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5 Observations from Another Flyers Win Against Rangers in Rookie Game



Egor Zamula, PhiladelphiaFlyers
Flyers defenseman Egor Zamula is making a name for himself. Big Z had the game's first goal Saturday in a rookie game against the Rangers.

For the second straight night, the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers met in a rookie game at the PPL Center in Allentown.

Same site. Same result.

The Flyers won for the second consecutive night, defeating the Rangers, 5-1, on Saturday to sweep the two-game series. Philly had a 2-1 overtime win Friday.

The Rangers had a huge territorial advantage, but the Flyers were opportunistic on their chances. The Flyers were outshot, 37-15.

Here are five observations:

1. Goalie Samuel Ersson made a strong impression.

Ersson, a Swedish goalie who had groin surgery last year and played just five games with the Phantoms, looked sharp in the nets. Very sharp.

The Rangers dominated the first 13-plus minutes as they had the first nine shots. But Ersson (36 saves) stood tall and made a big glove save on a two-on-one. He stopped all 24 shots in the first 40 minutes, and had a shutout before diminutive left winger Bobby Trivigno scored from the left circle 2:06 into the third period.

2. Egor Zamula is opening eyes

Zamula scored on the Flyers’ first shot, a tracer between the circles to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 1-0 lead with 6:41 left in the opening period. He was also effective on the penalty kill.

Tyson Foerster, who had the overtime goal in the Flyers’ 2-1 win Friday, set up Zamula’s tally with a slick feed.

Zamula gained 12 pounds this summer — the Russian defender is up to 192 — to help him with battles in front of the net. Though he’s a longshot to make the team out of the main camp, he’s certainly a candidate to be recalled from Lehigh Valley during the season.

Phantoms coach Ian Laperriere has been raving about him during camp. Ditto Danny Briere, special assistant to GM Chuck Fletcher.

“He put in the work this summer and I’m really excited for him,” Briere said, adding the organization has “high hopes” for Zamula.

3. Left winger Olle Lycksell likes playing in North America.

Lycksell, 23, scored for the second straight night as he put a seeing-eye shot into the net from the left circle, increasing the Flyers’ lead to 2-0 late in the first period. The goal was set up by speedy Elliot Desnoyers with 1:46 left in the first.

Late in the second period, Lycksell made a pretty pass to set up Zayde Wisdom’s tap-in, giving the Flyers a 4-0 lead. The line of Lycksell, Desnoyers, and Wisdom was superb.

Lycksell finished with a goal and two assists.

A sixth-round draft pick in 2017, Lycksell played 221 games in the Swedish Hockey League and is competing in North America for the first time this season. It’ll be interesting to watch his development with the Phantoms.

4. The Flyers lost too many battles in the first half of the game, spending most of the time on defense.

“We need to be better,” Laperriere said after the first period. ” … I feel like we turned the puck over way too much.”

In the first 28 minutes, the Philadelphia Flyers had been outshot, 20-5, but held a 2-0 lead because of Ersson.

5. The Cates brothers have some great chemistry.

Noah Cates deposited a slick feed from his brother, Jackson, to score a shorthanded goal and put the Flyers ahead, 3-0, in the second period. Yes, we have a feeling the two have done that before in indoor and outdoor rinks in Minnesota.

From here, Noah Cates has a good chance to start the season as the Flyers’ third-line left winger, while Jackson, a center, looks ticketed for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.


Defenseman Ronnie Attard made it 5-1 with a power-play blast with 5:32 remaining. That gave the Flyers five goals on 12 shots. … New York was 0 for 5 on the PP. … The Flyers went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Two of the forwards usually play on D: Colin Felix and Adam Karashik, a pair of free-agent signees. … Laperriere and Desnoyers’ dad, David, were teammates in midget hockey in Quebec. … The Flyers were outshot, 13-4, in the first period but built a 2-0 lead. … Philly had three goals on its first six shots. … The first line had Jackson Cates centering Noah Cates and Foerster. … The Flyers will end rookie camp with a 10:15 practice Sunday in Voorhees. It is free and open to the public. … The main camp will start on-ice activities Thursday in Voorhees.

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