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 Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Unified and Victorious Phantoms Kickstart Weekend

April 5, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms News Release

Lehigh Valley Phantoms' Matthew Miller
Lehigh Valley Phantoms' Matthew Miller
(Lehigh Valley Phantoms)

Allentown, PA - From early fireworks to overtime heroics, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms trounced the Providence Bruins in overtime on Friday night by a 3-2 margin at PPL Center. Evan Polei answered the bell with an early fight only 2:30 into the game before the Phantoms later erased a 2-0 deficit in the second period. Matt Miller scored his first professional goal in his pro debut, and Adam Brooks (11th) returned to the scoresheet after seeing his five-game goal streak snapped last Sunday. Tanner Laczynski (14th) completed the important comeback with the sudden-victory game-winner to complete a helpful standings night for Lehigh Valley's Calder Cup Playoffs pursuit.

Lehigh Valley's win and Springfield's loss against Belleville created four points of breathing room for the final playoff spot with only seven games remaining.

Make no mistake, Evan Polei's fighting major was one with meaning and brought an already tight-knit dressing room even closer together. Only 2:30 into the game, Polei dropped the gloves with the P-Bruins' Vincent Arseneau. The fight was three weeks in the making after bad blood had brewed in the two teams' last meeting. Arseneau was at the epicenter three weeks back, and Friday's fight was the aftershock to the day's earlier 4.8 magnitude earthquake across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Despite the heavyweight fight, Lehigh Valley found themselves in an early 2-0 hole going into first intermission. Anthony Richard capitalized on his club's only power-play chance of the night at 6:23, and Oskar Steen found a sliver of daylight on Felix Sandstrom's leg pad at 17:11.

But in the second and third periods, the Phantoms would outshoot Providence by a combined 24-7 margin before the eventual overtime frame. Lehigh Valley's hard work in the second stanza paid dividends, and the comeback started with Miller's first professional goal in his debut day. With a burst through neutral ice, Miller played a five-and-go with J.R. Avon before finishing the play at 4:08. Earlier in the week, Miller joined the Phantoms on a Professional Tryout Contract for the remainder of the 2023-24 season in addition to signing with the Phantoms on an AHL contract for 2024-25. The 6'3" forward from Leo, Indiana recently completed his four-year collegiate career at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Brooks brought the score even at 2-2 with only 5:03 left before second intermission. Cooper Marody sent a sharp pass across the ice from near the penalty boxes to spring Brooks on a 2-on-2 rush. A wicked wrister fooled Providence goaltender Brandon Bussi to erase the club's once two-goal deficit.

The third period saw no additional scoring despite the Phantoms coming close with a variety of offensive chances. Only 44 seconds into the 3-on-3 display, Laczynski sent the hometown crowd home happy and stuffed with $1 Berks Hot Dogs. The Ohio State University product in his fourth professional season stole a Bruins breakout pass and chipped the puck across to Marody on a 2-on-1 rush. The return pass from Marody to Laczynski was finished low to the ice past Bussi for the overtime winner. Laczynski's third game-winner of the season ties him with Samu Tuomaala for most team GWGs among active Phantoms.

The beat rolls on for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms who return to action on Saturday, April 6 against the Cleveland Monsters. Join us for our greatly anticipated Star Wars Night at PPL Center as the playoff push continues! With two more points in the bank for the Orange and Black as well as a Springfield Thunderbirds loss to Belleville, Lehigh Valley's magic number to qualify for the postseason decreased from 13 to nine points. The Phantoms' magic number could decrease to as low as five points by Saturday's end if Friday's results for both the Phantoms and Thunderbirds are duplicated. Ticket information is available online at


1st 6:23 - PRO, A. Richard (25) (I. Mitchell, J. Megna) (PP) (0-1)

1st 17:11 - PRO, O. Steen (9) (J. McIsaac, P. Brown) (0-2)

2nd 4:08 - LV, M. Miller (1) (J. Avon) (1-2)

2nd 14:57 - LV, A. Brooks (11) (C. Marody, H. McDonald) (2-2)

OT 0:44 - LV, T. Laczynski (14) (C. Marody) (3-2)


LV 33 - PRO 15


LV 0/1, PRO 1/1


LV - F. Sandstrom (W) (13/15) (12-6-3)

PRO - B. Bussi (OTL) (30/33) (21-9-5)


Lehigh Valley (29-27-9)

Providence (38-19-8)


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

Sunday, April 7 (3:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Friday, April 12 (7:00) at Hershey Bears

Saturday, April 13 (7:05) vs. Bridgeport Islanders

Stay current with the latest Phantoms news with the Phantoms 365 app available for Apple and Android devices and at

Follow the team on Facebook (, Twitter (@lvphantoms), and Instagram (@lehighvalleyphantoms).

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Lehigh Valley Phantoms' Matthew Miller
Lehigh Valley Phantoms' Matthew Miller


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