Catasauqua Press

Monday, January 21, 2019

Two Phantoms make all-star team

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by chuck hixson Special to the Press in Sports

When you talk about the best players on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season, there isn’t much debate. Defenseman T.J. Brennan and winger Danick Martel would be the consensus best of the best for Lehigh Valley. Both were recognized by the AHL when they were named to the Atlantic Division All-Star Team. This year’s AHL All-Star Classic will be played in Utica on Jan. 29, with the skills competition taking place the day before the game.

Brennan, from Moorestown, New Jersey, will play in the All-Star Classic for the fifth straight season. The 28-year old has twice been named the league’s top defenseman by being awarded the Eddie Shore Award and recently became just the 10th AHL player to reach the 400-point mark in his career.

Over his nine seasons, Brennan has recorded 138 goals, 262 assists and 400 points across 546 career AHL outings during time with the Phantoms, Toronto Marlies, Rockford IceHogs, Rochester Americans and Portland Pirates.

Martel’s season started on the right foot with a hat trick in the season-opening win over Hershey back on Oct. 7. In the first 14 games of the season, Martel picked up 14 goals and matched a Lehigh Valley franchise record with goals in six straight games between Oct. 27 and Nov. 8. Currently, Martel is tied for third among AHL players with 17 goals and tied for the team lead in goals and shots (104) and is second on the team with 26 points and a plus-11 rating.

His numbers would likely be a little higher if not for making his first appearance with the Flyers when he was called up by the Flyers on Nov. 22 and made his NHL debut that evening against the New York Islanders.

Martel may need Brennan to show him the ropes at the All-Star Classic, since this is his first appearance in the midseason game.

WELCOME TO 2018? ... The Phantoms might prefer to put up their old 2017 calendars. They had to settle for one standings point when they lost in Toronto, falling 3-2 in shootouts. They went on to lose 3-1 in Rochester in their second game of 2018. After a short three-game win streak, the Phantoms are now 0-2-0-1 in their three games since the streak. Maybe the home ice will be kinder to them when they return to action Friday night against Springfield and Saturday against Hershey.

TO PHILLY AND BACK ... Tyrell Goulbourne was recalled by the Flyers last Wednesday and made his NHL debut Saturday against St. Louis in a 6-3 Flyers win. The highlight of the game for Goulbourne was a vicious check that he delivered that became somewhat of a fan favorite video online. The next day though, Goulbourne was sent back to Lehigh Valley.