Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs Hershey Bears Game Recap: Line-up, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Philadelphia Flyers
|FINAL | Game 20, Home Game 9 | Wednesday, April 21, 2021|
|PPL Center, Allentown, PA|
Phantoms LineupForward lines
Ryan Fitzgerald – Cal O’Reilly – Tyson Foerster
Tanner MacMaster – Connor Bunnaman – Isaac Ratcliffe
Brennan Saulnier – Chris Mueller – Linus Sandin
Max Willman – David Kase – Pascal LabergeDefense pairings
Tyler Wotherspoon – Wyatte Wylie
Cam York – Logan Day
Egor Zamula – Chris BigrasGoaltenders
Felix Sandstrom – Zane McIntyreScratches
Ralph Cuddemi, Eamon McAdam, Linus Hogberg, Zayde Wisdom, Maksim Sushko, Garrett WilsonInjuries
Kirill Ustimenko (hip surgery)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
After a 16-day layoff due to COVID-19 protocol shutdowns, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms were finally back on the ice Wednesday night to play some hockey. It was even more exciting for Phantoms and Flyers fans as it was also the professional debut for defenseman Cam York.
It didn’t take long to see that the Lehigh Valley bench was going to need some time to find their legs after going so long without skating and/or practicing. Head coach Scott Gordon even mentioned after the game that, due to many players getting a COVID vaccine shot earlier in the week, there was some residual side effects from that lingering in the locker room and guys were feeling pretty rough.
The Bears kicked off the scoring after York bobbled a pass near his own blue line and Shane Gersich ended up putting in a rebound. Penalties also started to pile up, with the officials sending both teams to the box early and often. Hershey took full advantage, and scored a power play goal when Connor McMichael fired a wrister from the circle that beat Felix Sandstrom far side.
Lehigh Valley started to show some signs of life toward the end of the opening frame and into the start of the second, but that energy was quickly squashed when McMichael tallied another power play goal.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored while the teams were playing four-on-four hockey.
The middle frame was capped off with a rousing fight just 12 seconds before intermission. Brennan Saulnier didn’t like a cross-check from Eddie Wittchow and the two dropped the gloves immediately. The fists were flying, and Saulnier got in some good shots, but Wittchow ultimately got the takedown.
If a four-goal deficit wasn’t deflating enough, Philippe Maillet then scored the third power play goal of the night for the Bears, going bar down. It marked the first time this season that Hershey has scored more than twice on the man advantage during a game.
But finally the Phantoms lit the lamp with a power play goal of their own from Ryan Fitzgerald, who tapped the puck over the goal line from the side of the cage. Hershey would get the last laugh, however, when Brett Leason went five-hole on Sandstrom shorthanded to restore their five-goal lead.
Besides the skaters, Sandstrom also struggled mightily in this game, giving up a lot of big rebounds. It wasn’t the result the team wanted out of the gate, particularly for York’s debut, but given the circumstances of the past two weeks, it’s understandable.
The Phantoms will travel to Newark on Friday for a road game against the Binghamton Devils, before hosting them on Saturday in the second half of the home-and-home series.
Scroll down to hear post-game interviews with York and Gordon from the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Ryan Fitzgerald, Cal O’Reilly
▼ Felix Sandstrom, Connor Bunnaman
|1 for 6||Power Play||3 for 7|
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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Cam York says it was difficult to wait extra time for his first pro game, wanted to be on the ice. Smiled & said he was excited to play tonight, noticed the difference in speed compared to NCAA game.#Flyers #AnytimeAnywhere #LVPhantoms @theflyersreport @TheAHLReport @camyork2 pic.twitter.com/lJbiBigvJE— Amy (@FlyersRule) April 22, 2021