Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs Lehigh Valley Phantoms Game Recap: Line-up, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Philadelphia Flyers
|FINAL | Preseason Game 1 | Thursday, February 4, 2021|
|PPL Center, Allentown, PA|
Phantoms LineupForward lines
Ryan Fitzgerald – Cal O’Reilly – Zayde Wisdom
Maksim Sushko – Tanner Laczynski – Linus Sandin
Garrett Wilson – David Kase – Tyson Foerster
Samuel Morin – Chris Mueller – Max WillmanDefense pairings
Egor Zamula – Tyler Wotherspoon
Linus Hogberg – Derrick Pouliot
Chris Bigras – Wyatte WylieGoaltenders
Felix Sandstrom – Zane McIntyreScratches
Tanner MacMaster, Matt Strome, Logan Day, Ralph Cuddemi, Brennan Saulnier, Pascal Laberge, Eamon McAdam, Mason MillmanInjuries
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
After some shuffling, rescheduling, and canceling of preseason games, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms finally took to the ice at the PPL Center on Thursday night for the first and only exhibition game this season.
The lineup looked quite a bit different from the roster Phantoms fans were accustomed to seeing last year, with additions like Chris Mueller, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Garrett Wilson. Young Flyers prospects like Zayde Wisdom, Wyatte Wylie, and Tyson Foerster also appeared in the lineup, thanks to the fact that the CHL is currently not playing which allows underage junior players to temporarily find a home in the AHL.
Another notable name in the lineup was Samuel Morin, the former defenseman-turned-forward who was sent down to the AHL from the Flyers yesterday in order to get him some playing time.
The first 10 minutes of the game made it apparent that the Phantoms hadn’t yet played in the preseason, and the Penguins had. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton controlled the play from the opening faceoff, pinning the Phantoms in their own end. David Kase, who spent time in the offseason playing in Europe, didn’t need much time to get his skates under him and had some really good shots on the Penguins net.
Morin took an interference penalty about halfway through the period, and the Phantoms put on an absolute penalty killing clinic. Kase connected with Tanner Laczynski in close but Emil Larmi robbed the young forward of the shorthanded opportunity.
Larmi would play a major factor in this one for the remainder of the night. If not for a strong performance by the Penguins netminder, the Phantoms could have easily put an additional three or four goals on the board. But Larmi made some spectacular saves and kept his team in it.
As a penalty against Maksim Sushko came to an end, he jumped out of the box and picked up a puck tossed up ice by Kase and skated it into the offensive zone. Sushko showed tremendous patience as he noticed Chris Bigras trailing up the slot and waited to dish him the puck. Bigras got a shot off that Larmi put aside, but the Phantoms defenseman then buried his own rebound.
Lehigh Valley’s special teams certainly showed signs of significant improvement over last season, something that head coach Scott Gordon mentioned post-game that they had worked on in camp. The two teams combined for a total of nine penalties, so the power play and PK units got plenty of ice time – including some defensive minutes for Morin on the penalty kill. Gordon explained his reasoning behind that after the game, so be sure to listen to his audio below.
Max Willman then set up Tyler Wotherspoon at the point for a big shot that Larmi couldn’t see thanks to a screen by his own defenseman. The puck sailed through the goaltender’s five-hole to put the Phantoms up 2-0, which is where the scoreboard would remain.
It was a pretty solid showing for the Phantoms in their first and only preseason game. They’ll now get ready to hit the road on Saturday, when they open their season at Hershey against the Bears. Lehigh Valley plays its first four games of the year on the road before coming back to the PPL Center on Saturday, February 20th for their home opener.
Plus / Minus
▲ David Kase, Maksim Sushko, Zayde Wisdom
▼ Egor Zamula
|0 for 5||Power Play||0 for 4|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interview with Scott Gordon:
Post-game interview with Sam Morin:
Post-game interview with Chris Bigras:
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for The AHL Report
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