The Lehigh Valley Phantoms had plenty of chances to put the game away on Saturday night, but they simply couldn’t do it. Once again they outplayed the Bears, but a late-game push gave Hershey the win.
The Phantoms had leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 4-2, but they lost them all.
Things looked good early as they came out hot in game two on Saturday night. Right off the opening faceoff, just seconds into the game, Scott Laughton set the tone with a big hit.
Moments later Colin McDonald did the same thing as he laid the boom in the corner.
McDonald drew a penalty that paid off immediately.
TJ Brennan scored on the ensuing power play to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead just 70 seconds into the game.
A bar-down shot from Brennan.
The opening hits were only the beginning of the physicality between these two rivals.
Unfortunately the Phantoms’ first lead of the playoffs was short-lived as Hershey tied it.
And more scrums ensued.
The Phantoms had a great scoring chance on the power play, but the referee whistled the play down early.
This is going to be a fun series.
Alex Lyon came up huge on the Bears’ power play. He stopped the initial shot then got back in the crease.
Andy Miele gave the Phantoms the lead again in the final minute of the first period.
The Phantoms had a 2-1 lead at the first intermission and they hoped to continue their great play.
They nearly made it 3-1 early in the second, but the shot rang off iron.
This shot didn’t hit iron, though, as Lyon was beat to tie the game.
Greg Carey was knocked down for a penalty, but he too was called for a penalty — embellishment. How?
He got out of the box and went to work.
Carey split the defense then went five-hole to make it 3-2.
Then he batted the puck out of mid-air a few minutes later to give the Phantoms a 4-2 lead.
The Phantoms were dominating through two periods of play as they led in shots 25-8.
It looked like the Phantoms would finally get their first playoff win, but things took a turn for the worse in the third.
Copley robbed the Phantoms in front.
The teams went to four-on-four hockey after this scrum.
And the Bears got one back.
Then Alex Lyon went down with an injury and changed the course of the game.
Martin Ouellette came in and the Bears scored on their next shot. There wasn’t much Ouellette could do, though.
It looked like the game would head to overtime, but with 33 seconds left the Bears struck again.
The Phantoms couldn’t get anything going in the final half-minute and lost game two 5-4.
The Phantoms will now have to win three straight games to win the series. It’s something they’ve done before, but not an ideal position to be in
The must-win game three will take place on Wednesday night in Hershey.
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