After four games on the road, the Hamilton Street Heroes return to the PPL Center to face Springfield. Here’s how it’s going, and what you need to know.
When we last left the Phantoms, they were winning their first game of the season. 0-for-October turned into Undefeated November. At least for one night. Signs of life were seen on Wednesday, November 3 at home against the Penguins as the team was finishing checks and finishing chances. Could they take the momentum of the 4-0 Penguin beat-down win on the road?
Narrator: They could not
Down in Charlotte last Saturday the Phantoms were the victims of a 7-3 whipping. Four first period goals and three in the second chased Sandstrom from between the pipes. Special teams were a concern, as the Checkers scored three power play goals and a shortie.
Sunday the Phantoms turned the table with a 5-3 win and a power play goal of our own. Felix Sandstrom rebounded with a strong game following the struggles of the night before.
Wednesday the team headed to Chocolatetown to take on the Bears. The Hershey side was a bit compromised due to call-ups and injuries, but our old friend Sgarbossa gave the UPS drivers the early lead. The Phantoms struck back in the second with a power play goal and two–count them–two shorties. The 4-1 tally held up with Sandstrom again handling his business in the net.
Last night in Providence with emotions running high honoring the memory of Colby Cave, the Phantoms could not keep the momentum going and dropped 6-3, giving up two power play goals, a shortie, and an empty net along the way. The Phantoms were out-shot 40-34 with Usti in net for the first two periods before giving way to Sandstrom. There were several fights in the game, and Garrett Wilson had a Gordie Howe.
1-0 to begin November, followed by a 2-2 road trip, is not the worst thing in the world (like, say, losing for a whole month straight.) However, this team remains a work in progress.
F Jackson Cates and D Adam Clendening missed last night’s game and are thought to be injured to some degree. Also injured are F Tyson Foerster, G Sam Ersson, D Mason Millman, and F Linus Sandin. All injuries are thought to be short-term, although if something is more significant we’ll likely only hear via Philadelphia.
D Nick Seeler has been back and forth from Philly. I’m not sure he’s ever actually been on the Phantoms at this point and it might be as much a salary cap accumulation maneuver as anything. We’ll see once Philly gets more healthy
D Ryan MacKinnon is here from Reading
Young F Samu Tuomaala has returned to Europe. I thought the speed could transcend the learning curve, but add in a language barrier, the North American ice sheet, COVID restrictions and a team that hasn’t been playing great, and it’s just too much. He needs to play. We’ll look forward to seeing him again.
F Charlie Gerard was up from Reading for a day. He heads back today which could be a sign that someone is getting healthy from the list of injured above.
F Nic Aube-Kubel was put on waivers yesterday by Philadelphia. It’s unknown if he passed through unclaimed and he has not been assigned to the Phantoms (he doesn’t have to be) as of this writing.
Here’s how they lined up last night in Providence:
20 Willman 9 O’Reilly 25 Bunnaman
49 Wilson 23 Frost 26 Mayhew
15 Sushko 17 Rubtsov 42 Hodgson
19 Ratcliffe 16 Strome 24 Saulnier
44 York 22 Day
4 Zamula 7 Zech
6 Hogberg 40 MacKinnon
A slapshot leaves center ice travelling at 100MPH. How long until it hits the net?
Springfield, the top team in the Atlantic Division, is in town. They are currently the AHL affiliate of the St Louis Blues. Rookie D-man Scott Perunovich (#15) paces them in points on the back of 16 assists. Center Matthew Peca (#63) leads in goals. Springfield leads the entire AHL in Power Play percentage; they’re 18th in PK. They lost at home to Hartford last night, 6-4.
Good seats still remain for this game. Pregame activities can be visited along the Arts Walk starting at 5PM, weather permitting, with food and drink available at blended by bru daddy and the Downtown Allentown Market. Expect a between periods concert tonight as is our custom this season on a Saturday evening. Also, there’s a post-game skate, so bring your skates (due to COVID restrictions, I doubt you’ll see any players).
Doors at 6:00PM for season tickets and 6:15 for the general public. Show starts at 7, but hockey 7:15 or so.
Referee Jim Curtin (#90)
Referee Patrick Hanrahan (#52)
Linesperson Bill Lyons (#27)
Linesperson Tom George (#61)
MEDIA KIT (rosters, stats)
What To Watch
- I’d assume Sandstrom will be back in net today despite playing the third last night, as they’ve been riding him pretty hard with the injury to Ersson.
- The Phantoms are going to need to have their skates on tight for the special teams. They’ve been all over the place giving up goals as well as scoring them, but this Springfield squad is not a special teams to be trifled with. Solid play and capitalize on opportunities, is the name of the job tonight.
- Scoring. We’re going to need some goals to beat this team, methinks. Where will the goals come from?
- I’m not holding my breath, but does NAK pass through waivers and magically arrive at the PPL Center tonight? That would be fun, maybe.
- Watch individually and as a team, how do they look after a long week? To the coaches have them ready to play? Do they have any legs left? Are they showing any progress?
After four games this week, the team is off tomorrow, but we’re right back here at the PPL Center for Charlotte on Wednesday night. The team is on the road next weekend.
See you at the arena,
Trivia Answer: If aimed properly, the shot would hit the net in 0.61 seconds