Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Neris has excelled since rejoining the IronPigs

Friday, August 10, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

Players have been coming and going between Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley and Reading the past week. The Phillies acquired catcher Wilson Ramos and lefty reliever Aaron Loup in trades at last week’s trade deadline, necessitating one move that led to others.

Ramos is battling back from a hamstring injury and was placed on the disabled list, but there was time to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for him.

Phantoms swept out of playoffs by Marlies

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

For the first time since moving to the Lehigh Valley, the Phantoms reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Unfortunately, their stay in the finals didn’t last long as the Toronto Marlies, complete with a number of players who saw considerable time in the NHL this season, swept the Phantoms in four games to end Lehigh Valley’s quest for a Calder Cup championship, winning 3-1 in the series finale.

“You look up and down their roster, obviously, they’re very, very talented,” said goalie Alex Lyon. “They play an NHL style game, very tenacious.”

Phantoms head back to Valley down 2-0

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms went into Toronto on a mission to do something that no other team has done this postseason; beat the Marlies on their home ice. Toronto has gone 7-0 at home this postseason after winning all five home games in last year’s playoffs. While the effort was there, the result wasn’t and Toronto has jumped out to a 2-0 lead in games over the Phantoms in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Championship series. The series now returns to Lehigh Valley for the next three games.

Phantoms close out series with Checkers

Thursday, May 17, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

After the Charlotte Checkers literally manhandled the Phantoms at the PPL Center in game two of their division championship series, nobody would have predicted that the Phantoms would go on the road and sweep the next three games to win the series.

The 6-0 drubbing in game two seemed to have sent a message to the Phantoms who responded by winning three straight - including a historic game four – to head to the Conference Championship against the Toronto Marlies.

Kratz returns to Lehigh Valley

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

Erik Kratz is a guy who has come to accept his baseball life for what it is. In each of the last eight seasons, the Telford, Pennsylvania product has played at least a couple of games in the majors and has done so with six different major league teams, including the Phillies. He continued the streak last season when he played in four games with the Yankees and he’s returned to the organization this season and is playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Phantoms, Checkers series getting rough

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

Generally, you think of rivalries as being between teams in close proximity to each other.

Sometimes though, rivalries can develop because of circumstances, including a big playoff series. Such is the case for the budding rivalry between the Phantoms and Charlotte Checkers. The two teams played each other very evenly during the regular season and are matched up in the Atlantic Division finals on their quest for an AHL Calder Cup trophy.

Phantoms, Checkers looks to be a very even series

Thursday, May 3, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

The series win over Providence in the semifinals of the Atlantic Division playoffs was the first for the Phantoms franchise since their days of playing on the same ice that the Philadelphia Flyers played on at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.

It came in the same year where their next-door neighbors, the Philadelphia Phillies, last won the World Series - 2008.

Biddle finally gets major opportunity

Thursday, April 26, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

Few draft picks seemed to be a more perfect fit than Jesse Biddle was for the Phillies in 2010. They needed pitching and he was a high-ceiling left-hander who fit exactly what they needed. To make it even better, he grew up as a fan of the Phillies while pitching at Germantown Academy. It was the perfect fit and the Phillies drafted him in the first round — 27th overall pick — of the 2010 Draft.

Phantoms set to start the playoffs on Friday night

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON in Sports

The Phantoms wrapped up a season that saw them not only qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season, but also win their first Atlantic Division title since moving to the Lehigh Valley. They’ve got home ice advantage throughout the divisional playoffs and would only lose that advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs if they were to face the Toronto Marlies, the AHL’s top team.