ALLENTOWN-- This one hurt.
Complacency and fundamental mistakes cost the Phantoms an important two-points against a division rival as they dropped a 3-4 OT heartbreaker to Binghamton, Wednesday.
After going up 2-0 in the first period, and leading the worst team in the Eastern Conference for more than 55 minutes, the Phantoms collapsed, allowing the Senators to tie it up--not once--but twice, with just minutes remaining in regulation.
With just over three minutes left in the third period, and tied at two, Jason Akeson netted an electrifying goal to save the day, but the Phantoms allowed a go-ahead goal by Colin Greening off a turnover with 43 seconds remaining to force overtime in the Phantoms third-straight game. The Phantoms had chances in the OT period to take it home, but Aaron Johnson would eventually take it home with 10 seconds left in overtime.
The Phantoms are in the hunt for a playoff run. But a game like tonight won't get them there.
"That game should have been done in regulation and we know that," Akeson said. "We should have had two [points] tonight...it doesn't feel like we won a point tonight, if feels like we lost the other."
Now 13 points behind second-place Wilkes-Barre, and ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference, the Phantoms have 25 games remaining in the regular season if they hope to make the playoffs.
- Despite being tied for second in the league for most overtime appearances, Wednesday was the Phantoms first home OT appearance since Dec. 13.
- Jason Akeson extended his point-streak to 10-games Wednesday after registering a helper on Zack Stortini’s goal just 1:29 into the contest and a late third-period goal. With 14 points in his last 10 games (eight goals, six assists) Akeson has tied the AHL season-long record for longest point streak.
- Anthony Stolarz returned to the net after spending more than a week with the Flyers in wake of Steve Mason/Rob Zepp injuries. After the Flyers goalie switch-a-roo on Monday, Stolarz returned to Lehigh Valley with a few new tricks up his sleeve. The rookie registered 40 saves in the 4-3 loss.
- The two most penalized teams in the league and newly acquainted East Division rivals played more hockey and less roughhouse on Wednesday, just five days after registering more than 100 penalty minutes in their last outing. Both teams earned less than half their average penalty minutes (AVG: 26.7 LV, 22.5 BNG).
- In the first half of this season the Phantoms were unstoppable at home, with a 10-2-2-1 record in Allentown before Jan. 1. But in their first nine home games back after the New Year, the Phantoms have struggled in the PPL Center, with two just home victories in 2015.
- Lehigh Valley has doubled its road-record from the first half of the season, however, posting a 8-3 record away, after winning just four of 31 road contests in the first half of the season.