The Royals—um, Phantoms—take on Norfolk tonight in Allentown in another East Division tilt.
With call-ups and injuries, the Phantoms have recalled three Royals standouts, including both of their goaltenders, to fill in empty roster spots in anticipation for tonight’s game.
Rookie Anthony Stolarz started last night between the pipes in Hershey since Rob Zepp’s loan to Philadelphia has been extended longer than the original two-game estimate, but left the game two minutes into the third period due to a blow to the head with no penalty called.
Royals goaltender Martin Ouellette, who was recalled by the Phantoms in the wake of Zepp’s call-up, relieved the injured Stolarz and allowed the game winning goal with five minutes left in regulation.
The Phantoms organization was busy this morning recalling players since last night’s injuries. Royals back-up goaltender Connor Knapp and defenseman Adam Comrie traveled to Lehigh Valley this morning to prepare for tonight’s tilt against Norfolk.
With these transactions it is safe to say that Stolarz will be scratched tonight with a possible upper body injury. It is likely Ouellette will get his first AHL start tonight.
- In their five-game history so far this season the Phantoms and the Bears have cultivated some bad blood, evident with another scrappy game last night that resulted in the early exit of Stolarz and defenseman Mark Alt.
- There has been no update on Stolarz’s status, but regardless of the severity, this injury is unfortunate for the Phantoms, and for the 20 year old goaltender whose confidence has grown after starting 0-3 in his first three games in the AHL. Now 5-5-1 and a .933 SV%, Stolarz is ranked fourth in the AHL in save percentage and has gone 3-0-1 in his last four starts, including a 32-save shutout over Hershey last week.
- Prior to yesterday’s 4-2 loss to the Bears, the Phantoms (13-11-4-1) received a point in five-straight games, with three wins against East Division opponents. Lehigh Valley sits comfortably in third place in the division, just three points behind Hershey.
- Norfolk ranks last in the East Divison, but has won three of its last five. The Admirals however, remain out of reach from fourth place, sitting five-points behind Binghamton.
- Robert Hagg is scratched tonight due to his stint with team Sweden in the World Junior Championships. He will return to Lehigh Valley around Jan. 6.
The Flyers reported this afternoon that Steve Mason took the ice with the team during warm-ups in Nashville. With Mason’s progress Rob Zepp may be back with the Phantoms soon.
Reading Royals update
With injuries and call ups, the Phantoms now have both Royals goaltenders on their roster. With a game tonight versus Elmira, the Royals signed a contract with Matt DiGirolamo, the assistant coach and goaltender coach for the University of Delaware club ice hockey team who the Phantoms signed an emergency PTO with last week.