The Lehigh Valley Phantoms entered their holiday break in good spirits, with a five-game win streak, and enjoyed a full week off from having any games last week. But when they resumed action on Monday, they ran into a strong Hershey Bears team with a hot goaltender, and were handed a pretty sizeable loss.
The Reading Royals did play a couple of games last week before the holiday weekend began, and they ended up finishing 1-1-0 on the week. They were actually supposed to play three games last week, but their contest last Tuesday night against the Adirondack Thunder ended up having to be postponed.
Let’s take a look at this past week’s action:
LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS (20-8-1)
Date: Monday, December 26, 2016
Score: Bears 5 | Phantoms 2
ALLENTOWN, PA: I was in attendance for my first Phantoms game of the season, and unfortunately for me, I saw what was likely one of their worst performances of the year, as they lost 5-2 at home to the Bears just after the Christmas break.
From my own observations, the team themselves did not play a terrible game, but the Bears were very opportunistic, capitalizing on almost every good chance they had, and their goaltender, Vitek Vanecek was lights out.
The Phantoms did convert once on the power play, but overall they looked out of sync on the man advantage. They actually had more chances shorthanded, it seemed, than they did on the power play.
Alex Lyon stopped just 25 of the 30 shots he faced in net, and the Phantoms goals were scored by Colin McDonald, who netted the power play tally early, and briefly gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead, and Andy Miele, who cut the Bears’ lead to 3-2 at that point. It was ultimately the Bears who would run away with this game with a strong second period, and then a couple more goals in the third.
Game highlights courtesy of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms:
- Jordan Weal (10 G, 19 A for 29 points in 27 games)
- T.J. Brennan (10 G, 14 A for 24 points in 29 games)
- Greg Carey (14 G, 8 A for 22 points in 24 games)
The Phantoms will look to get back on track, and close this week (and 2016) out on a good note, as they travel to face the Rochester Americans in a two-game series in Rochester. The teams will play tonight, and Friday night. Both games are 7:05 PM starts.
The AHL announced today that Will O’Neill was suspended for 1 game due to his match penalty at the end of Monday night’s game, when the teams ended up having a large scrum after the final buzzer sounded.
Tony Androckitis of Highland Park Hockey reports that Mark Alt has traveled to Rochester with the team, and may be activated for his first action of the season as soon as tonight.
READING ROYALS (15-11-2)
Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Score: Monarchs 4 | Royals 2
READING, PA: After their game in Adirondack was canceled the night before, the Royals ended up returning home, and kicked off their week last week with a 4-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs last Wednesday.
Mark Dekanich started the night in net, and was injured in the second period. Drew Fielding received his first action in net as a Royal, and stopped all 10 shots he faced in relief of Dekanich, but the Royals could not get the offense going to tie the game up. The Monarchs sealed the deal with an empty-netter late.
Defenseman Florian Iberer had a solid contest, scoring a goal and adding an assist. Robbie Czarnik added two assists, and Matt Wilkins scored the other goal for the Royals.
Game highlights courtesy of the Reading Royals:
Date: Friday, December 23, 2016
Score: Thunder 2 | Royals 5
READING, PA: The Royals finally got to play the Thunder on Friday night, and defeated them handily by a score of 5-2 at Santander Arena. The ugly sweater jerseys must have been good luck, and they brought holiday cheer to the Royals, and the home fans, as the team went into their holiday break on a good note.
Fielding earned himself his first start in net as a Royal, and played a great game, stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced in net.
Justin Crandall had himself a game, as he scored a hat trick, and added an assist for a four-point night. Tyrell Goulbourne scored a goal and added an assist, and Ryan Penny added two assists as well.
Chris McCarthy was the other goal scorer for the Royals.
The Royals put 39 shots on net in this game, and converted once out of two chances on the power play.
Game highlights courtesy of the Reading Royals:
- Chris McCarthy (12 G, 13 A for 25 points in 25 games)
- Olivier Labelle (11 G, 11 A for 22 points in 28 games)
- Ryan Penny (6 G, 13 A for 19 points in 28 games)
After a brief holiday break, the Royals will be back at it tonight when they host the Elmira Jackals at home at 7:00 PM. They will then host the Wheeling Nailers at home on Friday night, and end their weekend back up in Glens Falls for a New Year’s Eve game against the Thunder on Saturday evening.Follow @Brian_Sloane