The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have played in seven overtime games this season. They are a hard nosed, and gritty team that can score in bunches and maximize every opportunity when they are on the ice.
Phantoms win 5-4 in overtime in a thrilling game. After a dead first, teams explode for six goals in the first ten minutes and after more back and forth, Tanner Laczynski scores his first AHL goal to ensure that the Phantoms get to over time and Laczynski ends it in overtime with a seemingly harmless shot which handcuffs starting goalie Shane Starrett.
Starrett was, not good today. I thought (me of all 0 hockey games played, I don’t even know how to skate, so take this all with a grain of salt) several goals could have been stopped or at best played differently. However with little help from his defenders on some of the goals (hell of a time to not have GIFs on any of these for this piece) Starrett was not good today, in my opinion.
Alex D’Orio has two shutouts with the last place in the ECHL Wheeling Nailers. This season is meaningless because they are just flying by the seat of their pants and when the season is over there are no playoffs, but D’Orio would at least, at least in my book, deserves a shot at a look.
Starrett opposed Felix Sandstrom.
Here is how they lined up:
Brett Brochu backed up Starrett. Drozg is injured, day to day lower body, Reilly was a healthy scratch and Sam Miletic is on the Pittsburgh taxi squad.
First Period: Seems like the majority of time was spent in front of Sandtrom and the Phantoms end, but the Penguins were not able to score (or really do much) with the Phantoms top rated penalty kill. Shots favored the Penguins 6-4.
Second Period: Man, that first period was dull for action. The second period was completely different.
:14 in, Wade Allison scored to put the Phantoms on the board.
A few minutes later. Nick Schilkey was the first Penguin player to reach double digits in points with a rebound goal to tie the game at one.
Phantoms would respond with two quick goals to go up 3-1 when Allison led a rush and Tyson Foerster flipped one in to go up 2-1, then Chris Mueller scored to make it 3-1.
Drew O’Connor would score on a deflection from a shot from the point to bring Wilkes-Barre to within one and then Jon Gruden scored on a rebound of his own shot that tied the game at 3.
Six goals in just over ten minutes. A frenetic pace between the two rivals.
Later. Jordy Bellerive scored on a 3 on 1 to give the Penguins a 4-3 lead.
If you are looking for the GIFs, Taylor was on Pittsburgh duty covering the NHL team and didn’t have any for us. She’s extremely good at what she does, but isn’t a machine. Use you imagination for one with my descriptions.
Shots were just a paltry 17-11 favoring the Penguins.
Third Period: There was too much standing around in front of Starrett’s goal and not enough moving around when Tanner Laczynski scored his first AHL goal to tie it.
Pens had a golden chance about halfway through to score on a power play but the Phantoms penalty kill is stout.
They managed to grit out a result which got them a meaningless point to get them to…
Overtime: Pens kill a leftover kill from the dying embers of the third period and back at even strength Tanner Laczynski throws a changeup at Starrett that handcuffs the Penguins goalie and goes in. Phantoms win 5-4.
Three Stars: 3) Jordy Bellerive (goal, assist) 2) Wade Allison (goal, assist) and 1) Tanner Laczynski (two goals)
The Good: I liked the response after going down 3-1 because honestly, I was ready to check out of the game and light up another cigar outside. They got it back to even then went ahead heading into the third.
The Bad: Goaltending and special teams. Not all of it, but if one was better than the other, perhaps, maybe, a different result.
Turning Point: Tanner Laczynski’s first two AHL goals doom the Penguins.
They are back at it Wednesday at home against Syracuse. It will be interesting to see who is out of the tunnel first at around 6:20 Wednesday evening.
Let’s Go Pens!