Phantoms Stay Undefeated against Norfolk
Norfolk, VA - Scott Laughton's powerful wrister from the right boards blasted through veteran goalie Jason LaBarbera to break a late third-period tie and propel the visiting Lehigh Valley Phantoms to a 3-2 victory at the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday night. The Phantoms improved to 5-0-0 against the Admirals this season as they opened their three-game road-trip on a positive note.
Laughton's 11th of the season was also his fourth goal in the last three games as the talented rookie has found his scoring stride again. His game-winner on the power play with 9:15 remaining in the third came as a result of defenseman Adam Comrie's effort to hold in a Norfolk clearing attempt. As he has done so frequently all season, big forward Zack Stortini provided an invaluable screen to help set up the goal. Laughton's drive through the Stortini screen caught a piece of the pad of LaBarbera but was still able to sneak through for the deciding tally.
Andrew Gordon (18th) and Jason Akeson (21st) also scored for Lehigh Valley while Rob Zepp provided 30 saves to backstop the triumph. The Phantoms' have won two of their last three games and improved their road record in calendar year 2015 to a tremendous 12-6-0.
The Phantoms raced out to a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game before the affiliates of the Anaheim Ducks were able to claw their way back into contention. Andrew Gordon's goal at 4:06 into the first period came in the low slot on the rebound of a Petr Straka shot. Blair Jones also assisted on the opened lamplighter.
Almost exactly four minutes later, it would be rookie Taylor Leier racing one down in the right corner and dropping for the trailing Laughton who quickly maneuvered the puck directly to his left to Akeson who took advantage of his one-timer opportunity with a powerful blast top shelf past LaBarbera.
Akeson's 79th career goal with the Phantoms franchise moves him within two of fifth place all-time currently held by Paul Healey and Jon Matsumoto who each scored 81 goals in their Phantoms' careers. Akeson's 218th career point with the Phantoms franchise moves him within four of fourht-place all-time currently held by Kirby Law who had 222 points for the Phantoms. Finally, Jason Akeson's 47th point this season moves him to within eight of team-leading Nick Cousins who is currently with the Philadelphia Flyers. Akeson is attempting to lead the Phantosm in total points for a fourth consecutive season.
A turnover in the offensive zone late in the first period would help spark the Norfolk Admirals back the other way with second-year pro Antoine Laganiere taking the shot himself on a 2-on-1 and successfully converting from the left circle over Zepp's blocker.
Norfolk would equalize with just under three minues remaining in the second period on a power-play scramble in the crease with Max Friberg eventually nudging home his 13th tally of the season. Lehigh Valley had successfully killed 22 consecutive power plays before the Admirals conversion. The Phantoms had not allowed a power-play marker since March 20 at Hartford in the first period.
The last three encounters between the Phantoms and Admirals had gone to overtime and it looked promising for that streak to continue but Scott Laughton had other ideas.
Robert Hagg missed the game due to a flu-like illness. In his place on the blueline, rookie Nick Luukko played in his second career professional game.
Jay Rosehill served the first game of his three-game suspension stemming from an altercation in last Sunday's game vs. Manchester. Darroll Powe and Austin Fyten were both on the sidelines with injury.
Andrew Johnston played in his ninth game of the season for the Phantoms and his 34th all-time in three partial seasons with the team. The recent callup from Reading had not played for the Phantoms since November after scoring six goals and 14 assists in 42 games in the ECHL this season.
The Phantoms were 1-for-2 on the power play while Norfolk finished at 1-for-2 as well. The Admirals out shot the Phantoms 32-29.
Lehigh Valley has nine games remaining in the 2014-15 regular season including five at home. The Phantoms will face the Admirals three more times in Norfolk's swan-song season in the American Hockey League. The Anaheim Ducks are moving their AHL affiliate to San Diego next year while the Norfolk Admirals will be fielding an ECHL team. The Norfolk Admirals come to Allentown for back-to-back games on April 10 and 11. The Phantoms return to southeast Virginia on Friday, April 17 in the last-ever AHL game at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Lehigh Valley's three-game road-swing continues Friday night at the Binghamton Senators in the 10th, and last, clash of the season between the East Division rivals. The Phantoms will travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a collision with the Penguins on Saturday. Be sure to catch all the road action next week on Fox 1470 AM, online at fox1470.com or via the iHeartRadio app. Coverage begins with the Nazareth Pallet Countdown to Faceoff 45 minutes before puck drop.
The Phantoms then return to PPL Center to open a four-game homestand on Wednesday, April 8th when the Penguins return to downtown Allentown. Wednesday's game is another $2 Beer Night with $2 Coors Light drafts available from the time doors open until the start of the 2nd period. The Phantoms also have upcoming home engagements on Friday and Saturday, April 10th and 11th with a weekend series against the Norfolk Admirals including a Free Shirt Friday and Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday. Tickets for upcoming home games are available now at pplcenter.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX (8499) or in-person at the Mealey's Furniture Box Office at PPL Center (701 Hamilton).
Check it out! Reserve your season tickets now for the 2015-2016 season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town call the Phantoms front office today at 610-224-GOAL (4625)!
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from April 1, 2015
- Stars Offense Blows out Flames in 7-4 Win - Texas Stars
- Griffins' Magic Number at Two After 6-1 Roasting of 'Hogs - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Comets Clinch 2015 Calder Cup Playoff Spot - Utica Comets
- Senators Snatch 3-2 OT Win, Delay Crunch Clinching Playoff Spot - Syracuse Crunch
- Admirals Win 3-2 in OT vs. Lake Erie - Milwaukee Admirals
- Phantoms Stay Undefeated against Norfolk - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Uher, Dumoulin Lead Penguins Past Wolf Pack - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Admirals Drop Fifth Straight to Phantoms, 3-2 - Norfolk Admirals
- Sharks Kick off Road Trip with 6th Straight Win in 3-2 Shootout Victory - Worcester Sharks
- Pack Can't Hold off Pens - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Toronto Marlies Post Game Notes - Toronto Marlies
- Eighth Straight Win Vaults Comets to West's Top Spot - Utica Comets
- Monsters Fall to Admirals 3-2 in OT - Cleveland Monsters
- Albany Devils Winning Streak Ends - Albany Devils
- Sharks Come Back, Defeat Bears in Shootout - Hershey Bears
- Wideman's OT Strike Lifts B-Sens Past Crunch - Binghamton Senators
- Wolves Push Winning Streak to Six - Chicago Wolves
- Mersch Stays Hot in 2-1 Win over Devils - Manchester Monarchs
- Rampage to Host Face off against Kids Cancer Night on Saturday - San Antonio Rampage
- Syracuse Crunch Weekly - Syracuse Crunch
- Wolf Pack Sign Defenseman Brady Skjei to ATO - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Rampage Recall Tony Turgeon from Allen - San Antonio Rampage
- Bulldogs Foundation Donates over $12,000 to Juravinski Cancer Centre - Hamilton Bulldogs
- Florida Panthers Agree to Terms with D Michael Matheson - San Antonio Rampage
- Wolves Playoff Tickets on Sale at 11 a.m. Friday - Chicago Wolves
- Sound Tigers fall on Spring Fun 102 Day - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Penguins Reassign Dea to Wheeling - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- B-Sens to Host 1st Annual Career Fair - Binghamton Senators
- Falcons Comeback to Down Sound Tigers, 2-1 - Springfield Falcons
- Agozzino Named CCM/AHL Player of the Month - Cleveland Monsters
- Murray Earns Second Straight CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month Honors - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Friday Is Deadline for Priority Access for Season Tickets - St. John's IceCaps
- Agozzino, Mersch, Murray Named American Hockey League Award Winners - AHL
- Rattie Recalled from Wolves - Chicago Wolves
- Lightning Sign Matthew Peca to Two-Year Contract - Syracuse Crunch
- Beach and Chelios Head to ECHL - Chicago Wolves
- Predators Reassign Arvidsson to Milwaukee - Milwaukee Admirals
- Checkers, CRVA to Hold Open Skate at Bojangles' Coliseum - Charlotte Checkers
- April Is IceCaps Fan Appreciation Month - St. John's IceCaps
- Admirals to Build New Hockey Arena - Milwaukee Admirals
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Lehigh Valley Phantoms Stories
- PPL Center Selected to Host NCAA DI Men's Ice Hockey Regionals in 2022, 2023, and 2025
- Phantoms Sign D Logan Day to a One-Year Deal
- Flyers Sign Alex Lyon to a One-Year Contract Extension
- Flyers Sign Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a Two-Year Contract Extension
- Phantoms Sign Two Forwards to AHL Contracts