Talk about a nail biter, Phantoms fans. You could just feel it couldn’t you? You could just feel overtime for a fifth straight game. But for once, the Phantoms didn’t need those five extra minutes of hockey as they defeated the Laval Rocket by a final score of 3-2 to extend there point streak to five straight games.
Early on in the first period, Phantoms defenseman Philip Samuelsson made a nice pass to defenseman Phil Myers who fired it through traffic and past Laval goalie Charlie Lindgren to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead. With that goal, the 6’5”, 212-pound defenseman now has eight on the season.
Myers, who has been the Phantoms best defenseman all season long, is apparently next in line for a call-up and has been playing some of his best hockey of late.
“You know, I try to bring the same mentality every day and do the little things relax. Relax when you need to relax and show up ready for the game. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before the game. You know, just stuff like that and I’m just trying to get mentally ready for the game and try to bring the same effort every night so I think that I’ve just been focusing on playing more consistent this year lately and it’s been going well for me”, said Myers when asked what he attributes to his play of late.
A little over four minutes later, Phantoms RW Tyrell Goulbourne and Laval RW Antoine Waked got tangled up behind the play in Laval’s zone, prompting Goulbourne to drop the gloves. Despite getting some good punches in, Goulbourne was assessed a 10-minute misconduct, to go along with a five minute major for fighting, and a two-minute penalty for instigating. So what did Laval get out of this five-minute power play? Surprisingly nothing as Phantoms goalie Branden Komm stood tall during the kill and the Phantoms PK did a good job of not letting Laval get to many quality chances.
Late in the 1st, with the Phantoms up 1-0 and seemingly on there way to the locker room with a lead, Laval defenseman Brett Lernout put one past Komm to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second period, with the game tied at 1-1, newcomer Justin Bailey made his presence felt when he fired the puck past Lindgren to give the Phantoms a 2-1 lead. Bailey, who was in his fifth game with the Phantoms, gave a lot of credit to Chris Conner and Misha Vorobyev for making that play happen.
”I think it was a great just a great heads up play by C’s and Misha, putting it right on my tape. Honestly, I wasn’t really even expecting a pass through that much traffic but like I said it was a great play by both of them”.
Speaking Of Misha Vorobyev, he wasn’t done after helping Justin Bailey lot his first goal with the Phantoms. With a little over eight minutes remaining in the third, Greg Carey fired a one-timer on Lindgren who had trouble controlling the rebound. Conner, who had assisted on Bailey’s goal in the second gathered the rebound and passed it to Vorobyev who slid it past Lindgren to give the Phantoms a 3-1 lead with 8:29 remaining in the 3rd. Vorobyev finished the night with three points (1G,2A).
With less than five minutes remaining in the 3rd, the Laval gave the Phantoms a bit of a scare as Byron Froese was able to one time the puck past Komm to cut the lead to 3-2, but that would not be enough as the Phantoms would hang onto defeat the Laval Rocket by a final score of 3-2.
Phantoms goalie Branden Komm, who was arguably the Phantoms best player last night, stopped 34 of 36 shots fired his way to secure his first ever AHL win. He was also named the first star of the game.
The Phantoms return to action tonight as they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in their final game before the All-Star Break. Puck Drop is at 7PM.
Photo credit: Alex Mclntyre