The remainder of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms season has a time frame on it: three weeks and eight games.
The first of the final eight and first of back-to-back games against the St. John's IceCaps went the Phantoms way, as they claimed their third straight win behind goalie Martin Ouellette, 4-1, on Friday night at Mile One Arena.
The two teams combined for 24 shots in the first period, with St. John's holding a slight 13-11 edge, but there was no scoring.
Just 37 seconds into the second period, the Phantoms struck first. Colin McDonald sprang a streaking Mark Alt. Alt carried in on goal and took a shot, but it was stopped by Zachary Fucale. But Taylor Leier followed up on the rebound and used his speed and reach to make an unbelievable play and score. It was his 19th goal of the season.
The Phantoms opened up the lead to two on a power-play goal by Adam Comrie, who blasted a slap shot past Fucale off a faceoff at 12:30.
Tim Bozon cut the Phantoms lead to one with a quick shot off a faceoff at 14:50. The Phantoms held a 2-1 lead after two periods.
At 6:58 of the third, the Phantoms extended the lead back to two with a goal from Robert Hagg. A point shot through a screen made its way through and beat Fucale.
The Phantoms fended off any pressure from the IceCaps as Ouellette made 27 saves in the win. The Phantoms iced the game with an empty-net goal from Steven Swavely, his first AHL goal, at 18:28.
The Phantoms return to action for the second half of the back-to-back in St. John's on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m.
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.