Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs Hershey Bears Game Recap: Line-up, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Philadelphia Flyers
|FINAL | Game 26, Home Game 12 | Wednesday, May 5, 2021|
|PPL Center, Allentown, PA|
Phantoms LineupForward lines
Ryan Fitzgerald – Cal O’Reilly – Tyson Foerster
Isaac Ratcliffe – Connor Bunnaman – Zayde Wisdom
Garrett Wilson – Chris Mueller – Linus Sandin
Max Willman – Tanner MacMaster- Pascal LabergeDefense pairings
Cam York – Logan Day
Egor Zamula – Linus Hogberg
Chris Bigras – Derrick PouliotGoaltenders
Felix Sandstrom – Zane McIntyreScratches
Eamon McAdam, Tyler Wotherspoon, Mason Millman, Maksim Sushko, Ralph Cuddemi, Brennan Saulnier, David KaseInjuries
Kirill Ustimenko (hip surgery)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
The AHL recently announced its plans for the postseason this year, which essentially boils down to each division determining if they would want to participate in a short divisional playoff tournament, but no Calder Cup would be awarded. All division except for the Pacific have opted out of postseason play, which mean the Lehigh Valley Phantoms are staring down their final six games of the 2020-21 season.
But there is something to compete for: each division points-percentage leader at the end of the regular season will be crowned division champion and receive a trophy. For the North Division, the top team will receive the F.G. (Teddy) Oke Trophy, “…one of the oldest trophies in North American sports,” according to the league.
Coming into tonight’s game, the Phantoms trailed the Bears in the standings with a 0.673 points-percentage (compared to Hershey’s 0.750 rating). Lehigh Valley would need to put some wins together and rebound after back-to-back losses last weekend to regain some ground.
It only took 24 seconds for Hershey to get the first shot of the game, and also the first goal. Philippe Maillet found himself in the slot, with the puck on his stick, and he spun around quickly put it past Felix Sandstrom.
The Bears seemed happy to take that start and use it to their advantage, but any momentum they gained didn’t last long when, minutes later, Isaac Ratcliffe dropped the gloves for his first professional fight. Macoy Erkamps took exception to a hit Ratcliffe put on him into the end boards and the two went for an energetic bout. Erkamps also received an instigating minor and a 10-minute misconduct for instigating, while Ratcliffe received an additional high-sticking minor.
So the teams went to four-on-four hockey and Linus Hogberg quickly tied the game when he fired a snap shot from the low circle that went in top shelf far side. A few minutes after that, Chris Mueller gave the Phantoms the lead when he deflected Linus Sandin‘s shot at the net front.
Lehigh Valley’s penalty killers were put to the test when Connor Bunnaman got whistled for slashing, but they kept the Phantoms’ lead intact. When Derrick Pouliot found himself in the penalty box for hooking, however, Hershey struck again as Damien Riat finished off a smooth tic-tac-toe play to make it 2-2.
The Phantoms regained their lead in the middle frame when Tyson Foerster shin pad helped to deflect a big Cam York shot on the power play. It would be the first of two goals Lehigh Valley would score on the man advantage in the game.
But the home team also spent plenty of time shorthanded, much to the obvious displeasure of Scott Gordon who furiously reacted to more than one call against his team. However, the penalty killers didn’t allow any more goals against while one of their teammates was sitting in the box.
Hershey wasn’t finished pushing back, though, and soon Axel Jonsson-Fjallby came over the boards and buried his own rebound with just over two minutes left in the period. The teams headed to intermission deadlocked at 3-3.
Despite being vastly outshot 12-4 by Hershey in the final frame, the ice opened up nicely for the Phantoms and they were able to put this game away in good fashion. The power play unit struck again when Foerster fed York with a stretch pass up the ice, which York took to the races and made no mistake. Foerster admitted after the game that it was a play that his coach had drawn up in practice recently and the young forward seemed pretty pleased that it worked.
In fact, Foerster finished with a three-point night as also set up captain Cal O’Reilly for the Phantoms’ fifth and final goal of the night on a quick little give-and-go play as they drove the net.
This was a good rebound game for Lehigh Valley, and should give them renewed energy and confidence heading into Mother’s Day weekend, when they’ll play an afternoon game in Hershey on Saturday, followed by a home game against the Penguins on Sunday.
Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with Foerster, York, and Gordon by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Felix Sandstrom, Tyson Foerster, Cam York, Linus Hogberg, Cal O’Reilly
▼ Max Willman, Pascal Laberge
|2 for 3||Power Play||1 for 4|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Interviews conducted for the AHL Report by Amy Johnson
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