October 03, 2017
By: Kristi Fulkerson
A lot has happened over the last two weeks in the Flyers and Phantoms hockey realm. It started with the Flyers preseason contest at PPL Center on September 20 and wrapped up this weekend with a pair of preseason tilts between the Phantoms and Charlotte Checkers.
The Flyers-Islanders game was the first glimpse of hockey in Allentown since April 30 of last season when the Phantoms were ousted in the Atlantic Division semifinal series, 3-2, by rival Hershey. The third-ever NHL contest in Allentown ended in dramatic fashion when the organization’s top draft pick (2nd overall in June), Nolan Patrick, assisted the overtime game-winning goal to Shayne Gostisbehere to secure the thrilling 3-2 victory.
This past weekend, the Phantoms dropped a pair of preseason games to Atlantic Division newcomer, Charlotte. The Checkers outscored Lehigh Valley 13 to 3 in two games. Attention, fans: There’s no cause for panic (really!). Since then, 12 players have been reassigned to ECHL Reading, and one very talented player has been assigned to Lehigh Valley (more on that later). The Phantoms were penalized (unofficially) 12 times over the weekend.
Third-year head coach Scott Gordon said it best, “You learn best from your mistakes, so there’s a great amount of learning to come from this.” He went on to admit that the preseason is about game conditioning and for many, getting acclimated to a new style of play. There were also several players ‘getting looks’ in new roles.
In between the Flyers and Phantoms game action I had a chance to chat with members of the 2017-18 Lehigh Valley squad at Media Day, meeting a handful of new players and catching up with several returners. You’ll want to stay tuned to TV2 this season to hear my interviews featuring some fun off-ice topics including the guys’ summer highlights (vacations, world championships, new babies, weddings, and more!) and what other occupation they might choose if hockey wasn’t an option.