Phantoms winless streak hits 7 after loss to Portland


Nina Weiss/Flyerdelphia

While the last few games for the Flyers have been about making headway in the playoff race, things aren't looking as well down on the farm.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are riding a tough stretch that only grew tougher with their seventh straight loss, falling to the Portland Pirates on Sunday afternoon, 4-2, at PPL Center.

Portland came flying out of the gate, getting an early power play and capitalizing. Shane Harper was left alone in front for a tip-in goal off a pass from Kyle Rau at 2:57, giving the Pirates the early lead.

The Pirates added a second goal midway through the period. After taking a cross-ice pass, Corban Knight fed a streaking Wayne Simpson, who cut to the net and beat Jason LaBarbera with a backhand at 9:02.

Early in the second, Rocco Grimaldi fired a high shot over LaBarbera on a 3-on-2 rush to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead just 1:17 into the period.

Lehigh Valley would hold the shot advantage from there, taking 15 of their 30 for the game in the second period. Only one of those chances beat Portland netminder Mike McKenna

Adam Comrie fired a point shot that deflected off of Portland winger Connor Brickley and in at 12:16, getting the Phantoms on the board. It was Comrie's fifth goal of the season. Assists went to Phil DeSimone and Mark Alt.

The Phantoms kept the pressure on in the third, taking 11 shots on goal, and cut the lead to one with 1:29 remaining. A shot by Danick Martel went wide and sat behind the net where Chris Conner picked it up. He managed to bank a shot in off McKenna for his 14th goal of the season. 

But just 24 seconds later, Portland iced the game with an empty-net goal by Simpson, his second of the game, ending any chance for a Phantoms comeback.


  • The Phantoms out-shot the Pirates, 30-24, for the game, with the Phantoms holding a 26-15 advantage in the final two periods. 
  • Jason LaBarbera made 20 saves on 23 shots in the loss, dropping him to 7-14-0 on the season.
  • The Phantoms were also 0-for-4 on the power play.
  • Standings Update: The Pirates are 10 points ahead of the Phantoms for the crossover position in the AHL's Atlantic Division. The Phantoms have the fewest games remaining, 11, of any team in the Atlantic Division.

Up Next: The Phantoms host the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night at PPL Center. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso

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