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Phantoms 2, Checkers 1: Lehigh Valley wins the longest game in AHL history

Alex Lyon stole the show by making 94 saves.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After the Phantoms 5-1 win Tuesday night, the only lineup change was Tyrell Goulbourne out and Steven Swavely in. Goulbourne has been in and out of the lineup during the playoffs with a minor injury. Alex Lyon once again started in goal, starting in back to back games. Little did anybody know that we were about to witness history.

1st Period

In what was a pretty chill first five minutes, the Phantoms had the slight edge. There best opportunity either team had early was when Greg McKegg received a pass down low, but his stick was tied up by Reece Willcox, denying him a shot at the net.

The Phantoms had the first A+ quality scoring chance of the game when Chris Conner gathered the puck behind the net and found Mike Vecchione in the slot for a one-time. Alex Nedeljkovic was in position and made the save look relatively easy, but it was no doubt one of the better chances all period.

The first penalty of the game went to Charlotte when Clark Bishop got called for interfering with Mark Friedman. The ensuing power play went pretty well for Lehigh Valley, generating a few quality chances, including back to back rebound shots from Oskar Lindblom. In the end they didn’t score, but it was a good effort.

Following that, the worst part of the game happened. Samuel Morin was once again injured, this time when he attempted to make a hit on Patrick Brown. How does this keep happening to him you ask? Yeah, I don’t know either.

Thankfully Danick Martel ended our sadness for a bit by scoring the first goal of the game!

Radel Fazleev cycled the puck behind the net and found T.J. Brennan at the point. Brennan then took a shot that went wide (on purpose? Maybe!) and wound up on the other side of the net for a pretty easy goal for Martel.

Just minutes later the Checkers almost scored on the exact same play! A point shot that bounced off the boards to the opposite side of the net, but this time it didn’t work as Lyon was able to slide to the opposite side and make a pad save.

The Phantoms’ first penalty of the game was taken by Philippe Myers; slashing. Aleksi Saarela was a step ahead of him and Myers was forced to slash him to disrupt the breakaway.

At the end of the period the Phantoms led 1-0 and were outshot by the Checkers 10-9.

2nd Period

Just two minutes into the period Julien Gauthier took a great shot off the rush that Lyon was able to stop with his glove and control the rebound. That seemed to be a trend all night, solid rebound control.

Unlike his first penalty, Myers’ second penalty wasn’t a “good” penalty to take. He interfered with a player around the net and found himself heading to the box for the second time of the game. He almost didn’t have to go, however, when the Checkers had a great cycle during the 6-on-5 and Lucas Wallmark had a one timer from the right boards after he received a great cross ice pass. Lyon was able to make the save, and the Phantoms headed to the penalty kill.

They did go on to successfully kill the penalty, thanks in-part to two big clears by Vorobyev and Brennan. Just after the penalty expired, Myers saved what looked like a sure goal to preserve the one goal lead. However, that wouldn’t last much longer.

Patrick Brown was able to beat Lyon when a point shot hit off the boards and came right to him. It was eerily similar to Danick Martel’s goal from the first period. The Checkers had very clearly been the better team since the period began and you could feel that goal coming.

With just over ten minutes remaining the Phantoms had their best chance of the period, a Martel breakaway that Nedeljkovic was able to stop. A bit after that Brennan turned the puck over to Gauthier who took a shot from the high slot that just missed the net on Lyon’s blocker side.

Then, this moment stole the show.

Still can’t believe that stayed out.

With eight seconds remaining in the period, the Phantoms had a 4-on-2 rush! Vecchione entered the zone with the puck and found Willcox trailing who then attempted a pass to Lindblom, but the puck missed him and they were unable to even generate a shot attempt out of it.

Charlotte scored the lone goal of the period and outshot the Phantoms 14-5.

3rd Period

Charlotte dominated the third period, especially early. Lyon had to make six saves in the first three minutes! They continued to pressure the Phantoms and would go on to outshoot them 17-10.

The Phantoms best chance of the period came when Nedeljkovic turned the puck over to Martel and the puck bounced in front of the net. Fazleev was in the vicinity but was unable to get a handle on the puck and put it in.

To this point, the Phantoms were really not good at all, but finally started to apply pressure with ten and a half minutes remaining in regulation.

End to end action, chances for both – phantoms was conner and vecchione 2-on-1, conner’s pass missed

There were some great chances at the end of regulation, with the Checkers even hitting the post with just 40 seconds left!

Neither team was able to convert and the teams’ had a date set with overtime. Five of them, to be exact.


The Checkers had a 2-on-1 rush early and Myers made a great diving block to deny the pass.

13:37 left, McDonald stole the puck on the forecheck and found Corban Knight in the slot, but he was stopped by Nedeljkovic.

With ten minutes remaining in the first overtime period, Carey took a shot from high slot that may have been one of their best chances, and just barely missed the right post.

Lyon made a really big save, here it is.

That’s all I got guys, it’s late. The shots on goal during the first overtime were 11-10 in favor of the Checkers.

OT 2

There were shots, there we saves, some things happened. No goals, though. That’s my recap of overtime number two, it was a blur. I’m sorry.

OT 3

Just five minutes in the Phantoms had a great chance, a 2-on-1 odd man rush that featured Carey and Vecchione! Carey kept the puck and took a shot that went wide. Then, like a magical dream, a penalty was called. TOO. MUCH. MAN.

Yea, uh, they didn’t do much with it. BUT! They went right back to the power play when Myers got tripped. Sadly, they once again did nothing.

Brennan fell down in the neutral zone, leading to an Andrew Miller breakaway chance, and he missed the net high. Both teams missed the net a ton.

Then Brennan took a holding penalty and I thought the game was going to end, little did I know there would be so much more game to watch. The penalty kill actually looked very good! They boxed the Checkers out quite successfully and didn’t allow them to get any scoring chances.

Shots on goal in the third overtime were 12-1 in favor of Charlotte. Twelve to one. TWELEVE TO ONE.

OT 4

You guys, this is too much hockey.

This period was the Alex Lyon show, starting just three minutes in with a strong save off a slot shot. He continued to rack up the saves, winding up with 88 total by the time the fourth overtime came to a conclusion.

The Phantoms best chance came off the stick of Carey, who was robbed by Nedeljkovic with twelve minutes left.

Gauthier went into the zone on a mini breakaway, but his shot missed the net, continuing this insane game even longer.

The period would end without a goal being scored, again, and the shots were 10-7 in favor of Charlotte. Yeah, “in favor of Charlotte” has been typed a lot.

OT 5

Checkers the much better team, Lyon making huge point blank saves.

And then. It was over. Alex. Krushelnyski.

The Phantoms now own a 3-1 series lead and are one win away from moving on to the Eastern Conference Final! Alex Lyon made 94 saves on 95 shots. Just insane.