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PREVIEW: Phantoms vs. Bears – Lehigh Valley Phantoms

PREVIEW: Phantoms vs. Bears - Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 4:05 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (31-22-6) vs. Hershey Bears (34-16-7)
PPL Center, Allentown, PA

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms strive to beware the Ides of March while seeking their sixth straight win as they tangle with the rival Hershey Bears in the third game of a five-game homestand at PPL Center. Tonight’s game can be seen on NHL Network in a simulcast with the broadcast from Service Electric Network.
Lehigh Valley (31-22-6) swept its busy three-game weekend including a 5-2 victory over the Utica Comets in the most recent outing on Sunday.
The Phantoms are tied with the Springfield Thunderbirds for fourth place in the Atlantic Division although Springfield has one game-in-hand.
Hershey (34-16-7) has lost three in a row to drop out of first place in the Atlantic Division. The Bears were swept in a two-game series at the Providence Bruins last weekend in a showdown of the top two teams in the Atlantic Division.
There are 13 games remaining in the regular season with eight at home.

Saturday, March 11, 2023
Phantoms 4 – Senators 3 (OT)
Cooper Marody’s hat trick goal with 48.5 seconds brought the flying sombreros at PPL Center. But there was still work to be done. Sam Ersson made six saves in overtime including several on a Belleville penalty kill. Then it was Ronnie Attard (10th) who struck for the overtime winner after Adam Brooks stole it in the B-Sens zone. Marody’s fourth career AHL hat trick was part of a five-goal weekend for him…so far. Brooks had three assists on the night and Lehigh Valley won in overtime at home for the first time this season after four away OT triumphs.

The top six teams in the Atlantic Division qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs and the fourth-place team will receive home-ice advantage for the first round of the postseason. Lehigh Valley is tied for fourth with Springfield for fourth place but the Thunderbirds have one game-in-hand. The Phantoms are now nine points ahead of Hartford at the playoff cut-line.
Lehigh Valley’s Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is now 20 points (which is points acquired by Lehigh Valley and also points missed by Hartford). The Phantoms can trim that Magic Number down to 16 with a win tonight combined with a regulation loss by Hartford against Bridgeport.
The current standings would have the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Springfield Thunderbirds meeting in the first round in the 5 vs. 4 series.

Cooper Marody was named AHL…

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