T.J. Brennan’s Hat Trick Leads Phantoms Past Comets

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Playing in their third game in three days, especially after two tough games against Hartford over the weekend, was sure to take a lot out of the Phantoms. That was especially the case facing a rested Utica Comets team.

But the Phantoms continued to show why they have been one of the best teams in the AHL this season, scoring four goals in the third period to secure a 7-4 win over the Comets on Sunday afternoon.

It took 15 minutes for either team to find the net, but Jordan Subban was the first to score in this game. Subban's 11th of the season came at 15:03 and gave Utica the lead after 20 minutes with a 13-12 edge in shots.

Andrey Pedan tallied at 5:29 of the second to open up a 2-0 lead for Utica, but the Phantoms quickly responded with a power-play goal by Chris Conner 51 seconds later to cut the lead to one.

Just 54 seconds later, Robert Hagg scored to tie the game with his sixth goal of the season.

Cody Kunyk broke the tie with 2:11 to play in the second period, but T.J. Brennan answered quickly with the equalizer just 26 seconds later, tying the game at three going to the third period.

Hagg struck for his second goal of the game at 5:34 to break the tie and give the Phantoms their first lead of the game with his seventh of the season and his first career two-goal game. Brennan added his second of the game 54 seconds later to give the Phantoms a two-goal cushion.

The lead was short-lived however, as Alexandre Grenier scored on the power play to cut the deficit to one for Utica at 7:34, just 1:06 after Brennan's goal.

The Phantoms held off the push from Utica in the third, as the Comets fired 16 shots on goal in the period and Alex Lyon making 15 saves to keep the Phantoms in front.

Brennan scored into an empty net with 1:35 to play to complete the hat trick and make some AHL history in the process. With the goal, his 17th of the season, he moved into second place all-time in AHL history for goals by a defenseman with 130.

The Phantoms weren't done there with the scoring, as Utica pulled the goalie again and Cole Bardreau scored to cap the scoring.

Lyon made 43 saves in the win as Utica fired 47 shots. Comets goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 26 of 31 shots from the Phantoms.

The Phantoms are back on the ice on Friday night to take on the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7:05 p.m.


  • Mark Alt left the game in the second period and did not return. There was no further update on his status postgame.
  • Brennan's 130 career goals trails only John Slaney among defenseman in AHL history. Per Phantoms radio broadcaster Bob Rotruck, Slaney scored 85 of his 166 career goals as a member of the Phantoms from 2000-2007.

3 Stars

3. Evan McEnery (UTI) – Assist, -2

2. Robert Hagg (LV) – 2 Goals, +2

1. T.J. Brennan (LV) – 3 Goals, +1

Go to top button