Pre-game vs. Hershey 4/19
Not so much for the Phantoms, who have long been out of the hunt, but for their opponents.
This is a key game for the Bears, who enter Friday night tied with the Manchester Monarchs for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Connecticut and Norfolk each have 79 points, which place them in the seventh and eighth (and final) playoff spots as the they head into the final weekend of the season.
A loss to the Phantoms tonight would certainly hurt Hershey's playoff chances, but the Phantoms aren't necessarily embracing the role of spoiler. They're more or less focused on what's going on in their own dressing room. If they happen to ruin a team's playoff chances in the process, so be it. But it is definitely not their primary motivation as they get set to begin their final weekend of the season.
Cal Heeter gets the start. Philipp Grubauer, Marcel Noebels' countryman and friend, opposes him.
Zack FitzGerald won't go for the Phantoms. He's still out with the hip pointer he suffered on Sunday. The Phantoms originally indicated that was a leg injury, but have since updated their information.
Shane Harper takes his spot on the forward lines.
Blake Kessel is in for Brandon Manning, who has been recalled to Philadelphia, on defense.
Referee: Geno Binda. Linesmen: Mike Emanatian, Steeve Lemay.