Phantoms Lose Game 2 on Last-Minute Goal

(Kate Frese/Sports Talk Philly)

By Tommy Hendricks, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms fell in heartbreaking fashion in Game 2 of their first round series with the Hershey Bears by a final of 5-4 on Saturday night at PPL Center.
The heartbreak came from not only from the result — a goal by Chris Bourque with just over 30 seconds left in regulation — but also losing rookie goalie Alex Lyon to a right leg injury.
The Phantoms again controlled much of the game, but ultimately fell again.

The first period of Saturday night's game continued the trend of Friday's, with the Phantoms controlling play early. A huge scrum just 20 seconds in got Lehigh Valley to the power play, and they would capitalize. 
T.J. Brennan unleashed a wrist shot from the top of the point that beat Pheonix Copley, finally getting the Phantoms a goal in the series and putting them ahead 1-0 just 1:10 in.
Hershey did not register a shot on goal until 5:58 into the first, but it would beat Lyon to tie the game. Stanislav Galiev beat the Phantoms​ netminder off a backhand feed from Madison Bowey to knot the game at one.
From there, all hell broke loose. Both teams combined for 24 penalty minutes in the first, and the game turned into a true rivalry matchup. Ugly hits and after whistle scrums lead to most of the penalties, including a 5-on-3 chance for the Bears, but the Phantoms killed it off.
Lehigh Valley got another power play with 1:06 left to play in the opening frame, and broke the tie with just 12 seconds left. Andy Miele blasted a one-timer off a beautiful backhand feed from Chris Conner, who was positioned below the goalline. The goal gave the Phantoms a 2-1 lead to head into intermission, outshooting the Bears, 16-4.
Hershey came out early in the second and was able to tie the game on a wrister by Christian Djoos. After cycling the puck around the Phantoms zone, Galiev found the streaking Djoos coming down the near side, and he blew the shot by Lyon just 3:47 into the middle frame.
The Phantoms answered though, with two straight goals from Greg Carey to retake and extend their lead. The first came just after Carey came out of the penalty box. As the penalty expired, Carey jumped back on with the Phantoms on the rush up ice. Conner found Carey at the near-side dot, and he too unleashed a wrister, scoring to give the Phantoms the lead back.
Carey added his second goal of the game just over two minutes later. Copley juggled the puck off a shot from Mark Zengerle, and the rebound sat in the crease. Carey got free and tapped the puck home, giving Lehigh Valley a 4-2 lead to take into the third. 
The Bears would not go quietly however, scoring 7:27 into the third to get back within a goal. Playing at 4-on-4 again, Hershey got their cycle game going in the Phantoms zone. Bowey took a shot from the point that Chris Bourque tipped past Lyon to make it 4-3.
Then a scary situation happened. Lyon went from post to post, pushing off to make a stop, but did not get up after the puck was cleared up ice. Lyon stayed down for a long period of time, having to be eventually helped off by trainers and his teammates as he was unable to put pressure on his right leg. Martin Ouellette had to enter the game from there. 
Ouellette ended up giving up a goal on the first shot he faced, although he never saw the puck. Tyler Lewington put a shot through traffic and in off the post behind Ouellette to tie the game at four, 9:55 into the third. Ryan Bourque and Dustin Gazley were both in the line of sight for the Phantoms netminder, creating the screen that lead to the goal.
Both teams went up and down the ice from there, each getting a few quality chances to break the tie. The end to end action continued into the final minutes, with both teams just trying to get that one goal to win. 
That goal came with 32.6 seconds left. Another long shot from the point got put through traffic, this one coming off the stick of Djoos. His shot got deflected in by Chris Bourque, sending the Hershey players skating back into their own zone in excitement. The goal stood as the game-winner, giving Bourque two goals on the night and giving the Bears a 2-0 series lead.
Despite controlling much of the first two games, and having a 4-2 lead going into the third period on Saturday night, the Phantoms now travel to Hershey for Game 3 of this first round series in a huge 2-0 hole. Having lost Lyon to a right leg injury as well, Lehigh Valley has a huge hill to climb if they want to win this series. With their season on life support, the Phantoms will have to look to come out swinging on Wednesday night. 
Greg Carey on what the Phantoms have to do to get out of this 2-0 series deficit: "Obviously it's not what we want, being down 2-0, but we've had a lot of success in Hershey and we just have to bear this one, start with Game 3 and move from there. I mean, the pucks can't go their way this whole series and we have to believe that. We've got to have faith in that and we have to come out and play our game. I mean we've played well, we've adhered to our system and we've gotten pucks to the net obviously. Dropping two at home sucks, but I think we can take them." 
3 Stars
1. Chris Bourque (HER) – 2 Goals, +2
2. Greg Carey (LV) – 2 Goals, Assist, +2
3. Stanislav Galiev (HER)- Goal, Assist, +2
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