“We have the opportunity to be a really good team. On paper, we are really good.”
– Cal O’Reilly, Captain
The Phantoms have started 0-2 on the road, losing to both Wilkes-Barre and Hershey to open the 2021-2022 campaign. And, it’s easy to say what Captain Cal did, as this team is loaded with talent and has good balance between the veterans and the prospects. All the pieces have to fit together, though. This might be a test for new coach Ian Laperriere.
Here’s how they lined up in Wilkes-Barre to open last weekend:
49 Wilson 23 Frost 71 Foerster
19 Ratcliffe 9 O’Reilly 26 Mayhew
21 Sandin 17 Rubtsov 27 Tuomaala
24 Saulnier 25 Bunnaman 18 Cates
44 York 29 Wylie
6 Hogberg 5 Clendening
8 Millman 22 Day
32 Felix Sandstrom
Zamula and Willman are back from Philadelphia. Zamula will wear #4. Strome and MacKinnon have been sent to Reading, but MacKinnon is already back. Seeler is back from Philadelphia, and will wear #55.
And, Seeler is back in Philadelphia 51 minutes ago.
Good seats still remain for tonight’s contest.
6:00 PM Season Ticket Gates
6:15 PM Public Gates
7:05 PM Event Begins
7:18 PM Puck Drops
Wear your white jersey and hat to tonight’s game.
There is a “tailgate” type event planned for the Arts Walk next to Blended and the Downtown Allentown Market. Music, games, meLVin…all the stuff.
Chickie’s and Timmie’s have re-opened. 99 Bottles I’m not sure.
The opening of a season is always a little extra chaotic until everyone has their routines in place. Leave a little extra time to park, eat etc. Staffing is short everywhere as well. Lines for food and drink in the arena last night for the USA Women’s game were very long. One way or another, I’d advise eating before you arrive.
Referee Laura White (#8)
Referee Beau Halkidis (#48)
Linesperson Dan Kelly (#45)
Linesperson Jud Ritter (#34)
(rosters, stats, etc.)
What To Watch
There’s a lot to watch as we settle in with this new team and they open up at home. But there’s one thing I want you to pay careful attention to this evening. That’s #23 Morgan Frost. I heard from several different sources from both games last weekend that he wasn’t playing hard and wasn’t being responsible in his own end. Coach sat him down for the end of the game in Hershey on Sunday, much to the consternation of the internet “experts.” Assuming his lack of effort was absolutely true, I completely side with the coach on this one. The AHL is a place to prepare for the NHL, and that kind of play cannot happen up there. There’s an old saying in coaching, “You’re either coaching it, or you’re allowing it to happen.” It wasn’t going to happen on Laperriere’s watch. And you can’t let that type of play out of the toothpaste tube, because then it shows the other players that it’s OK. That kind of play is selfish and dangerous. Watch to see if the message got through, following last Sunday’s game, and a whole week of practice and video review. Frost on a mission could be a thing to behold at this level. Wear an old hat tonight.
We’re back at it tomorrow afternoon at 3PM, for Wilkes Barre. It’s tough to leave football for hockey, eh? It’s kind of unusual this season, but I think they kept a bunch of Fridays free for the arena to host other stuff. We’ll see how it works out. I’ll be at the game, though. If 99 Bottles isn’t open, I’ll likely end up in Chickie’s because they have the most TVs.
See you at the arena,