Phour Things: Phantoms Win Preseason Gm 2, 3-1

Allentown downtown

Arena on a sunny afternoon. Photo from Downtown Allentown twitter feed. Better?


“Phour Things” seems appropriately derivative and still original.  It also seems forced.  I’ve never been one to write a lot post-game–because most of my audience was at the game.  But I’m going to try a post-game column this season with some editorial observations from the lower seating area–some game-related and some fan-experience-related, as per usual.  But, “Phour Things”??   I’ll continue to try to think of a better title.

1. Dress Rehearsal

I didn’t know what we’d see out of the lineups today.  The official Phantoms roster provided by the team this morning still didn’t include the players who cleared waivers earlier in the week.  The Penguins were at the end of a 4/5 and a 3/3.  What kind of “practice game” were we in for?

Well, the Pens sent 10 players to ECHL Wheeling this morning, and the Phantoms had the full squad (minus the possibly injured Kaše and Frost) at open practice yesterday.  Once I saw the Phantoms lines I knew it would be a full-go for today, with the Penguins closing out their own preseason with a similar tune-up.  For the Phantoms it looked like this:

Heck, I’m not even sure if that violates the veteran rule (I don’t think it does), but it sure looks like close to full-strength to me.  Anyway, the Phantoms were able to out-score the Penguins 3-1 in a game I thought was very sloppy on both ends.  My eyes aren’t “hockey ready” yet as I didn’t really identify any of the penalties easily.  I just know that there were a lot of pucks bouncing around out there.  No matter, it’s preseason for all of us.  Back at it tomorrow versus the Bears.

Good things?  They were still playing fast, as we mentioned in the pre-game, and despite the general sloppiness (on both sides) they seemed to communicate well.  That’s good to see in a “system” that’s new to a lot of players, and in their first game.

Some whispers post-game that the ice was a bit choppy thanks to the warm weather lately.  We’ll see–I didn’t notice per se, and I know we have a crack ice team, so I’m sure it’ll be fine in the long run.

2.  Preseason in the Stands

In the parking deck, I paid on the way in as per usual on an event night.  However, I was given a slip which I had to force-feed into the machine in order to exit.  For those in the know, this closes an obvious loop-hole, but if every single person has to play “feed the dollar into the vending machine” to exit the parking deck after the game?  That’s gonna be a disaster.  We’ll see if it follows through to the regular season, but mark my words.

Chickie’s has it’s problems, which we’ve all experienced in one way or another.  The security farce continues to ignore the intelligence of anyone who’s ever seen the movie The Godfather.  They didn’t have bartenders at the upper bar at all today, nor service at the lower rails.  For a sports bar on a football Sunday, they had minimal football on the 800 screens.  This plus the abbreviated menu–their survival has to be questionable at this point, right?  The Ovations franchise connection will keep them around, but I’m already thinking of what could be a better idea.  Stay tuned.

On a better note, one of the servers asked me, “Where your son at?  You’ve been coming in here a long time!”  Yeah, it’s good to be recognized, even though I’m rarely in there anymore.  Kiddo has been away at college for a couple years now, but he used to do calculus homework in there before the games.

I  was charged the wrong price for my beer twice today in the arena.  Pre-season for everybody.  Indeed.

3. Flashes

Man, it’s hard to get used to the new numbers, huh?  I see #9 and #12 and there are previous players attached to those numbers.  Even #21.  Anyway, #17 Rubtsov and #21 Fitzgerald both flashed to me as players I’m going to like to watch this season.  Ruby we know, of course, but it’s been a long time since he’s been on the PPL Center ice.  I enjoyed #29 Gabriel too.  Berube in goal was solid–I just feel like the “J.F.” is going to have me shouting/typing a lot of bad words at some point.  For the Penguins?  Well, not always, but sometimes you can spot a player and think, “You know, I like his game.  I wouldn’t mind having that guy on my team.”  Today, that player was #22 Joe Cramarossa.  Oh, I know he’s a veteran and he’s been around.  I just liked his game today.  Hockey, and all that.

4.  ‘A’ Stands For……”Future Captain?”

No captain yet although we may get one next week.  For preseason, only the three A’s– Andreoff, Prosser, and O’Reilly.  Regular season ‘A’ and ‘C’ TBD.  Carey and Brennan are still around, too.

Bonus:  Press Release Gamer:

New Faces Andreoff & Berube Shine As Phantoms Move to 2-0 in Preseason

Phantoms Top Penguins 3-1 to Sweep Preseason Series With Penguins

September 29, 2019

Lehigh Valley, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2-0-0-0) got two-point performances out of both Andy Andreoff and T.J. Brennan on Sunday afternoon in a 3-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (0-2-0-0) on Sunday in a preseason matinee at PPL Center. The Phantoms saw Andy Andreoff, Nic Aube-Kubel, and Mikhail Vorobyev all find the back of the net while goaltender J-F Berube was stellar in his first action on the ice as a Phantom making 22 saves.

After a quiet first 19 minutes of Sunday’s first period, the Phantoms were able to open the scoring in the game on the power play, thanks to a new face around PPL Center, forward Andy Andreoff. Andreoff was able to redirect a slapshot from forward Greg Carey past Penguins goalie Emil Larmi at the 19:26 mark. It was Andreoff’s first goal of the preseason, after he scored 26 goals last season for the Syracuse Crunch.
Phantoms goalie J.F. Berube was solid in his first 40 minutes of preseason action, stopping all 13 shots that the Penguins sent his way in the first two periods. Berube spent the 2018-19 season with the Cleveland Monster, posting a 3.01 goals allowed average over 43 games.
The Phantoms started off the third period fast, swarming the Penguins net in the first minute. Their  aggressiveness would pay off when Andy Andreoff made a perfect pass to Nic Aube-Kubel in the left circle who sent a rocket past Larmi for the Phantoms second goal of the game and his first of the preseason. Aube-Kubel is set to begin his fourth full professional season and has totaled up 97 points in 203 games with the Phantoms so far in his career.
The Penguins would finally get past Berube late in the third period with a goal from forward Ryan Haggerty. Haggerty was able to capitalize on a loose puck in front of the net that found its way onto his stick and in result, past Berube for the Penguins lone goal of the game.
The Phantoms would strike back less than a minute later as Mikhail Vorobyev beat Larmi from atop of the left circle to make it a 3-1 game and to pick up his first goal of the preseason. Brennan picked up his second assist of the afternoon on the goal while Cal O’Reilly also had an assist on the goal. The goal from Vorobyev helped put a stop to any momentum the Penguins were looking to build.
In the last minute of the third period, the Penguins tried to garner a few scoring chances but were mostly denied by the Phantoms strong defense in front of the net. The Phantoms were able to hold onto their two goal lead and earned a 3-1 victory to move to 2-0 on the preseason.
The two heated rivals brought the intensity and physicality of a regular season contest for Sunday’s matinee. The two teams had to be separated multiple times with small scuffles and heavy hitting happening throughout the game. The Phantoms and Penguins will have plenty of time to settle any differences with 12 regular season matchups set between the two including six at PPL Center. Their first matchup of the regular season and at PPL Center is set for Friday, October 11th.
3 Stars:
1 – Andy Andreoff – 1 goal, 1 assist
2 – J.F Berube – 22 saves on 23 shots
3 – Nic Aube-Kubel – 1 goal
First Period:
LV – (19:26) Andy Andreoff (1) (Carey, Brennan)
Second Period:
Third Period:
LV – (0:56) Nic Aube-Kubel (1) (Andreoff, Freidman)
WBS- (13:04) Haggerty (1) (Warsofsky, Palve)
LV – (13:52) Vorobyev (1), (Brennan, O’Reilly)
NEXT TIME OUT: The Phantoms will conclude their preseason schedule on Monday evening against the Hershey Bears at the PPL Center.

Back at it tomorrow–see you for “Hockey Night in Allentown”


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

2 replies

  1. All-Sons Of Soviets second line of Vorobyev, Rubtsov (both Russia) and Sushko (Belarus) … nice!


  1. Hockey Night In Allentown: “Meet The Bears” 9/30/2019

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