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Phantoms Report: Phantoms Rally for Late Comeback Win in Springfield

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By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms season is just three games old, but already there has been a lot of action.

The team opened the season at home on Oct. 6 with a 6-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, with Nicolas Aube-Kubel scoring two goals and Carter Hart making 31 saves in his pro debut on his way to a win.

The Phantoms had a home and home with the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday and Saturday with two very different results.

On Friday at PPL Center, the Phantoms struggled mightily, getting blown out in a 7-0 loss. The Phantoms allowed five power-play goals in the game, as Hart was chased after giving up four goals. Anthony Stolarz didn’t fare much better, allowing three more in the game.

On Saturday, the Phantoms were on the road for the first time and were locked in a close game with the Thunderbirds throughout the first two periods.

Cole Bardreau scored a shorthanded goal to even the score at one in the first and T.J. Brennan briefly gave the Phantoms the lead in the second.

Springfield tied the game in the second and opened up a 4-2 lead in the third, looking to complete the weekend sweep. The Phantoms were running out of time late in the game, but had other ideas.

With 2:23 remaining in the third, David Kase scored his first professional goal from just outside the crease to cut the lead to one. With 23 seconds remaining in regulation, Greg Carey pounced on a rebound from a Philip Samuelsson blast from the point to tie the game at four and force overtime.

The game went to a shootout, where both teams had one goal through the first three rounds. German Rubtsov, who had scored his first professional goal in the team’s season opener, scored in the fourth round and Stolarz made a great save on Springfield’s attempt to complete the comeback.

So after three games, the Phantoms are off to a modest 2-1-0 start on the season.

This week, the Phantoms have their first 3-in-3 weekend. They will host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at PPL Center, travel to face the Penguins on Saturday and close the weekend with a trip to Bridgeport on Sunday afternoon.

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