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Phantoms drop OT battle to the St. John's IceCaps

The Phantoms began to feel the fatigue in their third game in four days as they dropped an overtime heart-breaker to St. John's.

ALLENTOWN— For the second time in three games, 60 minutes was not enough hockey for the Phantoms.

Breaking the Phantoms three-game winning streak, the St. John’s IceCaps took a 2-1 OT win from the home team after forcing extra time for the seventh (!) time this season (2-4-1 in OT).

The IceCap’s Julien Brouillette earned his overtime goal, however. The d-man sent a monster backhanded shot past Rob Zepp during 3-on-3 with under two minutes left in the sudden death overtime period.

The beginning of the overtime period swayed in the Phantoms (8-6-2) favor as the IceCaps (7-8-4-1) took a penalty in the final minute of regulation, resulting in a man-advantage to start overtime for the Phantoms. The home team sent just three shots to the net before the IceCaps took over and took the win.

  • Rob Zepp returned to the ice Saturday after taking a day off to let Anthony Stolarz guard the net. The veteran goaltender saved 24-of-26 and added some flair to it late in the second period.
  • Brandon Manning took a penalty with three minutes remaining in the second period, giving the IceCaps their third power play of the second period. With chaos in front of the net Zepp had three incredible saves, and lost his stick in the process. After losing sight of the puck with shots still coming his way Zepp continued to deflect pucks blindly, keeping the score even at one. Multiple clear attempts by the Phantoms came back into play due to so many broken and unmanned sticks in the Phantoms zone.
  • Zepp headed to the locker room 7-3-2 after the OT loss.
  • After going 0-3 on the power play Saturday, the Phantoms have converted just 9 percent of power play opportunities (4-44) in November.
  • The Phantoms were 5-of-6 on the penalty kill. But the one power play goal allowed ended up being the deciding factor in extra time.
  • For the first time in the last five home games the Phantoms did not score in the first 10 minutes, but two minutes later Petr Straka gave the Phantoms the lead after scrambling to make the shot.
  • With a lot of chaos in front of the net Straka snatched a rebound in the crease and sent a last-ditch effort towards Hellebuyck while being cross checked to the ground. The forward slid into the boards and didn’t realize he scored until he got back onto his skates.
  • With a helper on Straka's goal, Brandon Manning has at least one point in the last five games.
  • After the Phantoms increased their lead to 4-0 in last night’s shutout, alternate captain Andrew Gordon said the team subconsciously let off the gas. The team didn’t have the opportunity to do that Saturday as the IceCaps challenged them in every conceivable manner. St. John’s had three days off before traveling to Lehigh Valley, while the Phantoms had played three games in four days. Terry Murray said the pace of the game was set early as St. John’s pushed the fatigued Phantoms bench close to their limits.
  • Despite the loss, the Phantoms were able to capture five of six possible points this weekend. Lehigh Valley is now 5-1-2 on home ice and 3-2 in overtime this season.

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