|Calder Cup Playoffs | Second Round – Division Finals
Game 5 | Saturday May 12, 2018 | Phantoms win series 4-1
Bojangles Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Lindblom – Knight – Conner
Carey – Vecchione – Bardreau
Martel – Swavely – Goulbourne
Krushelnyski – Vorobyev – McDonald
Brennan – Friedman
Willcox – Lamarche
de Haas – Myers
Travis Sanheim, Will O’Neill, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Carsen Twarynski, Phil Varone, Pascal Laberge, David Drake, Samuel Morin, Anthony Stolarz, John Muse
To say that the game played between the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday night was epic would be an understatement. The history-making game actually didn’t end until the wee hours of Thursday morning, in the fifth overtime period, when Alex Krushelnyski brought an end to what had become the longest game ever played in the AHL and gave the Phantoms a 3-1 stranglehold on the series.
With their season on the line, the Checkers needed to come out with a lot of determination in Saturday’s game but that wasn’t necessarily the product they put on the ice. At times they looked to be a bit deflated, at other times they seemed to be playing things safely. In either case, it didn’t produce good results for them in the first 40 minutes of play.
Corban Knight kicked off the scoring for the Phantoms, who were looking to put this series away and set their sights on the Conference Final. Knight’s wrister from the point easily found it’s way past Alex Nedeljkovic and put the Checkers on their heels.
In the second period, Chris Conner extended the Lehigh Valley lead with a smooth breakaway goal to make it 2-0. Tyrell Goulbourne then potted his first goal of the playoffs by scooping up a rebound in close and quickly taking it into the slot and firing a wrister through Nedeljkovic’s five hole.
Tensions started to ramp up with the Phantoms creating a bigger hold for the Checkers to dig out of, and Reece Willcox and Greg McKegg tossed their gloves and earned matching roughing penalties just before the second intermission.
Philippe Myers widened the gap even more just over four minutes into the final frame when he wristed the puck from the point and lit the lamp to give his team a commanding 4-0 lead.
But Charlotte finally answered the call and managed to get on the board just about two minutes later. Would that be the momentum they needed to mount a comeback? Perhaps, but it wasn’t meant to be. Colin McDonald buried the puck on a turnover in the offensive left corner to make it 5-1 for Lehigh Valley and there was no looking back after that.
Lehigh Valley advances to the Eastern Conference Finals and will face a dominant Toronto Marlies team. The first two games will be played next weekend in Toronto before heading back to Allentown.
▲ Alex Lyon, Oskar Lindblom, Philippe Myers, Corban Knight, T.J. Brennan
|0 for 1||Power Play||0 for 1|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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