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Phantoms face Hershey Bears in official preseason opener

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Lehigh Valley will battle the Bears in its first of 14 scheduled matchups against the Eastern Conference, Divisional and intra-state rival.

Justin K. Aller

After a not-so-stellar "AHL" performance during Monday’s Flyers/Rangers matchup, the nearly complete Phantoms roster will compete in their first solo preseason game tonight at 7:05 in Allentown against their Eastern Conference, Divisional and intra-state rivals, the Hershey Bears.

Flyers called up Phantoms' Mark Alt, Andrew Gordon, Taylor Leier and Darroll Powe for Monday’s ugly preseason game against the Rangers, despite already cutting them from the roster.

As of now, their season will play out in Allentown, beginning tonight with the first Phantoms-only preseason game in the newly constructed PPL Center.

Tonight will be the first "official" preseason game in the state of the art arena, with the regular season opener on Oct. 11.

The Phantoms will face-off against Hershey 14 times this season, including tonight’s preseason game. Last season in Glens Falls, N.Y., the Phantoms and Bears split the schedule 3-3, taking two of their three wins in overtime.

Lehigh Valley will face the Bears again as they travel to the GIANT Center in Hershey on Friday before welcoming the Albany Devils to the PPL Center, Saturday to conclude its preseason slate.

Wednesday’s round of Flyers cuts adds to depth to Phantoms roster

Earlier Wednesday the Flyers announced another round of cuts, sending top prospect Shayne Gostisbehere and Scott Laughton to Lehigh Valley for at least the start of the season.

Laughton participated in the team’s morning skate earlier today, but head coach Terry Murray has not confirmed if Laughton will play in tonight’s game. Gostisbehere’s status with the Phantoms tonight is also unknown, and the defenseman was not with the team this morning.

Taylor Leier proving his worth

After being sent to Lehigh Valley in the second round of cuts, Leier has been working to prove his worth in the Flyers organization.

Leier has scored three goals and an assist in three preseason games with the Flyers—including his performance in Battle on Hamilton the night after he was sent to Lehigh Valley.

While Leier may be itching to get back into his Flyers sweater, the announcement that Scott Laughton was sent to Lehigh Valley should excite the forward, as their chemistry may lead to more goal scoring for both. The two 2012 draft prospects became fast friends at training camp, according to Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac.

Brett Flemming facing old teammates

The 5’11" defensemen was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL draft and spent the duration of his three-year contract in the Capitals minor league system before leaving as a free agent in early August. Lehigh Valley signed a one-year deal with Flemming shortly after.

The 23-year-old has appeared in 36 AHL games with the Bears in first three pro seasons and 143 games in ECHL, including an ECHL championship with the then- Washington affiliate, the Reading Royals in 2013.

The Royals have since changed its ECHL affiliation to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Flemming netted two of Team White’s three goals during Saturday’s intra-squad scrimmage.