(Tommy Hendricks/Sports Talk Philly)
By Tommy Hendricks, Sports Talk Philly staff writer
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms played their first home game since the All-Star break on Wednesday night, defeating the Binghamton Senators by a final of 5-0. Five different Phantoms scored goals and helped the team bounce back from their 7-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last Saturday.
Lehigh Valley came into the game missing two key components to their offensive game, with forwards Colin McDonald and Taylor Leier both out with injuries. The injury bug bit again on Wednesday night, with Boyd Gordon leaving the game with 11:24 left in the first period after getting taken hard into the corner boards awkwardly. He was unable to put weight on his left leg while being helped off the ice.
The Phantoms avenged their fallen teammate by scoring two goals in six seconds to take the lead in the game. The first came from Mark Zengerle at the 12:56 mark of the period, off a feed from Corbin Knight. Knight threw a backhand pass into the slot, which Zengerle took and wristed into the net to make it 1-0.
On the ensuing face-off, Nicolas Aube-Kubel won the draw and got the puck to Danick Martel. Martel had a burst of speed through the neutral zone and into Binghamton territory, pulling up at the right-wing circle and backhanding a shot right over Chris Driedger and in.
The Phantoms added two more goals in the second period, one coming from birthday boy Robert Hagg. Hagg took a shot from the blue line that deflected off a Senator's stick. Everyone in the arena seemed to look up expecting the puck to go out of play. But the puck arched like a rainbow up and landed right behind Driedger in the B-Sens net to make it 3-0.
The puck luck did not change for the B-Sens, as Driedger made a save on a Knight shot, but the puck went airborne again. This time, landing beside the net where Scott Laughton found it and tucked it between Driedger's pads to make it 4-0.
Sam Morin decided he wanted to get in on the scoring party, wristing a shot through traffic that caught iron and went in at the 11:25 mark of the third. The Phantoms ended up out-shooting the B-Sens, 47-27, with Alex Lyon picking up the shutout in a 5-0 victory.
Lehigh Valley gets back into action this Friday and Saturday with a pair of games against the visiting St. John's Ice Caps.
Robert Hagg on his strange birthday goal: "I didn't see it at all. I just heard a horn sound. At first I thought it was Kubes [Aube-Kubel] or Danick [Martel] who tipped it in front, but a goal is a goal."