Justin Bailey Hat-trick Leads Utica over Phantoms, 5-2

The struggling Lehigh Valley Phantoms (13-19-1-4), currently sitting in 7th place in the Atlantic Division, went into to Utica to take on the first in the North, Comets (22-12-2-2) in a Friday evening battle.

A free-wheeling first period revealed a quick three goals two of which were supplied by Justin Bailey on the man advantage, beating Phantoms netminder, JF Berube with just 1:41 played.

Bailey added his second just 1:24 later and the Comets were streaking, 2-0.

The wide-open pace continued but this time it was Lehigh Valley lighting the lamp when Connor Bunnamon got it to 2-1 at 4:21.

Things would settle down until Reid Boucher and a shorthanded tally from Phantom  Mikael Vorobyev closed the scoring on the 3-2 first period Comets lead.

That would be as close as Lehigh Valley would get and Jonah Gadlovich At the :23 mark and Bailey’s third closed out the scoring on the Utica 5-2 win.

Blue Lines: Shots had Utica with a slight edge, 29-28.

Michael DiPietro turned aside 26 Lehigh Valley shots and JF Berube stopped 23 for LV before giving way to Alex Lyon who made 3 saves in the final 3:05.

By: Kevin Neibauer

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