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Phantoms take on rival without top scorer

With leading goal scorer Scott Laughton called up to play with the Flyers tonight, the Phantoms will take on their biggest divisional rival, the Hershey Bears tonight at 7:05.

Lehigh Valley will be without Scott Laughton tonight as they take on the Bears in the teams’ third matchup of the season.

The Phantoms (6-6-1) are 1-1 against the Bears (8-6-1), with nine more scheduled with the divisional rival. The last home match against the Bears ended in dramatic fashion (like every home game this season) with the Phantoms coming back from a one point deficit to score three goals in two minutes in the final six minutes of regulation.

In their last meeting in Hershey, the Bears shutout the Phantoms 3-0.

  • The Bears have fallen to second place in the East Division behind the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Phantoms sit in third in the division.
  • Tonight is the Phantoms 14th game of the regular season, the fewest in the AHL. Lehigh Valley will host three games in the next four days to catch up with the rest of the league.
  • Laughton’s absence on the ice will be noticeable tonight against the one of the most talented team the Phantoms have played so far this season. The center was in a two-week scoring drought after netting four goals in the first two games of the season, but with a goal and an assist Saturday against Toronto, Laughton exploded on the ice for the Phantoms. With a new set of skates, the 20 year old was showing off his speed as one of the top rookies in the league, and made his leadership presence known on the power play.
  • While Laughton's points helped lead the Phantoms to a victory, Saturday, Lehigh Valley's defense helped keep the team alive during a 6-on-3 penalty kill with just 1:30 left in regulation, leading by one. With Rob Zepp between the pipes, Robert Hagg, Brandon Manning and Darroll Powe blocked eight shots to lock in the win 3-2 win.
  • With Laughton heading to Philadelphia the Flyers loaned veteran center Blair Jones to get some much needed ice time, after spending nearly a month on the bench for the Flyers. Jones had 38 points in 38 (17 goals, 21 assists) games for the Abbotsford Heat last season. In his four games with the Flyers this season, he averaged 6:75 minutes of ice time.
  • Bears goaltender Pheonix Copley ranked 8th among goalies with a 1.97 goals against average, and 0.920 save percentage. Phantoms net minder Rob Zepp, who has emerged as the Phantoms No. 1 goalie, has an identical save percentage as Copley and averages 2.75 goals against. Copley and Zepp are 3-2 and 6-3-1, respectively.
  • Bears alternate goaltender Phillipp Brubauer averages 2.52 goals against and has a 0.900 save percentage.
  • Kris Newbury is the Bears offensive weapon with nine goals and 10 assists this season. The center averages 1.27 points per game despite three games where he was denied a point this season. With 44 SOG, Newbury also leads the team in shots.

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