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Friday’s on the Farm: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

Friday's

Top of the morning to ya! Its time for another trip to the farm to check on the lads of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for our Friday’s on the Farm. They had a lighter week than last, with only three on the docket as March moves past its halfway point. We’ll start with last Friday’s game against the visiting Hershey Bears.

The first period was innocuous enough. The teams went back and forth trading chances and Hershey was able to twice fend off the lethal Phantoms power play, until with 1 minute left in the first Hershey converted to make the score 1-0. The Phantoms came out looking to respond, and that they did just 1:30 into the second period with Travis Sanheim’s 9th goal of the year. A little more than ten minutes later Scott Laughton continued his stellar run since returning from injury and netted his 15th of the season. Hershey’s offense lay dormant until 4 seconds remained in the period, scooting the tying in the nick of time. Much of the 3rd saw tense action as the score remained tied until there were little over two minutes left and Corban Knight picked a dandy of a time to score his 8th of the year and the game winner. This game was Anthony Stolarz turn in net, and he made 19 saves on 21 shots

Saturday night it was Utica’s turn for a roll in the hay as they came into town. The Phantoms were more than ready, as proved by Colin McDonald’s 22nd goal, which came just 41 seconds into the game. Less than 9 minutes later the Phantoms again flexed their might as Tj Brennan potted gold for the 18th time this season. The offense subsided until halfway through the second when Nicolas Aube-Kubel got his 8th of the year. In the 3rd Utica scored and tried to make a game of it, but eventually a Travis Sanheim empty net goal (10) would seal the game. This win was Alex Lyon’s, who made 36 saves on 37 shots. Also a bonus nugget, if  you can go watch Samuel Morin fight Darren Archibald. It’s not a great fight, but Morin manhandles him, and his strength is amazing to see developed on still a very young kid.

Syracuse was up next, but they were more ready than Utica. The Crunch took a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the first period. They also scored the first in the 2nd period within the first 5 minutes to stretch the lead to 2-0. Radel Fazeleev sliced the lead in half with his 6th of the year a short time later, and Danick Martel followed suit shortly after with his 17th of the year. A minute after Martel, Miele got in on the action, with Andy scoring his 8th. The Phantoms entered the 3rd with the lead but saw it quickly erased. Danick Martel’s 18th with just over 2 minutes left seemed like it would hold out as the game winner, until the Crunch scored a tying goal on the power play a minute later. That momentum swing saw the Crunch secure the game in overtime off the stick of former Phantom the McGinn. Alex Lyon took the loss, with his 27 saves coming off of 32 shots.

Forward of the Week 

Danick Martel. He’s got 2 goals this week which brings him to 18g 18a on the season giving him 36 points, one short of his career high. He’s been scoring in bunches and heating up at the right time. At 5’8 he’s small but there is no way he’s backing down from anyone as his numbers (and 56 penalty minutes) prove.

Defenseman of the Week 

Travis Sanheim gets this weeks honor. His two goals were good contributions, and his play has been solid all season. In his first full pro season Sanheim has 10g 18a for 28 points thus far, and his progression over the next year or two will be exciting to watch.

This upcoming week is another busy one for the Phantoms. Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th are a home and home swing against Wilkes-Barre Scranton. Then they take the long trip into northern Canada to face St. Johns on Tuesday March 21st and Wednesday March 22nd, both at 7:30. We’ll be looking at all that and more on next week’s edition of the farm report. May the luck of the Irish be with you, and enjoy your Guinness and Jameson responsibly. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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