HOCKEY NIGHT IN ALLENTOWN: “Losing In Lehigh” 10/30/2021

The Phantoms return from two games on the road to face the Syracuse Crunch on a Saturday night.  They still haven’t won a game.  

Photo: Jack Mitroka

“These fans here deserve a lot better than what we’ve been giving them.” – QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions, 0-7

“You are what your record says you are.” – Bill Parcells

So Far…

Oct 16:  2-1 LOSS at Wilkes-Barre

Oct 17:  2-1 LOSS at Hershey

Oct 23:  3-1 LOSS at home vs Wolfpack

Oct 24:  2-1 LOSS at home vs Wilkes-Barre

Oct 27:  4-2 LOSS at Wilkes-Barre

Oct 29:  5-2 LOSS at Utica


D Nick Seeler is back with Philadelphia, as D Cooper Zech has been activated from the injured list and loaned to the Phantoms.  Zech will wear #7.  G Ustimenko called up from Reading for today’s game.  

Scratches Last Night:

Cooper Zech

Mason Millman

Isaac Ratcliffe

Linus Sandin

Samu Tuomaala

Ryan MacKinnon

Millman has an ankle.  Sandin has a face.  Zech still getting back.  


The Phantoms are 31st out of 31 in the league in the standings, and the only team without some kind of win.  The Phantoms Power Play is 30th out of 31.  The Penalty Kill is 11th out of 31.  Ersson and Sandstrom rank 36th and 37th among qualified goalies, in GAA.  


Trivia Time

What’s the record for consecutive losses in the AHL?



Parking:  I like that the team is at least trying to coordinate with the Allentown Parking Authority on some of the recent craziness.  Each deck and lot has it’s own unique rules about payment, etc.  But other than the arena deck make sure you pull head-in to park.  Just like the team, the problems are many.  Let’s see if it gets better tonight and Wednesday.  

Doors:  6:15 Public, 6:00 Season Tickets.

Show: 7:05, Hockey: 7:15

“Saturday Night Hockey Live” will have singer Kendal Conrad performing–I believe during one of the intermissions.

Syracuse is in town, AHL affiliate of the Tampa Lightning.  They’re the 16th team in the league, and in 4th place in the North Division.  They’ve got the 14th ranked power play and the second ranked PK.  They’re led in goals by center Jimmy Huntington (#15) and center Gage Goncalves (#39) and in points by Huntington and center Antoine Morand (#88).  They won by shoot-out last night at home versus Cleveland.  

Referee Mike Dietrich (#15)
Referee Casey Terreri (#75)
Linesperson Jud Ritter (#34)
Linesperson Bill Lyons (#27)


CRUNCH 103021



In the days leading up to a home game, I spend hours and hours curating every detail about the Phantoms game-day experience so that you have the most information that you need to enjoy the game. But sometimes–just sometimes–I like to go to the basement, dump some nail-polish remover in my eyes and think of the stuff that bothers me.  And that’s “Hockey-while.” (h/t Stephen Colbert)

Chickie’s has been a favorite pet peeve to the hockey faithful for a long time now.  It has just re-opened, and from what I understand, will be an “event-night only” venue.  The menu is much-abbreviated, as you can imagine, and it also appears the prices have gone up.  In fact, my pre-game beer cost more than my arena beer.  My food was actually OK, and my bartender was really good, so props there.  But they don’t have all the TVs working properly or any kind of ability to change channels or anything, either, as far as I could tell.  

So it becomes a place to mostly avoid, again.  And it makes me wonder how the new “Live!” concept planned for the Hamilton Kitchen site will hold up.  Hockey-while.  

What To Watch

  • Watch the defense.  Is the lack of experience or coordination evident?  Are they breaking out efficiently?  Are they joining the play on offense?  Are they getting back, then?
  • Watch the offense.  It feels like we don’t get enough shots.  Why?  Too fancy?  Not getting to the front of the net?  Not ready for the rebound?
  • Watch special teams.  It’s going to be tough sledding tonight versus a good Syracuse PK unit.  Can we at least get some shots on net?  
  • Watch the third period.  Are we getting tired?  Sloppy and lazy play due to poor conditioning?  
  • Watch for pressing.  Does it look like the team is tight and pressing?  As much as this losing is wearing on me, it’s gotta be wearing on the players and coaches as well.  Squeezing the sticks harder is unlikely to help.  
  • F German Rubstov had a good game last night, with a goal and an assist.  Watch to see if he can keep it going.  
  • We had good luck with the youth last half-season–Foerster and Wisdom.  But are the younger players like Foerster and young Samu a liability on this team?  I didn’t think so in the preseason, but take a look and see what you think.  
  • Is our new coach over-matched?  Does he need help?  Is he putting players in positions where they can be successful?  I know it’s a developmental league, but are we out here developing a bunch of losers?  I’m not calling on anybody to lose their job, just pointing out what a minor league baseball manager once told me, “It’s a performance-based occupation.”

Up Next

The team is off tomorrow, and we’re back at it with another home game versus Wilkes-Barre (imagine that!) on Wednesday.   

The team hits the tobacco road for two games in Charlotte next weekend, followed by Hershey and Providence before they return home on Saturday November 13 for Springfield.  


See you at the arena,



Trivia Answer:  18.  Baltimore Skipjacks 1987

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

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