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 Lehigh Valley Phantoms

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May 7, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms News Release

Lehigh Valley Phantoms press for a score against the Hershey Bears
Lehigh Valley Phantoms press for a score against the Hershey Bears
(Lehigh Valley Phantoms)

Allentown, PA - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms face a do-or-die game on Wednesday night as the Atlantic Division Semifinals switch to PPL Center for Game 3. The first-place Hershey Bears lead 2 games to 0 in the Best-of-5 series following a pair of wins last week in Chocolatetown.

With their backs to the wall, the Phantoms look to scrap and claw their way back into the series with the next two games taking place in their house and in front of their fans.

Wednesday features another pregame Happy Hour with discount beer specials and is also another Rally the Valley Orange Out night in Allentown including another Rally Towel Giveaway! The Phantoms are striving to see another game after Wednesday's contest if they can extend the series to Game 4 on Saturday at PPL Center.


Game 1 - May 1 - Hershey 2 - Phantoms 1

Game 2 - May 4 - Hershey 5 - Phantoms 1


Game 3 - Wednesday, May 8 (7:05) - Hershey Bears at Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Game 4 - Saturday, May 11 (7:05) - Hershey Bears at Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Game 5 - Sunday, May 12 (7:00) - Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hershey Bears

How They Got Here:

Lehigh Valley finished a thrilling sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their Best-of-3 series in the first round via Jacob Gaucher's overtime goal at PPL Center on Friday, April 26.

The Kilpatrick Trophy Winning Hershey Bears received a first-round bye. The Bears are also the defending Calder Cup Champions. The top team in the AHL finished the regular season with a franchise record 53 wins and 111 points and fell just short of breaking the 31-year-old record for best full-season points percentage in league history.


Wednesday, May 1

Game 1

Hershey Bears 2 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1

Tanner Laczynski scored with 4:32 left to get the Phantoms on the board but Hunter Shepard and the Hershey Bears hung on the rest of the way to take Game 1 in the Best-of-5 series. Hendrix Lapierre started the scoring in the opening minutes of the game and Henrik Rybinski added a goal late in the second. The game was noteworthy in that zero power plays were granted to either team marking the first time ever that either the Phantoms or Bears had been involved in such a postseason contest.

Saturday, May 4

Hershey Bears 5 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1

Ethen Frank struck for a pair of goals in the first period to stake the Chocolate and White to an early 2-0 lead. Defenseman Hunter McDonald knocked in his first career pro goal late in the first to cut the margin to one and give the Phantoms momentum heading into the second period but Lehigh Valley again had a tough time breaking through against the top goaltender in the AHL as Shepard racked up his second consecutive 30-save performance on his way to staking Hershey to a 2-0 lead in the series. The Phantoms out-shot the Bears 31-16 but Hershey was opportunistic on its chances.

Lehigh Valley hit the post two times on shots by Tanner Laczynski in the first and Olle Lycksell in the third. And Bobby Brink was awarded a penalty shot in the third period but to no avail.

Tempers boiled over and the Phantoms potentially set a tone entering Game 3 via some late-game fisticuffs. The Phantoms were tagged for 88 total penalty minutes including seven players receiving 10-minute misconduct infractions among the 158 combined PIM total.


The Phantoms have qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in back-to-back seasons and also made it for the fourth time in the last six years in which the playoffs have been held since 2017.

The Phantoms are also participating in the Calder Cup Playoffs for the 14th time in franchise history which includes two Calder Cup Championships for the Philadelphia Phantoms in 1998 and 2005 prior to the team's arrival in Allentown in 2014.


Phantoms with the most AHL and NHL postseason games:

Adam Brooks - AHL 40 games (10-8-18) + NHL 2 games / Won 2018 Calder Cup with Toronto Marlies

Louie Belpedio - AHL 30 games (3-18-18) (Iowa, Laval, Lehigh Valley)

Garrett Wilson - AHL 18 games (0-5-5) + NHL 10 games (Florida, Pittsburgh) (1-1-2)

Cooper Marody - AHL 20 games (3-7-10) (Bakersfield, Lehigh Valley)

Evan Polei - AHL 20 games (3-1-4) (Bakersfield, Manitoba, Lehigh Valley)

Rhett Gardner - AHL 12 games (5-5-10) (Texas, Lehigh Valley)

Victor Mete - NHL 10 games (0-2-2) (Montreal 2020) + AHL 2 games (0-1-1)

Cal Petersen - AHL 8 games + NHL 1 game (Los Angeles)

Helge Grans - AHL 7 games (Ontario)


This is the sixth time for the Phantoms and Bears to meet in the Calder Cup Playoffs and the second time for Lehigh Valley to play against Hershey. Lehigh Valley's first-ever playoff series was against the Hershey Bears in the opening round of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs in a series that saw the away team win every game in the Best-of-5 set.

Hershey took a pair of one-goal wins at PPL Center on April 21, 2017 and April 22, 2017 including a 1-0 overtime goaltenders duel between Alex Lyon and Pheonix Copley when Nathan Walker scored at 7:38 of overtime. The Bears dramatically rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the third period of Game 3. Chris Bourque scored the winner with just 33 seconds remaining.

The Phantoms struck back with consecutive wins at GIANT Center including Chris Conner's overtime goal at 1:49 into overtime on April 24, 2019 after a blocked shot by Andy Miele for a 2-1 win followed by a more dominating 4-1 triumph in Game 4 including two goals by Scott Laughton. But the Bears hung on for a 3-2 win at PPL Center in Game 5 to close the series.

Previous Hershey vs. Phantoms Playoff Series

2017 - Hershey Bears 3 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2 (Round 1)

2009 - Hershey Bears 4 - Philadelphia Phantoms 0 (Round 1)

2000 - Hershey Bears 3 - Philadelphia Phantoms 2 (Round 1)

1998 - Philadelphia Phantoms 4 - Hershey Bears 0 (Round 2)

1997 - Hershey Bears 4 - Philadelphia Phantoms 3 (Round 2)


Garrett Wilson accumulated 216 penalty minutes to finish with the most in the AHL for a second consecutive season. He became the first AHL player in eight years to rack up over 200 PIM in a season since Stu Bickell with San Diego in 2015-16.

J-R Avon had five shootout goals to tie for the AHL lead with Trey Fix-Wolanski of Cleveland

Emil Andrae has 15 power-play assists which was first among AHL rookie defensemen and second among AHL rookies overall trailing only Brennan Othmann of Hartford who has 17.

Cooper Marody and Olle Lycksell tied for the team lead with 19 goals apiece.

Marody had 37 helpers on the year giving him the team-crown in that department over Samu Tuomaala who has 28.

Marody also had 56 points this season besting Tanner Laczynski who was next with 44 points in just 49 games.


The Phantoms record when:

- Score 4 or more goals: 21-0-2

- Allow 2 or fewer goals: 19-6-1

- Lead After 1st period: 10-1-3

- Lead After 2nd period: 17-3-1

- One-Goal Games: 19-8-9

- Overtime: 8-6 / Shootout: 4-3


Game 3 - Wednesday, May 8 (7:05) at Lehigh Valley

Game 4 - Saturday, May 11 (7:05) at Lehigh Valley

Game 5 - Sunday, May 12 (7:00) at Hershey

Hershey (53-14-5) is coming off an incredible season that rates as the very best in franchise history and the second-best ever in the AHL for a full season. Hershey's .771 points percentage just barely fell short of the AHL record established 31 years ago by the 1992-93 Binghamton Rangers who had a .775 mark. Still the 53-win campaign including 111 points was easily enough to take the AHL's Kilpatrick Trophy for the regular season title.

The Bears are striving to become the first team to win back-to-back Calder Cups since Hershey did it in 2009 and 2010. Last year, it was former Phantom Mike Vecchione who scored the first-ever Calder Cup Championship Game 7 overtime goal with his dramatic championship winner in Palm Springs, California against the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

Hershey gave up a paltry 2.1 goals per game on just 26 shots allowed to rate as the top defensive team in the AHL. Hunter Shepard (27-4-3, 1.76, .929) was ridiculous in net to win the Baz Bastien Award as the circuit's top goaltender. His .838 win percentage is second-best in AHL history. Rookie Clay Stevenson (24-10-2, 2.06, .922) wasn't far behind and led the AHL with seven shutouts, four of which came against the Phantoms.

Joe Snively (14-45-59) and Penn State product Alex Limoges (24-27-51) paced the offense along with Pierrick Dube and Ethen Frank who had 28 and 29 goals respectively. Washington sent several reinforcements to boost the Bears' roster including captain Dylan McIlrath and fellow defenseman Hardy Haman Aktell, Lucas Johansen and Vincent Iorio as well as first-rounder forwards Hendrix Lapierre and Ivan Miroshnichenko.

Phantoms Scoring Leaders

Cooper Marody 19-37-56

Tanner Laczynski 17-27-44

Samu Tuomaala 15-28-43

Olle Lycksell 19-20-39

Emil Andrae 5-27-32

Bears Scoring Leaders

Joe Snively 14-45-59

Alex Limoges 24-27-51

Pierrick Dube 28-20-48

Ethen Frank 29-18-47

Mike Vecchione 17-21-38


Lehigh Valley PP, 18.4% (15th)

Lehigh Valley Valley PK 79.8% (24th)

LV PP vs. HER 4/47, 8.5%

Hershey PP 20.1% (6th)

Hershey PK 87.7% (1st)

HER vs. LV PP 5/50, 10.0%


Lehigh Valley vs. Hershey = 4-6-2

Hershey vs. Lehigh Valley = 8-2-2


Oct. 28 - Loss - Lehigh Valley 0 at Hershey 4

Nov. 1 - OTL - Lehigh Valley 3 at Hershey 4 (OT)

Nov. 11 - Loss - Hershey 2 at Lehigh Valley 0

Nov. 12 - Win - Lehigh Valley 4 at Hershey 1

Dec. 30 - Loss - Hershey 4 at Lehigh Valley 0

Jan. 7 - OTL - Lehigh Valley 2 at Hershey 3 (OT)

Jan. 13 - Win - Hershey 3 at Lehigh Valley 4 (SO)

Jan. 31 - Loss - Hershey 4 at Lehigh Valley 2

Feb. 2 - Win - Hershey 1 at Lehigh Valley 4

Mar. 3 - Win - Hershey 0 at Lehigh Valley 1 (SO)

Apr. 2 - LOSS - Lehigh Valley 0 at Hershey 1

Apr. 12 - LOSS - Lehigh Valley 1 at Hershey 4


Lehigh Valley

Cooper Marody 2-4-6

Garrett Wilson 2-3-5

Olle Lycksell 2-2-4

Adam Ginning 1-3-4

Cal Petersen 2-4-1, 2.51, .903


Pierrick Dube 6-2-8

Joe Snively 1-6-7

Ivan Miroshnichenko 1-5-6

Chase Priskie 1-5-6

Clay Stevenson 4-2-1, 1.42, .948

Hunter Shepard 3-0-1, 1.71, .930


Game 3 - Wednesday, May 8 (7:05) at Lehigh Valley

Game 4 - Saturday, May 11 (7:05) at Lehigh Valley

Game 5 - Sunday, May 12 (7:00) at Hershey

Broadcast coverage of all Phantoms games, home and away, is available on the Phantoms 365 app and on Real Oldies 1470-AM in Allentown. Fans can watch on and can listen on their Smart Speakers at: "Play Phantoms Radio 24/7." Join the Voice of the Phantoms, Bob Rotruck, for all the action!

Service Electric Network again provides exclusive television coverage of all Phantoms home games with veteran announcer Steve Degler and Phantoms' alum Steven Swavely on the call from the booth. Kristi Fulkerson reports from ice level and also from the Chickie's and Pete's studio with Dan Fremuth for pregame, intermission and postgame show analysis.

Images from this story

Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Bobby Brink vs. the Hershey Bears
Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Bobby Brink vs. the Hershey Bears

Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Wade Allison vs. the Hershey Bears
Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Wade Allison vs. the Hershey Bears

Lehigh Valley Phantoms press for a score against the Hershey Bears
Lehigh Valley Phantoms press for a score against the Hershey Bears

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