Flyers Country: It’s beginning to look a lot like first place

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give a Puck.
Dov Grumet-Morris continues his strong play as Greenville's new No. 1 after Nic Riopel was recalled to the Adirondack Phantoms. (ECHL)

Dov Grumet-Morris continues his strong play as Greenville’s new No. 1 after Nic Riopel was recalled to the Adirondack Phantoms. (ECHL)

Flyers defenseman Matt Walker re-injured his hip Sunday in his rehab game with the Phantoms. He underwent surgery on the left side Thursday. He will be sidelined for approximately six to eight weeks.

Flyers forward Jody Shelley was suspended two games Monday for his hit on Adam McQuaid in the Boston Bruins game.

Flyers’ Ian Laperriere was placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) Monday to make way for Michael Leighton‘s return.

Leighton was activated Tuesday night. The Flyers will now carry three goaltenders.

Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger was injured in Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. He underwent surgery on his first metatarsal in his right foot Friday. He will be out for four to six weeks.

Goaltender Brian Stewart was recalled to the Phantoms Sunday after spending time with the Road Warriors while Leighton played his four rehab games.

Greenville’s Dov Grumet-Morris was named the Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the second consecutive week Tuesday. He has become only the third goal to achieve this honor, following Dany Sabourin in 2004 and Tyrone Garner in 2001.

Brendan Connolly was returned to Greenville Tuesday after playing in three games with the Phantoms.

Greenville’s game Tuesday night against the Gwinnett Gladiators was postponed due to poor ice conditions. The game will be rescheduled to a later time.

Professional recording artist Edwin McCain performed the “Star Spangled Banner” Friday night at Greenville’s home game. McCain, a native of Greenville, S.C., is most known for his single, “I’ll Be.” Friday’s game was also the team’s first-ever Teddy Bear Toss. The teddy bears will be donated to Toys For Tots.

PUCK ROUNDUP

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
The Battle of Pennsylvania is always guaranteed to be thrilling, but even more was at stake Tuesday night than just bragging rights. The Flyers trailed by only one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for tops in the Atlantic Division. The Penguins were riding high on a 12-game win streak. And to top it off, the winner of the game would claim the No. 1 spot in the NHL. So who now holds the honors of No. 1? That would go to the Flyers, who squeaked by with a 3-2 win at home. Evgeni Malkin, who missed the previous four games with an injury, returned in time to score twice on the power play. Brian Boucher made his third consecutive start. This is the longest Sergei Bobrovsky has gone without playing this season. This is the fastest the Flyers have reached the 20-win mark since 1986.

Scoring:
12:32 of the 1st: PHI Claude Giroux (15) – Assists: Danny Briere (8) & Scott Hartnell (14)
08:23 of the 2nd: PIT Evgeni Malkin, PPG (9) – Assists: Alex Goligoski (11) & Sidney Crosby (26)
12:28 of the 2nd: PHI Nikolay Zherdev (10) – Assists: James van Riemsdyk (8) & Sean O’Donnell (6)
03:18 of the 3rd: PIT Evgeni Malkin, PPG (10) – Assists: Sidney Crosby (27) & Kris Letang (22)
09:54 of the 3rd: PHI Scott Hartnell, PPG (8) – Assists: Chris Pronger (11) & Kimmo Timonen (14)

Goaltending:
(W) PHI Brian Boucher (6-3-2): 21 saves on 23 shots – 59:56 TOI
(L) PIT Marc-Andre Fleury (14-7-1): 34 saves on 37 shots – 58:49 TOI

The Flyers returned immediately back to the ice Thursday against the Canadiens. The team showed some signs of tiredness, but the newly created line of James van RiemsdykJeff CarterNikolay Zherdev rolled all over the Canadiens. They combined for 4 goals and 3 assists as the Flyers defeated Montreal, 5-3. Bobrovsky made 38 saves in his return to the net. Pronger missed the entire third period with a lower-body injury.

Scoring:
19:42 of the 1st: PHI Jeff Carter (13) – Assists: Matt Carle (14)
02:33 of the 2nd: PHI James van Riemsdyk (6) – Assists: Jeff Carter (13) & Andrej Meszaros (11)
18:09 of the 2nd: MTL PK Subban, PPG (2) – Assists: Scott Gomez (6) & Michael Cammalleri (12)
05:31 of the 3rd: PHI Nikolay Zherdev (11) – Assists: Sean O’Donnell (7)
07:01 of the 3rd: MTL Tomas Plekanec (10) – Assists: Benoit Pouliot (10) & Michael Cammalleri (13)
09:55 of the 3rd: MTL Brian Gionta (10) – Assists: Scott Gomez (7) & PK Subban (9)
14:27 of the 3rd: PHI James van Riemsdyk, PPG (7) – Assists: Nikolay Zherdev (2) & Jeff Carter (14)
15:28 of the 3rd: PHI Claude Giroux (16) – Assists: Mike Richards (20)

Goaltending:
(W) PHI Sergei Bobrovsky (15-4-3): 38 saves on 41 shots – 60:00 TOI
(L) MTL Carey Price (17-9-2): 25 saves on 30 shots – 59:02 TOI

The Flyers finished up their stretch of tough teams Saturday afternoon against the rival New York Rangers. They continued their win streak with a 4-1 victory, giving them their fifth consecutive win. Boucher has gone 6-0-1 in his last seven starts, making the decision harder for GM Paul Holmgren and coach Peter Laviolette to bring Leighton in. The Flyers have gained a 5-point lead over the second best team in the league.

Scoring:
09:06 of the 2nd: PHI Nikolay Zherdev (12) – Assists: Mike Richards (21)
03:19 of the 3rd: PHI Andreas Nodl (8) – Assists: Claude Giroux (15)
08:23 of the 3rd: NYR Derek Stepan (9) – Assists: Alexander Frolov (9) & Erik Christensen (8)
09:57 of the 3rd: PHI Ville Leino (8) – Assists: Kimmo Timonen (15) & Danny Briere (9)
15:06 of the 3rd: PHI Nikolay Zherdev, PPG (13) – Assists: Andrej Meszaros (12) & Jeff Carter (15)

Goaltending:
(W) PHI Brian Boucher (7-3-2): 24 saves on 25 shots – 60:00 TOI
(L) NYR Henrik Lundqvist (14-12-1): 35 saves on 39 shots – 60:00 TOI

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS
The Phantoms tried to regain some confidence from their win last Friday, but blew two leads in the game to the Connecticut Whale Sunday and lost 4-3. Nic Riopel got his first start since Leighton joined the team on his rehab stint. He has yet to record a win in the AHL this season.

Scoring:
06:14 of the 2nd: ADK Danny Syvret, PPG (4) – Assists: Ben Holmstrom & Erik Gustafsson
09:14 of the 2nd: CT Chad Kolarik (10) – Assists: Mats Zuccarello & Kris Newbury
12:39 of the 2nd: ADK Marc-Andre Bourdon (1) – Assists: Ben Holmstrom & Rob Bordson
15:06 of the 2nd: CT Jeremy Williams, PPG (15) – Assists: Mats Zuccarello & Kris Newbury
02:48 of the 3rd: CT Dale Weise (4) – Assists: Chad Kolarik & Kelsey Tessier
11:36 of the 3rd: CT Dale Weise (5) – Assists: Chad Kolarik & Kesley Tessier
13:06 of the 3rd: ADK Luke Pither (5) – Assists: Denis Hamel & Matt Walker

Goaltending:
(L) ADK Nic Riopel (0-5-0-0): 23 saves on 27 shots – 58:40 TOI
(W) CT Cameron Talbot (4-2-0-1): 30 saves on 33 shots – 60:00 TOI

The Phantoms fell 6-4 to the Whale after a furious attempt at a comeback in the third period. The Phantoms scored three goals in the third to rally back after a 3-goal deficit to get within one, but could not get the tying goal before Connecticut scored on the empty net. Ben Holmstrom had 3 points (1G, 2A) on the night, giving him 5 points (1G, 4A) in two games.

Scoring:
05:04 of the 2nd: CT Kris Newbury, PPG (4) – Assists: Tim Kennedy & Jeremy Williams
13:13 of the 2nd: CT Wade Redden, PPG (3) – Assists: Kris Newbury & Dale Weise
13:24 of the 2nd: CT Tim Kennedy (4) – Assists: None
14:35 of the 2nd: ADK Danny Syvret, PPG (5) – Assists: Ben Holmstrom & Erik Gustafsson
19:17 of the 2nd: CT Kelsey Tessier (4) – Assists: Evgeny Grachev & Justin Soryal
04:01 of the 3rd: ADK Denis Hamel (8) – Assists: Mike Testwuide
05:01 of the 3rd: CT Dale Weise, PPG (6) – Assists: Tim Kennedy
08:32 of the 3rd: ADK Erik Gustafsson, PPG (4) – Assists: Danny Syvret & Ben Holmstrom
16:45 of the 3rd: ADK Ben Holmstrom, PPG (6) – Assists: Erik Gustafsson & Denis Hamel
19:34 of the 3rd: CT Mats Zuccarello, EN (13) – Assists: Kris Newbury

Goaltending:
(L) ADK Brian Stewart (0-5-0-0): 22 saves on 27 shots – 59:04 TOI
(W) CT Cameron Talbot (5-2-0-1): 16 saves on 20 shots – 59:40 TOI

The Phantoms faced the Hershey Bears Friday night, but the team brought early holiday cheer to Glen Falls with a 3-1 victory over the reigning Calder Cup champions. Denis Hamel scored two goals on the night, but what was more impressive was that his second was his 300th career goal. Riopel finally registered his first win of the season. Shane Harper notched his first goal of the season since being called up from Greenville.

Scoring:
14:24 of the 1st: HER Brian Willsie, PPG (11) – Assists: Keith Aucoin & Lawrence Nycholat
10:41 of the 2nd: ADK Denis Hamel, PPG (9) – Assists: Danny Syvret & Erik Gustafsson
12:11 of the 2nd: ADK Shane Harper (1) – Assists: None
11:28 of the 3rd: ADK Denis Hamel (10) – Assists: Luke Pither & Mike Testwuide

Goaltending:
(W) ADK Nic Riopel (1-5-0-0): 25 saves on 26 shots – 59:56 TOI
(L) HER Dany Sabourin (6-8-0-0): 22 saves on 25 shots – 57:54 TOI

For the first time this season, the Phantoms have won back-to-back games, coming away with a 2-1 victory over the Abbotsford Heat Saturday night. It was a game of special teams as all three goals in the game were scored with a man down. Michael Ryan got it started for the Phantoms with his shorthanded goal in the first.

Scoring:
01:51 of the 1st: ADK Michael Ryan, SHG (3) – Assists: Denis Hamel
01:04 of the 2nd: ADK Denis Hamel, PPG (11) – Assists: Danny Syvret & Ben Holmstrom
04:27 of the 3rd: ABB Matt Keith, PPG (12) – Asists: Ryan Stone

Goaltending:
(W) ADK Nic Riopel (2-5-0-0): 26 saves on 27 shots – 59:58 TOI
(L) ABB Leland Irving (15-10-0-1): 21 saves on 23 shots – 58:51 TOI

GREENVILLE ROAD WARRIORS
After getting an unexpected extra day of rest, the Road Warriors hit the ice Wednesday night against the Florida Everblades. But the team was unable to keep their winning momentum up. After Brandon Wong scored an early first period goal, the Everblades came back with 5 unanswered goals, skating away with the 5-1 win. Greenville could not capitalize on any of the four power play opportunities they had.

Scoring:
01:48 of the 1st: GRN Brandon Wong (7) – Assists: Brendan Connolly & Paul McIlveen
03:06 of the 1st: FLA Mitch Fadden (11) – Assists: Francis Lemeieux & Ross Carlson
13:43 of the 1st: FLA Alexandre Imbeault (15) – Assists: Mike McKenzie
15:00 of the 1st: FLA Mitch Fadden (12) – Assists: Ross Carlson & Phil Paquet
18:34 of the 2nd: FLA Francis Lemieux, PPG (11) – Assists: Ethan Graham & Mitch Fadden
18:54 of the 2nd: FLA Mathieu Roy (7) – Assists: Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll

Goaltending:
(L) GRN Dov Grumet-Morris (10-3-0-1): 21 saves on 26 shots – 60:00 TOI
(W) FLA Bobby Goepfert (10-6-0-0): 27 saves on 28 shots – 60:00 TOI

The Road Warriors celebrated their Teddy Bear Toss Friday night against the Gladiators. The fans came close to not having their moment of tossing after the first Greenville goal as they game went into overtime with a score of 0-0. Mark Voakes became the hero when he won the game in on a penalty shot to give the Road Warriors a 1-0 victory, their first overtime win in team history. Fans sent 1,142 teddy bears raining onto the ice to celebrate the goal and victory.

Scoring:
02:47 of OT: GRN Mark Voakes, PS (13) – Assists: None

Goaltending:
(W) GRN Dov Grumet-Morris (11-3-0-1): 20 saves on 20 shots – 62:47 TOI
(L) GWN Billy Sauer (5-4-1-1): 26 saves on 27 shots – 62:47 TOI

THE WEEK AHEAD

The Flyers will finish at home Monday against the Florida Panthers and then have their time of rest for the holidays. They return to begin their western swing Dec. 28.

The Phantoms enjoy the entire week off to celebrate the holidays with their families. They return to action Dec. 26.

The Road Warriors face the Gladiators Sunday before they enjoy their holidays. They will play again Dec. 27.

STANDINGS

Philadelphia Flyers
22-7-5 – 49 pts (1st in Atlantic Division, 1st in Eastern Conference)

Adirondack Phantoms
6-23-2-0 – 14 pts (8th in East Division, 15th in Eastern Conference)

Greenville Road Warriors
19-6-1-1 – 40 pts (1st in South Division, 1st in Eastern Conference)

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Categories: AHL, Column, ECHL, Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports

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