After gaining important points against the divisional opponents last week, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms have continued their strong play with three wins this week. Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Oskar Lindblom, and Danick Martel helped pace the Phantoms on the board, while Greg Carey and Corban Knight led the way in big situations. With Alex Lyon currently the backup with the Philadelphia Flyers, John Muse has been recalled from the ECHL Reading Royals to backup Dustin Tokarski.
Let’s check out how the Phantoms did this week.
Tuesday, December 12
Phantoms 6 | Checkers 3
The young guns in the lineup for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms are starting to light it up. With Mike Vecchione out indefinitely due to an injury sustained over the weekend, there was a huge hole to fill on offense.
With the Phantoms in Charlotte to take on the Checkers, their other young prospects took the lime light and ran with it. They would finish with a split against Charlotte, but the young guns really made an impact during this two-game set.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel opened up the scoring with a crafty move at the side of the net. He trailed the play, crashed the net, and eventually banked a shot off the goalie and in.
Danick Martel has been on top of the AHL leaderboard since the beginning of the season, but hadn’t scored a goal since being sent back down from his stint with the Philadelphia Flyers. Martel changed that with a one-time goal on Tuesday evening.
He showed off his one-timer after having the awareness to open up a passing lane by driving to the net and then drifting into a prime-scoring position with two linemates crashing the net.
Lindblom’s seventh of the season was a beauty.
Take a look at it again, Lindblom is able to drift into the circle and set up for the beautiful one-timer.
Phil Varone would drive the net and grab a goal as well, doing what he’s done well all year on offense.
Greg Carey also moved within one goal of tying Martel for the league lead with his snipe in the third period.
Wednesday, December 13
Phantoms 2 | Checkers 5
On Wednesday, the Checkers would get their revenge, going up by four goals early in the second period. But a goal from Matt Read got them back into it with some momentum. Oskar Lindblom continued his strong stretch of hockey with an assist, but his deflection chance in front of the net trickled just wide and couldn’t capitalize. He now has a three-game point streak with two goals and an assist.
The highlight of the night during a 5-2 loss was Radel Fazleev’s first goal of the season. It came off a pass from Mark Friedman after a steal by Matt Read. It made the game 4-2 with about 17 minutes left in regulation, but the Phantoms couldn’t complete the comeback.
Saturday, December 16
Crunch 2 | Phantoms 4
John Muse, called up for the recalled Alex Lyon, made the start and recorded a 22-save performance. Since being recalled from the Reading Royals, Muse is 2-1 and has only allowed six goals in 170 minutes of ice time. Martel recorded his 16th goal of the season and was able to collect multiple points for the sixth time this season.
Greg Carey continued to climb up the AHL score sheet, notching his 15th of the season. He and Martel are pacing the Phantoms and continuing to get them in good positions to win. Lehigh Valley improved to 9-3-1-1 when playing at the PPL Center this season.
Sunday, December 17
Phantoms 3 | Sound Tigers 2
Corban Knight capped his stellar week with an overtime goal, to improve the Phantoms’ record against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to 4-0-0. The Phantoms were only able to muster up 18 shots on goal and didn’t get a power play for the first time this season.
Goaltender Dustin Tokarski recorded 37 saves, helping the Phantoms get back into the game and help steal a point for them to send it into overtime. Danick Martel recorded his 17th goal of the season, moving back into a tie for the AHL lead in goals.
Stars of the week
The young forward collected four points in four games this week, including two goals in a huge win over Charlotte. He has now moved into third place on the team in scoring and is continuing to climb up the ranks for the Phantoms. After a rough year with Lehigh Valley, Aube-Kubel has certainly bounced back in a big way this season, helping the team move into third place in the Atlantic Division.
After being sent back down from the Philadelphia Flyers, Martel was in a scoring slump. The young forward busted out of that slow stretch this week. He scored three goals in four games to help the Phantoms to a three-win week. All three goals helped the Phantoms in all three wins. He’s back atop the AHL in goals and may continue that hot streak after a great week for the Phantoms.
Though he only recorded one goal this week, Lindblom continued his stretch of good scoring by adding three points to his strong month of December. Lindblom now has six points in nine games this month and now has 18 points in 30 games this season.
Atlantic Division Update
1 Providence Bruins – 18-7-2-0 (38 PTS, .704 PCT)
2 Charlotte Checkers – 19-9-0-1 (39 PTS, .672 PCT)
3 Lehigh Valley Phantoms – 18-9-1-2 (39 PTS, .650 PCT)
4 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – 15-8-2-1 (33 PTS, .635 PCT)
5 Bridgeport Sound Tigers – 13-11-2-1 (29 PTS, .537 PCT)
6 Hartford Wolf Pack – 11-12-3-3 (28 PTS, .463 PCT)
7 Hershey Bears – 12-14-0-3 (27 PTS, .466 PCT)
8 Springfield Thunderbirds – 12-18-1-0 (25 PTS, .403 PCT)
Wednesday vs. Hartford Wolf Pack
Saturday @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
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