – 75 Pascal Laberge

77 Max Golod – 24 Mikhail Vorobyev – 72 David Kase

78 Matthew Strome – 89 Mika Cyr – 74 Egor Serdyuk

54 Zamula – 5 Myers

32 Sandstrom (Ustimenko)


(Lines and pairings, and any other last minute news, will be added here later should it become available.  Check back.)


See you at the arena,



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

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