The 44th Annual Via All-Star Basketball Classic is slated for Saturday, March 30, at Northampton Community College.
The event features four games involving all-star senior players from all parts of the Lehigh Valley.
The Via All-Star Classic raises funds to support Via of the Lehigh Valley’s services for children and adults with disabilities, showcases the basketball talents of area student athletes, and educates attendees about Via and the need for community support through financial, partnership and advocacy support.
In what may be the wildest game of the season, Lehigh Valley pulled off a stunning, 4-3 win over the defending AHL champion Toronto Marlies Saturday night at the PPL Center. The win gave Lehigh Valley a season sweep of their two games with Toronto and three wins in their last four games against the Marlies. Going back five years, the Phantoms have played Toronto well, going 6-2-1-1.
They needed these!
After a Sunday loss in Bridgeport last week, the Phantoms were looking ahead at a road game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and two home games against the Charlotte Checkers. At that point, the Phantoms were 4-9-1 in their last 14 games and starting to sink quickly in the Atlantic Division and in the Eastern Conference standings. They traveled north to meet the Penguins and came away with a nice, tidy 3-1 win with Alex Lyon saving 27 of the 28 shots that he faced.
The latest bump in the road for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms is turning into more of a complete and total car-consuming sinkhole in the road. The team broke a five-game losing streak Saturday with a 3-1 win over Utica, after which a brawl broke out as the teams headed for their respective locker rooms. That show of testosterone may have been just the thing to spark the Phantoms, but unfortunately, they came back Sunday and lost to Bridgeport.
The Phantoms had two chances to take a big step up in the Atlantic Division this past weekend and they whiffed on both chances.
The schedule had Lehigh Valley at Charlotte on back-to-back nights this past Friday and Saturday and the Checkers took both games, leaving the Phantoms in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, 19 points behind Charlotte. More importantly, Lehigh Valley is now 10th in the conference standings, which would leave them on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
Imagine how frustrating this scenario would be to live through.
You’re a highly-regarded prospect in your sport and as you move closer to reaching a point where you’re truly getting an opportunity to show what you can do at the highest levels of that sport, you can’t stay healthy. It seems like every time you rehab from one injury, another one hits.
On Saturday, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher pulled off his third trade since taking over for Ron Hextall earlier this season.
The trade sent Dale Weise and Christian Folin to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman David Schlemko and forward Byron Froese.
Fletcher, had been trying to trade Weise – one of the bigger blunders made by Hextall, when he signed him to a four-year, $9.4-million free agent deal in July of 2016 – but until this past weekend, didn’t find any takers.
If sports teams made trades based on the popularity of their players with the fans, Taylor Leier would still be a member of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Instead, as the old saying goes, sports are a business and Taylor Leier is now a member of the Rochester Americans. The 24-year old left winger was dealt to Buffalo for right winger Justin Bailey.
If the Phantoms New Year’s resolution was to come out of the gate hot in 2019, consider their resolution to have been shorter than most of us who resolved to lose weight this year. Since putting new calendars on the wall, Lehigh Valley is 1-5-0-0 and have lost six of seven games. In those games, the Phantoms have been outscored 27-15 and have dropped to a fourth-place tie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Most players have rolled out the usual excuses – call-ups, injuries, etc. - but can we talk about the elephant in the room?
Consider that you lose your job and have to tell your wife. That’s not fun. Now, consider that you’re going to have to tell your wife that because you lost your job, you have to move from Idaho to Quad City, Illinois for another job.
Then after one day at work, you’re again let go and now have to move 978 miles to Manchester, New Hampshire. Then, just a few weeks later, good news; sort of. You weren’t fired, but you’ve been “transferred” to Reading, Pennsylvania. So, with three pretty substantial moves in three months, how happy is your wife?