ALLENTOWN, PA – Nick Lappin scored twice but the Lehigh Valley Phantoms put in the eventual game-winning goal with under one minute left in regulation for a 5-3 win at PPL Center on Sunday evening.
Lehigh Valley took advantage of a turnover by the Devils to take a 1-0 lead on an odd-man rush. After gaining posession, James de Haas fed Cole Bardreau for the easy tap in by the right leg pad of goaltender Eddie Lack for his eighth of the year. Bardreau’s tally was assisted by de Haas and Radel Fazleev just 3:19 into the game.
Less than three minutes later, the Devils evened the game on a tip in front of the net. Nick Lappin deflected a Steven Santini shot from the right point over the glove of goaltender Dustin Tokarski for his team-leading 24th goal of the year. Santini picked up the first assist with Kevin Rooney collecting the other and the game was tied 1-1 after one period with the Phantoms leading in shots, 11-10.
At the end of a power play, John Quenneville beat Tokarski for the 2-1 lead at 9:41 of the second. Jacob MacDonald fed Quenneville in the left circle and he fired a wrist shot by the blocker of Tokarski with assists from MacDonald and Cristoph Bertschy.
The Phantoms tied the game on a two-man advantage 11:56 into the period. Will O’Neill beat Lack from the top of the offensive zone circle for his sixth of the year with assists from Philippe Myers and Danick Martel. The two teams went into the third tied at two goals with the Phantoms holding a 17-16 shot lead.
At 8:03 of the final period, Mikhail Vorobyev punched home a rebound after Lack denied the first chance to put the Phantoms up 3-2. Assists on Vorobyev’s eighth of the year were given to Reece Willcox and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.
Lappin deflected in his second of the night on a MacDonald shot from the point to tie the game on the power play with 6:08 remaining in regulation. The goal was Lappin’s second of the night and 25th of the season with assists from MacDOnald and Bertschy to even the score 3-3.
With under one minute to go in regulation, Mike Vecchione had the puck deflect off his skate, off his stick, off the post, and into the net for the eventual game winner on his 15th of the year for the 4-3 lead. Phil Varone added an assist and the Phantoms came away with a 5-3 win. Lack stopped 23 shots in the loss while Tokarski was credited with 23 saves as well in the win.
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