Photo: Nina Weiss/Flyerdelphia
It was teddy bear toss night for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and they were looking to rebound from a shutout Friday night at the hands of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Nobody expected that the addition of Andrew MacDonald would pay immediate dividends in the goal column, but it did.
MacDonald scored two goals, Anthony Stolarz made 33 saves, including both shots he faced in the shootout, and Petr Straka scored the shootout deciding goal as the Phantoms defeated the Springfield Falcons 5-4 Saturday night at PPL Center.
Lehigh Valley's penalty kill continued to excel as they kept the Falcons off the board with two power plays less than six minutes into the game. Mark Alt took a tripping call at 2:56 and Maxim LaMarche crashed into Falcons' netminder Niclas Treutle at 5:55. Five minutes later, MacDonald made teddy bears rain from the stands.
Jay Rosehill fed MacDonald in the slot from behind the net at 10:03 and it was 1-0. Cole Bardreau also picked up an assist on the play. The lead would last only a 1:08 though, as Domenic Monardo tied the game on a wrist shot fro the far circle that beat Stolarz high to the glove side. Two minutes later, MacDonald would haul down Dustin Jeffrey on a breakaway and would be given a penalty shot that Stolarz dropped into the butterfly to stop.
The Phantoms would get the lead on the power play at 17:25. With Springfield's Phil Lane off for a double-minor for high sticking, Taylor Leier picked up the rebound of a Nick Cousins shot in the goal mouth and wired it home. It was a lead that Lehigh Valley would take to the dressing room.
The Falcons' Laurent Dauphin took a slashing call at 2:27 of the second. Seconds after the penalty expired, Dauphin set up Dan O'Donoghue from behind the net at the edge of the crease at 4:43 to tie the game. The Phantoms had a golden opportunity to take the lead 5 minutes later, but Tyrell Goulbourne failed to convert a two on one.
Lehigh Valley exploded to start the third. Danick Martel scored from the goal line, popping a shot up under the crossbar at 1:29. Assists' went to LaMarche and Davis Drewiske. The Falcons' Michael Bunting took a hooking call at 2:33. 1:11 later, MacDonald scored his third of the season and second of the game to put the Phantoms up by two. Colin McDonald screened Treutle, and a wrist shot from the top of the far circle went into the net. Assists went to Cousins and Straka.
Normally, that would be enough. Not on this night. Dustin Jeffery scored his ninth on the collection of a Jon DiSalvatore rebound at 9:41. at 13:24, former Phantom Steven Delisle hit the post from the point, and Eric Selleck collected a rebound at the side of the crease and roofed a shot over Stolarz. It was Selleck's third tally of the season. With that, the game headed into overtime.
In the extra session, Lehigh Valley tried to get MacDonald the hat trick, to no avail. In the shootout for Springfield, Stolarz stopped Jeffery and DiSalvatore completely missed the net. Taylor Leier went backhand-forehand to put it home and then Petr Straka went top shelf to secure the victory.
Notes: With Andrew MacDonald being returned from Philadelphia Saturday morning, Matt Lashoff was scratched. There was no postgame coaches session as Scott Gordon was meeting with Flyers GM Ron Hextall.
Quotes: Andrew MacDonald, on if he had ever had a two goal game in the AHL: "Jeez, I think I had one in Bridgeport. That was years ago, probably six years ago."
Danick Martel, on scoring on his birthday: "It was cool, but every goal is a good one.
On bouncing back from the loss to the Penguins: " I think we deserved that win yesterday. We worked hard and got in the shootout, so it's good."
3 Stars: 3) SPR-Steven Delisle (2 Assists) 2) LV-Andrew MacDonald (2 Goals) 1) LV-Petr Straka (Game-Winning Shootout Goal)
Up Next: Lehigh Valley returns to PPL Center ice Wednesday at 7:05 PM to face Wilkes-Barre/Scranton