SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms scored four unanswered goals between the second and third period to defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds 6-3 last night at the MassMutual Center before a crowd of 4,810.
“We didn’t play very well. We didn’t have a lot of energy. Personally, I didn’t like the game.” Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear said.
Greg Carey got the Phantoms on the board with 14:58 remaining in the first period with his first of two goals as he redirected a shot with assists from Phil Varone and James de Haas to go past Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault to go up 1-0.
The Thunderbirds would then go on the power play as Carey headed to the penalty box for the Phantoms for slashing and the Thunderbirds responded as Anthony Greco put in a shot past Phantoms goaltender Dustin Tokarski with assists from Curtis Valk and Tim Erixon to tie it at 1-1.
Phil Varone retook the lead for the Phantoms with his sixth goal of the season and his 100th professional goal of his career with assists from T.J. Brennan and Oskar Lindblom to make it 2-1.
The Thunderbirds received a two-man advantage late in the first period. Alexandre Grenier was able to put in a beautiful set up from Denis Malgin as he was in front of the net to tie it at 2-2. Curtis Valk received the secondary assist.
The Thunderbirds took their only lead of the evening when Mikkel Aaagard and Tony Turgeon went to the net and the shot went through Tokarski as Aaagard received his fourth goal of the season with assists from Blaine Byron and Mike Downing to make it 3-2.
Greg Carey responded again for the Phantoms a little over halfway through the second period with the backhander that went by the shoulder of Montembeault to tie it at 3-3. Mark Friedman and Phil Varone received the assists.
James de Haas scored the game-winning goal shorthanded as Corban Knight made the pass to de Haas as he deflected by Montembeault to make it 4-3.
Mark Alt extended the lead for the Phantoms with a slap shot with an assist from Corban Knight to make it 5-3.
The Thunderbirds would be without Tony Turgeon for the rest of the game as he delivered a hit to Phantoms Mark Friedman. Turgeon received a major for interference and a game misconduct.
Oskar Lindblom scored the final goal of the night for the Phantoms with an empty-net goal with an assist from Philippe Myers with 2:01 remaining in regulation.
Dustin Tokarski made 21 saves in the win for the Phantoms while Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault made 26 saves in the loss.
The Thunderbirds will have Saturday off as they will host the Hartford Wolf Pack at the MassMutual Center on Sunday with the drop of the puck at 3:05 p.m.