They needed these!
After a Sunday loss in Bridgeport last week, the Phantoms were looking ahead at a road game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and two home games against the Charlotte Checkers. At that point, the Phantoms were 4-9-1 in their last 14 games and starting to sink quickly in the Atlantic Division and in the Eastern Conference standings. They traveled north to meet the Penguins and came away with a nice, tidy 3-1 win with Alex Lyon saving 27 of the 28 shots that he faced.
The Phantoms had two chances to take a big step up in the Atlantic Division this past weekend and they whiffed on both chances.
The schedule had Lehigh Valley at Charlotte on back-to-back nights this past Friday and Saturday and the Checkers took both games, leaving the Phantoms in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, 19 points behind Charlotte. More importantly, Lehigh Valley is now 10th in the conference standings, which would leave them on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
With the NHL All-Star Break stretching into a weeklong layoff for the Philadelphia Flyers a few weeks ago, the organization decided it wasn’t a good time to have phenom goalie Carter Hart just sitting around, getting some uninspiring work in away from the ice. So, the Flyers sent Hart back to Lehigh Valley during that stretch so he could see some old friends and family, play a game of competitive hockey and still have enough down time to take a breath after what was a 7-5-1 start to his NHL career at that point.
The Freedom Patriots love to play an aggressive, fast-paced style of game. Against Parkland in the first round of the EPC playoffs, the strategy worked perfectly.
Ironically though, it was an outside game from Yasmine Herrera that provided the Patriots with a bit of a comfort zone in their 40-30 win over the Lady Trojans.
If sports teams made trades based on the popularity of their players with the fans, Taylor Leier would still be a member of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Instead, as the old saying goes, sports are a business and Taylor Leier is now a member of the Rochester Americans. The 24-year old left winger was dealt to Buffalo for right winger Justin Bailey.
Consider that you lose your job and have to tell your wife. That’s not fun. Now, consider that you’re going to have to tell your wife that because you lost your job, you have to move from Idaho to Quad City, Illinois for another job. Then after one day at work, you’re again let go and now have to move 978 miles to Manchester, New Hampshire. Then, just a few weeks later, good news; sort of. You weren’t fired, but you’ve been “transferred” to Reading, Pennsylvania. So, with three pretty substantial moves in three months, how happy is your wife?
In the grand scheme of things, Connor Bunnaman’s second goal of the season wasn’t one that will be extremely memorable. His goal put the Phantoms up 1-0 in a game that they would wind up losing 4-2 to the Cleveland Monsters. What “Bunny” did with his goal though was launch an avalanche of stuffed teddy bears and other assorted animals onto the ice as part of the Phantoms annual Teddy Bear Toss.
Get ready for what could be a roller coaster ride with the Phantoms this season.
The team is very young and with that youth often comes inconsistency. Look at the first two games and you’ll see the start of the ride.
The Phantoms opened their season on home ice over the weekend and everything seemed to go right for the home team.
Goalie prospect Carter Hart looked every bit of the super-prospect player that he is, the top line of Greg Carey, Phil Varone and Nicolas Aube-Kubel operated like a well-oiled machine and the young players were ready to go. It all resulted in a 6-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
There are still a few decisions looming for the Philadelphia Flyers that will affect the roster of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who open their fifth season in the valley on Saturday at home.
The situation in goal is somewhat fluid at this point.