Killing off penalties is one of the best things a team can do to help themselves. It’s tough enough to play at even strength, but when short, especially in tight games, that’s where you need the penalty killing unit to step up and make big plays.
On Saturday night in Hershey, the Bears were able to break through with a power-play goal against the Phantoms, capitalizing on a penalty by Danick Martel. That goal snapped a streak of 24 straight penalty kills for Lehigh Valley.
Just as the Phantoms finished up a six-game road trip, they looked forward to a nice set of games on home ice and all seemed right with the world. Then came word that leading scorer Danick Martel and defenseman Sam Morin were heading to Philadelphia. On the same day, forward Alex Krushelnyski was also summoned to the Flyers.
The Rough Riders pulled off a stunning win over Northwestern Friday night, scoring the winning touchdown with just 34 left to play, snapping their six-game losing skid. Miguel Hernandez picked off a Phil Dangello pass and returned it 80 yards to give the Roughs a 21-18 lead.
Right now, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms are in one of those grooves that most times a team can only dream about. At 5-1-0-1 on the season, Lehigh Valley is just percentage points behind Providence for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, but they do hold a one-point advantage over the Bruins, albeit with one extra game played than Providence.
After a six-game winning streak put the Lehigh Valley IronPigs into the playoffs, a seventh straight win gave them a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five divisional series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Unfortunately, that would be their last win of the season as the RailRiders went on to take the next three games to advance to the Governor’s Cup Finals in the International League.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs made an improbable romp into the playoffs with a late-season stretch that saw them finish off the regular season with a six-game win streak, including sweeping a four-game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to finish the season.
The Pigs were four games behind Rochester for the final playoff spot in the International League with 12 games left, and went on a 9-3 run to catch the Red Wings on the second-to-last day of the season. Both teams won their finale, but LV was awarded the wild card by virtue of having won the season series.
The Iron Financial Orioles know all about coming from behind. When they fell behind Martins Creek 5-0 Sunday in game two of the Blue Mountain League Championship Series, it was just another day on the ball field for them. Unfortunately for the Orioles, there wouldn’t be a comeback in the offing this time and they fell to Martins Creek 7-4, evening the series at one game apiece.
Both Blue Mountain League semifinal playoff series have gone to a fifth and deciding game with the championship series set to begin later this week. Here’s a look at both series.
The Hellertown Royals took the first two games of their BML semifinal series game against the Iron Financial Orioles, putting them in a commanding position in the best-of-five series.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs unveiled an impressive array of new video boards around the stadium on Thursday, with Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller flipping the switch to turn on the new displays. Every video board in the ballpark has been upgraded to HD technology, with many of the boards also being upgraded in size.
Every year, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Reading Fightin’ Phils play an exhibition game for charity. Among all of the planning that goes into putting the game together is finding umpires to work the game. Minor League umpires aren’t allowed to work the game, so the teams generally turn to PIAA umpires. This year’s game was played at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, and when there is anything to do with umpiring, the IronPigs turn to Marty Ondrovic for help.