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Phantoms set AHL record, take sole posession of third in 5-3 win over Binghamton

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It was a busy night for the Phantoms, setting AHL records, moving up in the standings and making a statement to an East Division rival.

Pat Jacoby Photography

ALLENTOWN— That’s right. The Phantoms wrote their names in the record books, possibly more than once, for scoring three goals within 21 seconds of each other, and during the first 36 seconds of play, kicking off an important 5-3 victory over Binghamton.

The AHL has confirmed that the Phantoms have at least matched the record for the fastest three goals scored by the same team. But here’s the kicker: the AHL does not know who (or if anyone) holds the previous record.

On top of that, the Phantoms could possibly write an entirely new record for the fastest three goals to start a game, depending on official AHL analysis.

The previous Phantoms record for the fastest three goals scored was set on Dec. 6, 1996, when the Phantoms scored three in 31 seconds against Baltimore.

Phantoms scoring frenzy:

Petr Straka started the night off netting a goal off Andrew Hammond’s right shoulder after Steven Delisle sent a pass from across the crease just 15 seconds into the game. The forward scored a near-identical goal to start off the night in last Saturday’s shootout victory over the Penguins.

Jason Akeson followed suit just 12 seconds later, with helpers from Andrew Gordon and Brandon Manning.

And finally, Gordon nets the third goal nine seconds later, assisted by Manning and Mark Alt.

After allowing Gordon’s shot to bounce over his stick, Andrew Hammond’s night was over after earning a 300.69 (!) GAA in the first 36 seconds of the game. Scott Greenham replaced Hammond, and saved 25 of 27.

Nick Cousins would later score two power play goals to finalize the score.

  • Rob Zepp saved 41 of 44 shots, defending the Phantoms lead against the most effective offense in the AHL. Averaging more than three goals per game, the Senators "racehorse hockey" team challenged the Phantoms, outshooting them 15-6 in the first period.
  • Zepp had to respond quickly as the Phantoms' composure in the second half of the game seemed to disappear, giving Binghamton -- the second-most effective power play team in the league -- seven man-advantage opportunities.
  • After three even-strength goals in the first period, every goal for the remainder of the game for both Lehigh Valley and Binghamton, was netted on a power play.
  • Along with setting (a few?) AHL records, this win also earned the Phantoms sole possession of third place in the East Division, passing the Senators with 28 points. With another divisional game this weekend, the Phantoms continue to work their way back up the ladder in the East before their five-day holiday break.

Robert Hagg on his way to the World Junior Championships:

Hagg will play two more games with the Phantoms before traveling to Canada for the WJC tournament.

2014 will be his third appearance in the tournament, but after losing two championship games with Sweden the 19-year-old has hefty aspirations for this year.

"I definitely don't want a silver medal again," Hagg said. "If I get another silver medal I'm probably going to quit hockey."

Head coach Terry Murray, however, is not pleased with Hagg's decision to compete in the world juniors, stating that he doesn't understand why a professional player would want to leave and play in the juniors.

"I've always had a tough time comprehending a player who is playing pro hockey, playing 25 minutes a night, wanting to play somewhere else, in juniors," Murray said. "I don't get that."

Murray said he spoke to Hagg about leaving to play in the WJC, but ultimately if the front office allows it, he has no say regarding Hagg's decision, regardless of the risk involved.