Two key players called up
In case Phantoms fans forgot what minor league hockey is all about, the Flyers gave them a not-so-gentle reminder when they recalled two popular players to provide help for the parent club.
Forward Taylor Leier and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere were recalled, delivering a blow to the Phantom lineup.
Leier, 21, recorded four goals and five assists in 14 games with the Phantoms this season, his second in the AHL.
Gostisbehere was tied for third among all AHL defensemen in points with 10, coming off two goals and eight assists this season. This is also Gostisbehere’s second season in the AHL, although he missed most of last season with an ACL injury. The 22-year old defens
eman did spend a couple of games with the Flyers last October. For Leier, the trip to the NHL is his first.
“Obviously, you hate to lose guys like that, but it’s a reminder of why we’re doing what we do,” said coach Scott Gordon. “We’re here to develop players and put them in a position where they can help the Flyers when they have a need and they definitely have that need right now.”
The need arose when the Flyers were forced to put forward R.J. Umberger and defenseman Mark Streit on injured reserve.
Leier and Gostisbehere are two of the better prospects in the Flyers system and there is already some talk that Gostisbehere may get the chance to stick with the parent club on a long-term basis.
He got off to a good start with an assist in the Flyers 3-2 win over Carolina on Saturday. Leier provides quickness that could also be a help to the Flyers, so it’s not out of the question that he could also have an extended stay in Philadelphia.
Earlier in the week, the Phantoms lost forward Derek Mathers and defenseman Jesper Pettersson, who were both reassigned to the Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League.
Phantom Facts: The Phantoms scored early and often against the Rochester Americans last Friday night, picking up a 7-1 win. The seven goals were the most scored by the team since moving to the Lehigh Valley prior to last season and they came on the heels of a six-goal outburst two nights earlier in a 6-3 win in Binghamton. The Friday night ambush saw six different players – Chris Conner, Kevin Sundher, Taylor Leier, Nick Cousins, Petr Straka and Danick Martel - score for Lehigh Valley. Martel was the only one to net multiple goals, giving him five on the season... Anthony Stolarz stopped 33 of 34 shots that he faced in the blowout win against Rochester... Nick Cousins missed four games with an injury, but returned Wednesday night in Binghamton and has scored in each of his two games since returning... Kevin Goumas was awarded the first ever Phantoms penalty shot at the PPL Center in Friday night’s win, but Goumas’ shot was deflected, denying the Phantoms an eighth goal... Tim Brent has collected points in six straight games.