Hershey downs Phantoms in weekend finale


Photo: Steve Kuzma/Flyerdelphia 

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms had been on a roll coming into Saturday night's. Anthony Stolarz had been incredible between the pipes, and they were getting scoring from nearly everyone on the roster. The power play had continued to struggle, just as it had for most of this campaign.

Saturday's game was much of the same, as the power play went 0-for-5 and Stolarz made 42 saves. Chris Bourque scored with 20.4 remaining to give the Hershey Bears a 2-1 victory on Saturday in Hershey.

Lehigh Valley had two tries with the man-advantage in the first 10 minutes of the game, but didn't register a shot on either. In fact, they didn't register a shot on goal until the second half of the period, and only managed five in the first 20 minutes.

Even through all of that, they still went to the locker room with the lead after the first stanza. Nick Cousins got the Phantoms on the board at 14:57.

Cousins picked up his sixth of the season when he collected a rebound, whirled around in the slot and wristed a puck over Dan Ellis. Assists went to Sam Morin and Colin McDonald, who was returned to the Phantoms from the Flyers along with Cousins before the game.

In the second, Stolarz continued to be fantastic, but Lehigh Valley just couldn't mount any further offense. They again had only five shots, while Hershey registered 14.

And you can guess what happened. 

Dustin Gazley deflected a Paul Carey centering pass through Stolarz' legs and the game was tied. The Phantoms had two more power plays in the frame, but came up empty.

It looked like the game was headed for overtime, but Bourque had other ideas. Tyler Boyd found Bourque with a ridiculous backhand pass through the slot to the edge of the crease and he slammed it past Stolarz. Scott Gordon pulled his goaltender with 20 seconds left, but couldn't find the equalizer.

Notes: Defenseman Jesper Pettersson was injured on his first shift of the game and did not return. It is unknown if the team will make a move to get a healthy body in from the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

3 Stars: 3) HER-Dustin Gazley (Goal) 2) LV-Anthony Stolarz (42 Saves) 1) HER-Chris Bourque (Game-Winning OT Goal)

Up Next: Lehigh Valley returns to PPL Center on Wednesday for a rematch with the Hershey Bears at 7:05 p.m.

Brent Baldwin is Lehigh Valley Phantoms beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @BBFlyerdelphia.

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