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A statistical look at the Phantoms historic overtime victory

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Let’s take a journey back to game 4 when the Phantoms won in quintuple overtime.

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In case you somehow haven’t heard it by now, on Wednesday, May 9 the Lehigh Valley Phantoms defeated the Charlotte Checkers by a final score of 2-1 in what was the longest game in the history of the American Hockey League. As you can imagine, that’s a game that you can pull some pretty ridiculous stats from, whether it’s Alex Lyon making 94 saves, Philippe Myers playing 66 minutes, or the fact that it took just about six hours to watch the whole game from start to finish.

All of these numbers led me to one question: how many shot attempts were taken over the course of a game that lasted 146 minutes? So, equipped with little but the will to find an answer, I went back and watched the game again, this time tracking every shot taken, like I had all regular season long, and here’s what I found.

Team stats

In all situations, Charlotte led the way by throwing exactly 200 shots towards the net while Lehigh Valley took another 134, for a total of 334 shots. That’s a 40.12 Corsi-for percentage for the Phantoms, which obviously isn’t that surprising given the shots on goal total, it rather just reinforces the thought that the Checkers really did control most of the game. Taking it to a 5-on-5 game state actually makes the numbers a little worse for the Phantoms, dropping them to a 39.56 CF%.

Scoring chances don’t paint a different picture either. Of those 334 shots, 150 of them qualified as scoring chances, with 85 coming from Charlotte and 65 from Lehigh Valley. In fact, the only positive stat that the Phantoms led in was goals, and at the end of the day any team would take that result.

In a game that goes on for eight periods, another thing that comes to mind is faceoffs. In total 158 faceoffs occurred and, to no surprise, Charlotte won the majority of them. They won 52.53%, which really isn’t that big of a difference and the main (only?) reason I even brought faceoffs up was just because of how many that took place.

Team Shot Metrics

Team CF CF% SCF SCF% 5v5 CF 5v5 CF% 5v5 SCF 5v5 SCF%
Team CF CF% SCF SCF% 5v5 CF 5v5 CF% 5v5 SCF 5v5 SCF%
Phantoms 134 40.12% 65 43.33% 125 39.56% 59 41.84%
Checkers 200 59.88% 85 56.67% 191 60.44% 82 58.16%

Skater 5-on-5 stats

Now comes the fun part: figuring out which Phantoms’ players stood out positively in a game where the team was dominated at 5-on-5. Besides Lyon, who we’ll get to a little bit later, the first standout has to be Phil Myers.

Myers, who played 66 minutes in game 4, was on the ice for 64 shot attempts for and 67 against, giving him a 48.85 CF% which was second to only Mikhail Vorobyev among Phantoms’ skaters. Myers’ +15.88 CF% rel was the best mark on the team, and he was the only Phantoms’ defenseman to have a high danger Corsi-for percentage over 50%. He played in all situations - as he has all season - and was a bright spot all game long. His thirteen individual shot attempts were bested by only Greg Carey, who shot the puck eighteen times that night, hitting the net six times.

Speaking of Carey, he was tied with Mike Vecchione for the team lead in individual scoring chances with nine each. His on-ice percentages aren’t pretty to look at but he was certainly the team’s volume shooter all night long.

The other two standouts were linemates for most of the game, the previously mentioned Vorobyev, and Danick Martel. Vorobyev was his usual play driving self as he posted a 49.30% CF, the best on the team, and +12.56% CF rel. Faceoffs were the only negative stat for him in this game, when he lost - wait for it - one more than he won. Yeah, the negative for Vorobyev was one faceoff loss. He may have gone pointless but he really did have a solid game, contributing both offensively and defensively.

Out of context, Martel may have posted some of the most impressive numbers of the game and will only be overshadowed by Myers because of how many minutes he played. In a game where the Phantoms as a team had a high danger Corsi-for percentage of 43.75%, Martel wound up with a 61.54%, far and away the best on the team, and his four individual high danger shot attempts were tied with overtime hero Alex Krushelnyski for the team lead.

One other player I want to quickly mention is Reece Willcox. Judging by the numbers, he, like Myers, must have played close to 66 minutes in the game as well. He was on the ice for 161 shot attempts, 155 at 5-on-5, which was 26 more than any other Phantom. Talk about high event hockey.

5v5 Skater Shot Metrics

Player CF% CF% Rel SCF% SCF% Rel
Player CF% CF% Rel SCF% SCF% Rel
Philippe Myers 48.85% 15.88% 51.61% 17.14%
Cole Bardreau 37.04% -3.83% 34.15% -10.85%
Greg Carey 37.89% -2.38% 44.68% 4.26%
Steven Swavely 44.26% 5.83% 41.67% -0.21%
Colin McDonald 36.00% -5.20% 34.88% -10.01%
Corban Knight 37.33% -2.92% 40.54% -1.77%
Mikhail Vorobyev 49.30% 12.56% 54.55% 16.58%
Danick Martel 46.67% 8.78% 51.85% 12.38%
Radel Fazleev 39.29% -0.30% 40.00% -2.06%
Maxim Lamarche 38.02% -2.50% 40.00% -2.86%
Mike Vecchione 40.57% 1.52% 42.00% 0.24%
Chris Conner 42.35% 3.82% 47.22% 7.22%
Oskar Lindblom 35.38% -5.25% 35.71% -7.65%
Alex Krushelynski 35.16% -6.17% 39.02% -3.98%
Mark Friedman 45.54% 8.80% 47.17% 8.53%
T.J. Brennan 36.29% -5.38% 35.85% -9.61%
Reece Willcox 30.97% -16.86% 32.81% -16.54%

*Morin was left off of the table because he was only on the ice for three shot attempts and one scoring chance before he left the game with an injury.

The first star

Alex. Lyon. What is there even to say about his performance in Game 4? He was the main reason why the Phantoms were able to win the game, and eventually the series, as he stopped 94 of the Checkers’ 95 shots on goal. Through my own tracking, I did end up counting four less shots, bringing him down to 90 saves on 91 shots. I’m not going to argue which number is right or wrong, as human error can play a role in both situations, and instead just be glad that I didn’t count more than the official tracker and have a number that would have broken Michael Leighton’s 98-save record.

Of his 90 saves that I tracked, 43 of them were low danger shots, 29 were medium danger, and the final 18 were high danger. The only goal he surrendered did qualify as a high danger shot. Philip Samuelsson’s point shot missed the net and caused a rebound off the boards that went directly to Patrick Brown in the slot for the goal. Lyon’s 8.65 Game Score beat the previous season-high of 3.99 set by Martel in the season opener.

Lyon heads into the third round leading the AHL in Goals Saved Above Average during the playoffs with 12.94 GSAA. It was truly a remarkable series from him.

Miscellaneous stats that I found interesting

  • The Phantoms blocked 51 shots, led by Cole Bardreau’s 8.
  • In triple overtime the Checkers out-shot the Phantoms 12-1.
  • While Haydn Fleury and Valentin Zykov were credited with 9 shots on goal each, no player on either team had 10 shots on goal in the game.
  • Reece Willcox was on the ice for 56.02% of the Checkers’ shot attempts at 5-on-5.
  • Phil Myers was on the ice for 51.20% of the Phantoms’ shot attempts at 5-on-5.

If you’d like to look at the data yourself, you can do so here.