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 Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Chances Galore in 3-1 Loss to Penguins

March 24, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms News Release

Lehigh Valley Phantoms center Rhett Gardner (right) faces off with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Lehigh Valley Phantoms center Rhett Gardner (right) faces off with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
(Lehigh Valley Phantoms)

Allentown, PA - Adam Brooks scored AGAIN for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came away with a 3-1 win over the Orange and Black on Sunday evening at PPL Center. Brooks' first-period strike extended his current goal-scoring streak to a career-best four games. The hot stretch is the longest goal-scoring streak by a Phantom this season. Additionally, the tally also extended Brooks' point streak to a career-best five consecutive games.

The PPL Center crowd had a youthful flair and flavor on Kids Takeover Day with an energetic 7,926 patrons on hand. Fans also enjoyed Postgame Autographs Presented by NJM Insurance.

Lehigh Valley may have been held to one goal, but chances galored all afternoon long for the forward line of Adam Brooks, Tanner Laczynski and Cooper Marody. Only four minutes into the game, the trio forechecked hard in the Penguins zone, with a Laczynski steal along the boards prompting a chance for Marody. Midway through the stanza, Laczynski and Marody again connected on a 2-on-1 chance while transitioning, but Pens' netminder Joel Blomqvist again stood tall.

But persistence paid off for the Phantoms' top line and solved Blomqvist with only 2:20 remaining in the first period. A lazy outlet pass in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton zone was gobbled by Laczynski near the right face-off dot, who quickly fed an open Brooks at the backdoor for a slam dunk. With his goal, Brooks is now averaging two points in each of his last five games (5-5-10) in addition to the active goal and point streaks.

The lead was short-lived as the Baby Pens answered back only 76 seconds later. Jack Rathbone faked a shot and whipped a pass to his right for team captain Taylor Fedun at the right point. A shot with eyes made its way through a tangle of bodies and past Parker Gahagen at 18:56. The entertaining period concluded with 24 combined shots on net and a 1-1 deadlock.

Although the score remained status quo into the third period, Lehigh Valley and familiar names certainly had chances in the second frame. Laczynski rang both goal posts on the same bid five minutes into the new period, and Brooks was stonewalled a few minutes later from doubling his night's goal total.

But for the Pens, an early go-ahead goal and timely stops would stymie Lehigh Valley's strong efforts. Xavier Ouellet converted his second goal of the season only 44 seconds into the frame after blasting home a shot, low-glove side past Gahagen. The Phantoms' near immediate response was denied by Blomqvist when he stood tall against a blast from Helge Grans at the right circle after a terrific cross-ice feed by Marody finding the big defender cutting up ice fo the backdoor chance.

Vinnie Hinostroza added breathing room for the Penguins with a power-play goal on the rush at 11:04 by finishing a 2-on-1 chance with Radim Zohorna from the low-slot. Despite pulling Gahagen for the extra-attacker and 6-on-5 advantage with over three minutes left, the Phantoms were unable to inch closer. Final shots on goal totaled 35-28 in favor of Lehigh Valley.

The unusual trend of the away team enjoying success in this rivalry continued as well. The Penguins are 4-0-1 at PPL Center while the Phantoms are 3-1-0 at Wilkes-Barre. Lehigh Valley is 4-5-0 against the Baby Pens this season with three more rivalry encounters remaining on the docket.

The Phantoms remain in the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with a one-point margin ahead of the Springfield Thunderbirds with one game-in-hand entering the culminating 11 games of the regular season.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms return to action and continue their hunt for the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs on Friday, March 29 at Syracuse before seeking retribution at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, March 30.

The Phantoms will return to PPL Center on Friday, April 5 in a showdown against the Providence Bruins on Berks $1 Hot Dog Night and then will take on the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday, April 6 on Star Wars Night.


1st 17:40 - LV, A. Brooks (9) (T. Laczynski) (1-0)

1st 18:56 - WBS, T. Fedun (1) (J. Rathbone, J. Koppanen) (1-1)

3rd 0:44 - WBS, X. Ouellet (2) (C. Andonovski, R. Zohorna) (1-2)

3rd 11:04 - WBS, V. Hinostroza (13) (R. Zohorna, S. Poulin) (PP) (1-3)


LV 35 - WBS 28


LV 0/3, WBS 1/1


LV, P. Gahagen (L) (25/28) (7-8-3)

WBS, J. Blomqvist (W) (34/35) (21-10-6)


Lehigh Valley (27-26-8)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (32-22-9)


Friday, March 29 (7:00) at Syracuse Crunch

Saturday, March 30 (6:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Tuesday, April 2 (7:00) at Hershey Bears

Friday, April 5 (7:05) vs. Providence Bruins - Berks $1 Hot Dog Night

Saturday, April 6 (7:05) vs. Cleveland Monsters - Star Wars Night

Images from this story

Lehigh Valley Phantoms center Rhett Gardner (right) faces off with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Lehigh Valley Phantoms center Rhett Gardner (right) faces off with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins


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