ALLENTOWN – Aarne Talvitie scored his first professional goal for the Devils in a 3-2 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms inside PPL Center on Saturday night.
Issac Ratcliffe gave the Phantom an early 1-0 lead on the team’s first shot of the game. Ratcliffe blocked a Kevin Bahl shot, skated all the way down the ice, and beat goaltender Mareks Mitens with a wrist shot from the left circle. The goal was unassisted and Ratcliffe’s first of the year.
Late in period one, Tyson Foerster scored his third goal in the last two games to give Lehigh Valley a two-goal lead. On the side of the crease, Foerster got the final touch and the puck just went over the line for his ninth of the year. Assists were credited to Cal O’Reilly and Max Willman and the Phantoms took the 2-0 lead into the intermission.
Early in period two, Ralph Cuddemi buried a rebound chance to give the Phantoms a 3-0 lead. After the original save by Mitens, Cuddemi took the puck in the left circle and fired in his first of the year at 6:57 with assists from Brennan Saulnier and Tanner MacMaster.
The Devils got on the board as Aarne Talvitie scored his first professional goal. Reilly Walsh attempt was stopped and Talvitie put in the second chance from the top of the crease and the Devils trailed 3-1 with 9:36 left in the second. Assists on Talvitie’s goal were credited to Walsh and Fabian Zetterlund and the Devils were down by two to start the third.
Graeme Clarke took the puck off a faceoff win by Travis St. Denis and fired it through the legs of goaltender Felix Sandstrom to get the Devils within one. The goal was Clarke’s sixth of the year from St. Denis and came just 1:13 into the third frame.
The 3-2 score held up as the final. Mitens stopped 19 of 22 in the loss and Sandstrom put away 37 of 39 in the win.
The Devils return to the ice Monday, April 26 as they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 6 p.m. inside RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House.
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