RECAP | Thunderbirds – Phantoms: A Defensive Victory

Photo by Just Sports Photography | Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Springfield Thunderbirds vs Lehigh Valley Phantoms Game Recap: Line-up, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Philadelphia Flyers

FINAL | Regular Season Game 48| Friday, February 7, 2020
PPL Center, Allentown, PA


Lehigh Valley




Photo by Just Sports Photography | Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Phantoms Lineup

Forward lines

David Kase – Mikhail Vorobyev – German Rubtsov

Greg Carey – Cal O’Reilly – Max Willman

Maksim Sushko – Kyle Criscuolo – Chris Stewart

Kurtis Gabriel – Gerry Fitzgerald – Isaac Ratcliffe

Defense pairings

Tyler Wotherspoon – Andy Friedman

Mark Friedman – Nate Prosser

James de Haas – Reece Willcox


J-F Berube – Kirill Ustimenko


Andy Welinski, Carsen Twarynski, Kurtis Gabriel, Nate Prosser, T.J. Brennan, Pascal Laberge


Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson

The Phantoms returned to home ice on Friday night after being away from Allentown for the All-Star break and then a lengthy road trip. Lehigh Valley was looking to get some wins back under their belt and pick up the winning ways they had started to become accustomed to on home ice.

Just an hour or so prior to puck drop, the Philadelphia Flyers recalled Morgan Frost and returned Andy Andreoff, which left Scott Gordon with a bit of last-minute line management to contend with. 

For the first half of the game, fans were treated to an exceptionally defensive performance. Both teams played with a heavy forecheck, shutting down lanes and clogging the neutral zone. 

The Phantoms took the first four penalties of the game, and would go on to take two more before the end of the night, but fortunately Lehigh Valley’s penalty killers were up to the task. In fact, one of them got the Phantoms on the board. Reece Willcox potted his first goal of the season when he scored shorthanded.

But it was the third period that really set the tone for this game, when a total of four goals were scored by both teams. The Phantoms extended their lead when defenseman James de Haas scored his first goal of the season as well when he buried a quick wrister from the slot, picking up the loose puck coming in as the trailer.

Kyle Criscuolo added to the Lehigh Valley tally, this time on the power play, when he shot the puck from the circle and banked it off of a defender’s skate and into the Springfield net.

With just 80 seconds left on the clock, J-F Berube had his second consecutive shutout snatched away from him when the Thunderbirds managed to get a puck past him. Defenseman Mark Friedman, however, restored Lehigh Valley’s three-goal lead when dished a backhander from the blue line into Springfield’s empty net.

The Phantoms kicked off their three-in-three weekend with a much-needed victory before they hit the road to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and then hosting the Hershey Bears in Allentown on Wednesday.

Plus / Minus

▲  Mark Friedman, Kyle Criscuolo, Tyler Wotherspoon

▼  Gerry Fitzgerald, Chris Stewart

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
33 Shots 25
1 for 4 Power Play 0 for 6
12 Penalty Minutes 8
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Phantoms (20-22-1-5) 0 1 3 4
Thunderbirds (26-22-2-0) 0 0 1 1
Scorers Goalies
  • LV: Willcox (1), de Haas (1), Criscuolo (7), Friedman (3)
  • SPR: Abols (4)
  • LV: Berube (W) 11-9-4-3
  • SPR: Desrosiers (L) 12-9-1-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Reece Willcox  LV
  2. Tyler Wotherspoon  LV
  3. James de Haas  LV


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Post-game interview with Scott Gordon

Post-game interview with James de Haas

Post-game interview with J-F Berube

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for The AHL Report

Social Media

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Follow @theAHLReport on Twitter


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