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Philadelphia Flyers prospects: Manning an All-Star, junior players produce

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Taking a look into the future of Flyers hockey in another minor league update.

Brandon Manning getting a taste of the Pennsylvania rivalry during his busy week.
Brandon Manning getting a taste of the Pennsylvania rivalry during his busy week.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A short stay and busy week

With the Flyers losing Nick Schultz for a game, they recalled Brandon Manning from Lehigh Valley. Manning was recalled earlier this year, totaling 23 minutes of ice time over two games. This time Manning was thrown into the fire against the Penguins, playing 17 minutes in the overtime victory. Manning then returned to Lehigh Valley the next night to play against Hershey, his fifth game in six nights.

Petr Straka was also called up by the Flyers to make his NHL debut this Tuesday against Arizona. Straka had a three-game goal streak for the Phantoms and played decently in place of Michael Raffl who was out with an illness.

Ryan White also made his Flyers debut in the same game, replacing the suspended Zac Rinaldo.

The Phantom of the Offense

When we last left you Lehigh Valley was undefeated in the calendar year. The Phantoms had just gotten done sweeping two-game sets in dramatic fashion in Norfolk, and by scoring 10 goals over the course of two games in St. John's. Things were on the up and up as they returned home last weekend.

Unfortunately, they split their two home games in a 3-2 loss against Albany on Friday the 16th before a big 5-1 win over Binghamton on Saturday night. This win saw Nick Cousins score in each period, including 14 seconds into the game, en route to the first hat trick in Lehigh Valley Phantoms history.

They then travelled to Hershey to finish out their long weekend, dropping the Sunday showdown 5-2. That brought the Phantoms to 43 points, right in the thick of the playoff race, with a big game on Wednesday again against the rival Bears.

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Despite the change of venue, the outcome was the same. The Phantoms fell to the bears yet again, by an embarrassing final score of 7-2, bringing the Bears' goal total to 12 over those two games, to the Phantoms four. Not only that, but Hershey scored all seven goals in succession, with Lehigh Valley scoring just the first and last goals of the game. The game wasn't as boring as it sounds though, the teams racked up a total of 96 penalty minutes, including six fighting majors and three 10 minute misconducts.

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The Phantoms hoped to get it together this past weekend as they played two games before their All Star break. A Friday night game in Syracuse against the Crunch wasn't the start they were looking for. They were able to score two goals within 24 seconds of each other, but the remaining 59:36 was scoreless as they fell 4-2 to the Crunch. The Phantoms shouldn't hang their heads too low though, the Flyers were only able to score once against the Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in their meeting with Tampa last month.

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In the midst of a 1-4-0 tailspin the Phantoms hoped to right the ship in their final game before the break at home against St. John's. The fans were excited to see the Phantoms back in town, packing the PPL Center with a record attendance of 8,938 to cheer on the hometown team. Those fans didn't have to wait too long as Andrew Gordon struck early, just 2:22 into the game, on a feed from Nick Cousins to put the Phantoms ahead. The Ice Caps fought back to tie it later in the period, scoring one of their first two power play goals of the night, on a total of seven attempts

The game remained tied at one until the Phantoms struck twice in five minutes early in the third period, with Kevin Goumas and Petr Straka putting Lehigh Valley up 3-1. But St. John's scored their aforementioned second power play goal just minutes later, tightening things up again. Things really opened up in the 3rd period as Taylor Leier scored for the Phantoms to put them ahead by two yet again. The Ice Caps made things interesting by scoring with a minute left, but couldn't put another one past Martin Ouellette and the Phantoms hung on for the 4-3 victory.

All-Star honors for Manning

The Phantoms headed into the All Star break with a 20-16-5 record, good for 45 points and third in the East Division in the Eastern Conference, where they sit 11th overall and just four points out of a playoff spot.

Brandon Manning was the Phantoms lone All Star representative, his second selection to the AHL All Star Game. Manning participated in the hardest shot competition on Sunday night, firing the puck at 96.0, 94.4 and 97.0 in his three attempts for the East. Manning then played in the game on Monday night, tallying an assist and two shots in the 14-12 Western Conference win.

Lehigh Valley's leading scorers

Player Position Games Goals Assists Points
Nick Cousins
C
Last 5 Games 5 3 3 6
Season 41 13 17 30
Brandon Manning
D
Last 5 Games 5 1 2 3
Season 39 7 19 26
Andrew Gordon
RW
Last 5 Games 5 2 2 4
Season 41 13 12 25

Nick Cousins has finally overtaken Brandon Manning as the team's point leader. This was sparked by a great run of his just before these past five games, capped off with his hat trick. Andrew Gordon hasn't been too shabby either, scoring four points in his last five games to increase his total to 25 on the season.

An ECHL update

The Reading Royals have been on a tear recently, winning four straight games going into last night and five of their last six. Their overall record is 25-13-2, placing them comfortably in fifth place of the Eastern Conference.
The Royals are led by Pat Mullane who was 39 points in 40 games. He is followed closely by Olivier Labelle and Adamn Hughesman who each have 33 points of their own.

Prospects stay hot

League Player Position Games Goals Assists Points
QMJHL
Nicolas Aube-Kubel
RW
Last 5 Games 5 7 3 10
Season 41 24 26 50
WHL
Radel Fazleev
LW
Last 5 Games 5 1 2 3
Season 48 14 23 37
WHL
Tyrell Goulbourne
LW
Last 5 Games 5 3 6 9
Season 40 17 16 33
QMJHL
Samuel Morin
D
Last 5 Games 5 1 6 7
Season 18 4 14 18
WHL
Travis Sanheim
D
Last 5 Games 5 0 7 7
Season 44 10 33 43

A great set of games for Aube-Kubel and Goulbourne, scoring ten and nine points respectively in their past five games. Radel Fazleev was a sixth round pick that might turn into something as he is quietly playing well for the Calgary Hitmen with Travis Sanheim. Speaking of the devil, Sanheim and Morin have both put up seven points in their last five games. Good to see Morin back to a point per game pace after his injury earlier this season.

Nice to see the Flyers have some prospects with some potential after a few years of nothingness.

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All stats through January 27.