The Phantoms reached the halfway point of their season with what Phil Varone called an “embarrassing” performance in a 6-2 loss to Springfield Saturday night. Lehigh Valley came out with a good first period, but that was about all it was able to put together as the Thunderbirds scored four unanswered goals to waltz out of the PPL Center with a win.
Varone scored his 100th career AHL goal in the game, but was more focused on the weak effort that the team put on the ice.
As a young team, Liberty is taking a pretty good beating from their opponents this season, but it’s not all without development. While the Lady Hurricanes are 0-8 in the EPC and 0-11 overall, first-year coach Andy Wescoe is proud of the way that his players are responding.
Coaches often talk about how playing better teams give their players a good gauge as to how they’re developing and actually makes their team better even though they take their fair share of losses along the way.
Goaltender Alex Lyon earned the win in goal as he returned to the Lehigh Valley crease for the first time since Dec. 1 after spending most of the month with the Philadelphia Flyers. The key to Lyon’s success may have been the overall sharp play of the Phantoms defense, which held the AHL’s second-highest scoring offense to just 29 shots, 28 of which were turned away by Lyon in Lehigh Valley’s 3-1 win against the Charlotte Checkers.
Corban Knight is in one of those streaks where everything he does looks almost effortless, but turns out to be good. Take for example, the play he made Sunday in Bridgeport when he was literally on his stomach behind the goal, but still was able to flip the puck to Danick Martel, who was stationed in front of the net for a go-ahead goal.
Killing off penalties is one of the best things a team can do to help themselves. It’s tough enough to play at even strength, but when short, especially in tight games, that’s where you need the penalty killing unit to step up and make big plays.
On Saturday night in Hershey, the Bears were able to break through with a power-play goal against the Phantoms, capitalizing on a penalty by Danick Martel. That goal snapped a streak of 24 straight penalty kills for Lehigh Valley.
The Iron Financial Orioles know all about coming from behind. When they fell behind Martins Creek 5-0 Sunday in game two of the Blue Mountain League Championship Series, it was just another day on the ball field for them. Unfortunately for the Orioles, there wouldn’t be a comeback in the offing this time and they fell to Martins Creek 7-4, evening the series at one game apiece.
The old baseball adage is that you play for a tie on the road and play to win if you’re the home team. It looked like Liberty was going to have to be content to have tied Emmaus again in the 11th inning, just as they had done in the 10th.
Instead, fate or the Baseball Gods or something intervened and a fly ball that should have been the third out of the inning went untouched and was followed by a hard-hit ball that found open spaces in the Emmaus outfield leading to the winning run in a 4-3 contest.
After a three-run first inning, Freedom held control of their quarterfinal matchup against Emmaus, but the Hornets finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three times to walk-off with a 4-3 win. The loss eliminated Freedom from the EPC Playoffs, and puts Emmaus into the semifinals against Parkland.
If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s what the Freedom football team’s offense did Friday night against Parkland, but nothing they tried seemed to work as they fell to the Trojans 17-0.
The 31st Annual Deppe All-Star Classic was played on June 4 at Fegely Stadium in Limeport, pitting high school seniors from the Colonial League against seniors from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference to benefit the American Cancer Society. After the EPC battled from behind to take a lead, the Colonial League stars battled back only to have the game end in a 5-5 tie after nine innings.