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Hatty for Marody at The Cuse

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Phantoms Crunch the Crunch 6-4

March 29, 2024

Syracuse, NY – Cooper Marody recorded his second career hat trick with Lehigh Valley and also the team’s third of the season as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms downed the North Division first-place Syracuse Crunch 6-4 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game road-trip.

Marody scored a goal in each period including a blast from the right circle in the first that gave Lehigh Valley a 3-0 lead while sending starter Hugo Alnefelt to the sidelines. Then he struck for a breakaway in the second as the Phantoms built their lead to 4-1. After the Crunch made it too close for comfort at the end, Marody sealed the win with an empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining while striking for his 18th goal of the season as well as his team-leading 50th point of the campaign.

Lehigh Valley (28-26-8) won at Syracuse for the first time in eight years to maintain a one-point margin ahead of the Springfield Thunderbirds for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Springfield clobbered Hartford 6-2 to allow the Phantoms to move to within five points of the fifth-place Wolf Pack with one game-in-hand. Lehigh Valley’s Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is now at 18 points.

The Phantoms were off and running early in the contest while quickly building a 3-0 advantage just barely more than 10 minutes into the game. Back-to-back shorthanded goals for Jacob Gaucher (7th) and Adam Brooks (10th) on the same Syracuse power play. Gaucher picked off an errant Crunch drop and raced past the Syracuse defenders to score his first career shorthanded goal at 6:37 into the contest.

Belpedio found an exit all the way down ice that caused problems for Syracuse. Alnefelt came way out of his crease to try to beat Tanner Laczynski to the puck and was successful in blocking the shot right on top of him. But a hustling Brooks was trailing on the play and was there to deposit the rebound for the second straight shortie while extending his own goal streak to a career-best five games.

Brooks is now within one goal of the Lehigh Valley record six-game goal streak set by Danick Martel in the 2017-18 season. The franchise record is a seven-game goal streak by Mike Maneluk of the Philadelphia Phantoms in the 1999-2000 season.

Marody extended the lead to 3-0 with an intercept and a quick blast from the right circle off the shoulder of Alnefelt to end his night. Enter veteran backstop Matt Tomkins.

Cole Koepke scored the first of his two goals late in the first period to get the Crunch into the game.

Marody raced past the defense for another Lehigh Valley breakaway early in the second period. He stuffed in the backhander through the five-hole of Tomkins for a 4-1 lead at 5:24 into the middle frame.

Lehigh Valley almost made it 5-1 but Helge Grans between the circles had a blast repelled by Tomkins while Laczynski’s drive just missed over the corner and Adam Brooks couldn’t find the handle on an odd-man chance from the left of the cage.

Just as Syracuse had finished dodging all of those bullets, the Crunch answered with a quick cycle in the Lehigh Valley zone capped by former Phantom Phil Myers moving to beneath the right dot to find Gabe Fortier (12th) at the net-front for the tap-in making the count 4-2.

Lukas Edmonds (8th) offered a power-play goal from the left dot that beat Cal Petersen just two minutes later to pull Syracuse to within 4-3.

But the Phantoms answered back early in the third as Evan Polei’s pass across made it through to Brendan Furry (6th) at the right dot who was ready to pull the trigger on his bomb that beat Tomkins at 2:05 to give the Phantoms a little room to breathe again at 5-3.

But Lehigh Valley was back to holding its breath late in the third while on the penalty kill and with Syracuse pulling its goalie to set up a 6-on-4. Koepke connected from inside the right dot on a quick, little give-and-go with Alex Barre-Boulet and suddenly it was a one-goal game again at 5-4. More importantly, there was still 1:24 remaining in the contest.

But the Crunch had difficulty winning critical faceoffs and were stuck in their own zone against the suffocating Phantoms forecheck that had been pestering them all night long. Eventually, an intercept by Adam Brooks and quick touch to Laczynski set up Marody to walk it in for the empty-netter with 10 seconds left to cap the night with some flying caps in tribute to his three-goal accomplishment.

Olle Lycksell and Tanner Laczynski have also recorded hat tricks this season for Lehigh Valley. Laczynski’s hat trick came two weeks ago at the Providence Bruins on March 16.

Marody’s first hat trick with Lehigh Valley was barely more than a year ago on March 11, 2023 against the Belleville Senators. He becomes the fifth player to record multiple hat tricks for Lehigh Valley joining Tanner Laczynski, Garrett Wilson, Danick Martel and Nick Cousins.

Marody also becomes just the second player for Lehigh Valley to notch one trifecta in consecutive seasons joining Danick Martel who had hat tricks in three straight years from 2015-16 through 2017-18.

The Lehigh Valley record for most hat tricks in a season is four which happened in the 2015-16 season (Colin McDonald, Danick Martel, Taylor Leier, Adam Comrie).

The Phantoms return to action on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. with a rivalry tilt at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Lehigh Valley’s next home games are Friday, April 5 against the Providence Bruins on Berks $1 Hot Dog Night and Saturday, April 6 against the Cleveland Monsters on Star Wars Night.

Phantoms Tickets are available HERE

SCORING SUMMARY
1st 6:37 – LV, J. Gaucher (7) (unassisted) (SH) (1-0)
1st 7:33 – LV, A. Brooks (10) (T. Laczynski, L. Belpedio) (SH) (2-0)
1st 10:15 – LV, C. Marody (16) (unassisted) (3-0)
1st 16:41 – SYR, C. Koepke (18) (M. Crozier, A. Barre-Boulet) (3-1)

2nd 5:24 – LV, C. Marody (17) (E. Samson) (4-1)
2nd 12:31 – SYR, G. Fortier (12) (P. Myers, C. Harpur) (4-2)
2nd 14:57 – SYR, L. Edmonds (8) (S. Day, W. Merela) (PP) (4-3)

3rd 2:05 – LV, B. Furry (6) (E. Polei, E. Andrae) (5-3)
3rd 18:36 – SYR, C. Koepke (18) (A. Barre-Boulet, J. Finley) (PP) (6×4) (5-4)
3rd 19:50 – LV, C. Marody (18) (A. Brooks, T. Laczynski) (EN) (6-4)

Shots:
LV 25 – SYR 25

PP:
LV 0/2, SYR 2/5

 Goaltenders:
LV – C. Petersen (W) (21/25) (9-12-3)
SYR – H. Alnefelt (ND) (2/5)
SYR – M. Tomkins (L) (17/19) (14-12-2)

Records:
Lehigh Valley (28-26-8)
Syracuse (36-22-6)

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Saturday, March 30 (6:05) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Tuesday, April 2 (7:00) at Hershey Bears

Friday, April 5 (7:05) vs. Providence Bruins – Berks $1 Hot Dog Night
Saturday, April 6 (7:05) vs. Cleveland Monsters – Star Wars Night

 

The post Hatty for Marody at The Cuse appeared first on Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

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