Phantoms to face Hershey in AHL playoffs; goalie Carter Hart reportedly joining team

Lehigh Valley, the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, will meet the Hershey Bears in a best-of-five, opening-round series that begins Friday at the PPL Center in Allentown.

The Phantoms, second-place finishers in the powerful Atlantic Division, went 7-4-1 against Hershey in the regular season. Hershey is the Washington Capitals’ top farm team.

Several Phantoms, including defensemen Sam Morin, Robert Hagg, and Travis Sanheim, are candidates to be with the Flyers next season.

Alex Lyon is expected to handle most of the goaltender duties, but Flyers prospect Carter Hart, 18, will join the Phantoms for the playoffs, according to the Everett Herald. Hart’s season recently ended with Everett in the WHL, where he had a sensational year: a 32-11-2 record, along with a 1.99 goals-against average, and .927 save percentage.

Poll

Which rookie had a better season?

Hart was selected by the Flyers in the second round (48th overall) last June. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Hart was the first goalie taken in the draft.

This is what Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said after selecting Hart: "His mental game is in order; his tools are in order. He's the type of kid who bounces back from a bad game. He has all the makings of someone who has the potential to be a No. 1 guy."

Anthony Stolarz is injured and unavailable for the entire AHL playoffs, which explains why Hart is apparently going to get a look-see.

This is the Phantoms' 11th postseason appearance, and they have captured two Calder Cup championships (1998, 2005) in the team's 20-year history.

Tickets are available at pplcenter.com or by calling at 610-347-TIXX.

Here is the Phantoms’ first-round schedule:

Game 1 - Friday, April 21, 7:05 p.m. - PPL Center
Game 2 - Saturday, April 22, 7:05 p.m. - PPL Center
Game 3 - Wednesday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. - Giant Center
Game 4* - Saturday, April 29, 7:00 p.m. - Giant Center
Game 5* - Sunday, April 30, 5:05 p.m. - PPL Center

*If necessary

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