ALLENTOWN-- Phantoms kicked off their home opener with fire and brimstone—literally. With a flaming pyrotechnic show introducing the 2014-2015 Lehigh Valley Phantoms in front of a packed house of 8,647 fans in orange, the Flyers AHL affiliate win in a 4-3 overtime victory over their Glens Falls replacement. Phantoms move to 2-0, Adirondack falls to 0-4 this season.
Hell hath no fury like a team replaced?
Home opener at a glance:
- Phantoms entered their home arena in the top spot in the East Division, second in the Eastern conference, and led the AHL with 60.0 PP%. After 60 minutes the Phantoms retained their top spot in the conference, division and PP% going two for seven on the power play (five for 12 overall, dropping to 41.6%).
- After 60 minutes of hockey, regulation ended tied at three. Ugh overtime.
- Brandon Manning brought the arena to its feet just under two minutes into overtime with a goal fed off a screen from Gostisbehere, for the game winner and 700th all-time for the Phantoms franchise.
- In the first period, Phantoms wasted two easy power play opportunities before Scott Laughton sent a shot passed Adirondack goaltender Joni Ortio on Lehigh Valley’s third power play of the night. Laughton would later net the Phantoms second goal of the night (game tying/power play goal with 40 seconds left in the second period—no big deal).
- Laughton tied with Chris VandeVelde as the Phantoms leading goal scorer and second to VandeVelde in the league in power-play goals with two, respectively.
- Phantoms got into trouble early in the second period. With Jay Rosehill in the box with a four-minute roughing penalty and Oliver Lauridsen with two-minutes for boarding, Lehigh Valley killed two minutes of the 3-on-5 beautifully. They made smart plays and cleared the puck, keeping Zepp out of trouble, but a slapshot from Sena Acolaste from the faceoff circle sailed past Zepps right shoulder.
- Before tonight’s matchup, the Flames were outscored 4-15 in three regular season games. After 30 minutes of ice time, Adirondack took its first lead of the season after David Wolf sent another PP goal past Zepp.
- Terry Murray credited the Phantoms overtime appearance to Zepp, who kept Lehigh Valley in the game. With 24 saves between the second and third period, the 33-year-old saved a few "undisciplined" shifts for the Phantoms.
- Phantoms will play the Flames again tomorrow in Glens Falls. Murray announced starting goaltender will be Antony Stolarz in tomorrow's matchup.
- During pregame introductions, the Phantoms announced three alternate captains, in lieu of one captain and two alternates. Andrew Gordon, Darroll Powe and Zack Stortini will wear an A on their sweaters this season.
- "[They're] three veteran guys coming from different organizations, (Gordon, St. John's; Powe, Hartford/Rangers; Stortini, Norfolk) and I felt that we really needed to change it up," Murray said. "When you put a new group of guys, which we have this year youre lucky of one guy steps up abovve and beyond everybody else, and i see three guys that have stepped up, i feel good about the selection."
- The Phantoms had their own "dancing guy" in attendance, Friday. Cameron Hughes, a "professional fan" was hired by the Phantoms to energize the crowed during its inaugural home opener.