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Friday’s on the Farm: In Like a Lyon

Lyon (YONG KIM/PHILLY.COM PHOTOGRAPHER)

As March closes and April begins the Phantoms looked to sure their place in the playoffs with three games last weekend and one on Wednesday. The roster late in the season is flux but the boys on the farm were looking to do their best despite the turmoil. So let’s pick up with last Friday’s game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Bridgeport came out quick in the first period and notched the opener less than 10 minutes in. Two minutes later Colin McDonald notched the equalizer. That was his 23rd of the year. Travis Sandheim tallied his 23rd assist of the year and Mark Zenegerle got his 21st on the goal. That and a Danick Martel fight would be the only two highlights of the contest for the Phantoms. Bridgeport scored in the 2nd and 3rd periods and cruised to a 3-1 victory. Anthony Stolarz took the loss making 34 saves on 37 shots in the game.

Stop me if this sounds redundant but the next night the Phantoms played the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Phantoms were also going into the game short handed, with starting goalie Anthony Stolarz and team captain Colin McDonald both called up to the Flyers for the evening (Stolarz would record a shutout in relief of Michal Neuvirth and McDonald would score in the game). The now shorthanded Phantoms would go on to lose the game 3-0. Alex Lyon took the loss on a 34 save 37 shot effort. Martin Ouellette also saw action in relief, making 8 saves on as many shots.

The next in Hershey the Phantoms once again playing a cross state rival on the road looked to right the ship. This effort was helped by Chris Conner (20) and Greg Carey (27) who scored a little more than a minute apart halfway through the period. Hershey battled back scoring two straight early in the second. Some people say fighting is bad for hockey. It isn’t its great, and it proved advantageous for the Phantoms. An Andy Miele scrap woke the team up and Chris Conner scored unassisted for his 21st and 2nd of the game. Conner brought home the hat trick early in the third for his 22nd and the 4-2 final score. Alex Lyon earned a win with 32 saves on 34 shots.

On Wednesday the Phantoms again met the Bears. The first period passed until Hershey converted on a chance with a minute left to go. Tyler Leier scored his 11th in the 2nd to pull the game even. It remained their until Colin McDonald scored his 24th fresh off his loan from the Flyers, with fellow call up Sam Morin adding an assist as well as Leier. The Bears would score shortly after that and force overtime. In the sudden death session it was the Bears who would take the back end of the home and home as they converted with just over a minute left to go. Alex Lyon playing in his third straight game made 26 saves on 29 shots for the loss.

The Phantoms sit pretty at 2nd in the division and in the conference. Their magic number to clinch is 5 points. With 5 games left this should be an easy task, the only question being where they will end up being seeded. Friday April 7th at 7:05 the Phantoms play, once again, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. April  8th at 7:05 Springfield comes to town. On Wednesday the boys travel too Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a 7:05 game, and if everything falls into place could be clinching in that game next week. Until next week thats been the peek at farm life for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

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