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Angello’s Hat Trick, Power-Play Outburst Powers T-Birds

Angello’s Hat Trick, Power-Play Outburst Powers T-Birds

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Springfield Thunderbirds appeared to be heading in opposite directions going into their matchup on Sunday afternoon. The Phantoms had won five straight heading into play while the Thunderbirds have only one win in all of November, but Springfield turned the tables in the last game of three in as many nights fueled by an Anthony Angello hat trick and four power- play goals to take a 6-4 decision on home ice. Vadim Zherenko earned the win with 37 saves while Pat Nagle took the loss with 40 stops.

The two teams traded goals throughout the first two frames starting with Brady Lyle’s first goal of the season. Lyle, who impressively chipped in nine points in 16 games during the Calder Cup Playoffs last spring, picked up a rare rebound off a shot from Dmitrii Samorukov that went all the way out to the right side for Lyle to quickly fire back past Nagle. The Phantoms responded with two goals inside of two and a half minutes as Garrett Wilson scored his third of the season on the power play while Wyatt Wylie tallied shortly afterward on the transition, an area the Phantoms have excelled in of late.

In perhaps a sample of what was to come, the Thunderbirds struck twice as Angello would get his first of the game on a deflection in front of Nagle. Angello was belted from behind by a defender while the puck was fired from the point to get the deflection. Springfield followed up that goal with a blast from Martin Frk for the first of four power play markers to retake the lead with his third of the season. Lehigh Valley would seesaw the game back into a tie with a goal from Jackson Cates with just over four minutes to play in the middle stanza.

Springfield took advantage of Lehigh Valley’s penalties in the third period as a testy game boiled over for a combined 76 penalty minutes between the two teams. The Thunderbirds capitalized on their chances in the third period and went four-for-six on the power play with three tallies in the third starting with Angello’s second of the game that nearly started another tussle between the two teams. Angello found himself alone with the puck on a great feed and made no mistake by beating Nagle, and then deflected a shot from Jake Neighbours in front of the net to complete the hat trick. It’s an eventful night for Angello, who had not scored a goal in the first 12 games of the season and suddenly has four goals in his last three games and was one assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick after fighting Wilson in the first period. He was tagged for two other roughing minor penalties over the course of the game, including with former teammate Jordy Bellerive.

Greg Printz tallied his first goal with the Thunderbirds after a career year in San Diego a season ago. Springfield is looking for more depth scoring on their team, and a three-point night for Printz helps that recipe for success. The sixth goal came within the last minute of the game and despite a tally from Ronnie Attard with 36 seconds to play for Lehigh Valley, the Thunderbirds walked away with the two points to take sole possession of fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Among notable calls to come off the penalty parade, Frk was assessed a misconduct for abuse of officials. Springfield turns around quickly for a Wednesday evening tilt at home against the Hershey Bears, while Lehigh Valley will be idle until a Black Friday showdown with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena.

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