On a night where young guns Travis Sanheim and Nicolas Aube-Kubel made their pro debuts, it would be the veterans getting it done for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The Phantoms were able to fend off pressure and strike at opportune times to picks up a 4-0 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Phantoms were outshot, 40-22, for the game, but thanks to a second straight shutout performance from Martin Ouellette and a hat trick from blue liner Adam Comrie, Lehigh Valley would escape victorious over their arch rival.
Wilkes-Barre would have an abundance of chances to get on the board from the get-go, including three power plays in the first period that Ouellette and the penalty kill handled. Despite being outshot 11-3 in the first, the Phantoms would go into the locker room with the game still scoreless.
Again, the Phantoms would have their backs to the wall in the second, being outshot 17-7 margin. Against those odds, it would be Lehigh Valley striking first with Comrie getting the goal and Aube-Kubel picking up an assist for his first pro point at the 17:25 mark of the second.
Tim Brent would get credited for the Phantoms second goal of the game, just 59 seconds into the third, as Chris Conner would bank it into the net off his back to extend the lead. Another highly-touted prospect, Oskar Lindblom, would be credited with the secondary assist to give him two points in three games with Lehigh Valley since he joined the roster.
Comrie would complete his hat trick as the Phantoms finally cashed in on two of their eight man-advantage chances, at the 8:03 and 12:14 mark of the third respectively, to put the game away.
Ouellette would finish the night with his second shutout in a row, becoming only the seventh goalie in franchise history to do so. Coupled with Comrie's first AHL hat trick, Friday's game marked the first time since 2011 that the Phantoms recorded a hat trick and shutout in the same game. The last was on April 6, 2011, when Michael Leighton recorded the the shutout and Denis Hamel scored three goals.
- Chris Conner's three assists helped gain him third-star honors Friday. The three-point night brought Conner's total for the season to 52 points.
- Ouellette became only the seventh goalie in franchise history to record back-to-back shutouts, joining the likes of Brian Regan, Neil Little, Antero Niittymaki, Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton and Cal Heeter. Leighton achieved the feat twice while with the Phantoms.
- The young prospects are already shining. Nicolas Aube-Kubel recorded his first pro point in his first pro game, Oskar Lindblom already has two points in three games and Travis Sanheim is already seeing power-play time on the second unit. The future is bright, and that future is now for the Phantoms.
Up Next: The Phantoms will come home to PPL Center to face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday night, and then head to Bridgeport to finish the home-and-home with the Sound Tigers Sunday.
Tommy Hendricks is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @TommyHendricks3.