Phantoms Hunt Down Bears in Shootout


Photo: Nina Weiss/Flyerdelphia

Tyrell Goulbourne of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms has drawn comparisons to former Flyer Zac Rinaldo early in his career. Tonight against the Hershey Bears, he looked more like current Flyer Claude Giroux. 

Goulbourne had two goals and Petr Straka added two of his own to continue his hot pace, as Lehigh Valley won, 4-3, on Friday night.

Games between these two teams are usually very slanted one way or the other. In this one, neither team could get away from the other.

Goulbourne struck just 1:22 into the first when he picked up the rebound of a Kevin Goumas shot in the slot and wristed it past Hershey netminder Dan Ellis. The secondary assist whent to Robert Hagg. 

Both teams traded chances when Hershey tied it at 8:38. A Mike Moore slot shot beat Phantoms goaltender Connor Knapp. Less than four minutes later, Tyler Lewington's first in a Hershey uniform eluded Knapp to put the bears in front.

Less than a minute after Lewington's goal, Moore went off for a high-stick, giving Lehigh Valley a man-advantage, and Taylor Leier struck to tie the game again. He streaked down the right side, beating Ellis from a nearly impossible angle in close. It was Leier's fifth of the season.

Tyler Boyd got the Bears the lead at 4:35 of the second, taking a nifty behind the net pass from former Phantom Austin Fyten at the edge of the crease and banged the puck home. Straka got his 13th of the season and first of two consecutive goals 6:16 later, taking a pass from Leier who had been tripped, and putting it home at the far post. Goulbourne absolutely pummeled Lewington in a fight seconds later off a scrum in front of Knapp. The fight drew a raucous ovation from the crowd of 8,262.

Straka got his league-leading 14th goal at 16:58. He picked up the rebound of a Leier shot, danced around Ellis and put the puck into the gaping net. Davis Drewiske also picked up an assist on the play.

The third looked good for Lehigh Valley, until Nathan Walker pulled the game even at 12:08, collecting his own rebound at the edge of the crease. Goulbourne got his second of the night and sixth of the season, potting a shot from the slot on a feed from Evan Rankin at 16:13. The secondary assist went to Goumas, his second of the night.

Things were looking good for the Phantoms to pick up the win in regulation, but Paul Carey had other ideas. Riley Barber got the puck coming into the zone, and floated a cross-ice aerial pass to Carey, who was streaking to the net. Carey knocked the puck out of the air and into the net past Knapp.

Both teams had numerous two-on-one chances in the overtime, but both Ellis and Knapp stood tall. 

In the shootout, Connor Knapp stopped all five shooters he faced, including Phantom killer Chris Bourque. For the Phantoms, the fifth shooter in the skills competition got the extra point. Tim Brent scored with a wicked forehand-to-backhand move that he took top shelf over Ellis.

Notes: Defenseman Mark Alt and forward Kevin Sundher left the game with lower body injuries, there was no update on their status after the game. Head coach Scott Gordon said that goaltender Anthony Stolarz had an MRI earlier in the afternoon, but that there was no update on his status. Stolarz left after the first period of Wednesday's game in Utica. Jason LaBarbera is still day-to-day. Connor Knapp was cramping in the third and throughout the overtime festivities, but managed to stay in the game. 

Quotes: Knapp on the cramping: "I cramped up. It's only ever happened to me one other time in my career but when I get them it's pretty bad. When it happens my legs just lock up sometimes. It was definitely uncomfortable but probably due to the rink being hot here and the pace of the game too."

On the win in his Lehigh Valley debut: "I've been out of the AHL awhile. I was excited to find out I was playing in this game. You always want to win, I think that's the biggest thing for a goalie is to be known as a winner. It was good to get this one tonight and the boys really battled out there for me."

Taylor Leier on being reassigned from Philadelphia late last night: "The last day or so has kind of been a whirlwind, but it was exciting to come back and see the guys. Obviously tonight was a huge game for us after the loss in Utica Wednesday. I just wanted to come back and bring some energy and help the boys win here."

Scott Gordon on the play of his goaltender: "You know, that's one of those things where any move you make, your body, your legs wanna kick out just to straighten out the muscle. For him to stick it out was huge. It was a tough spot for [Martin Ouellette] to have to go in. He managed to stay in there and get his first win.

3 Stars: 3) LV-Petr Straka (2 Goals) 2) HER-Nathan Walker (Goal, assist) 1) LV-Tyrell Goulbourne (2 goals)

Up Next: The Phantoms stay home to face the Providence Bruins Saturday night at 7:05.

Go to top button