- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Game Recap
- Hits: 82
The Phantoms looked to bounce back after a wild 8-5 loss to the NTDP with the defending Clark Cup champs and current Eastern Conference leaders, the Chicago Steel. Everyone knew this was going to be a tough game and we would need our players to elevate their game.
The Phantoms scored the only goal in the first, Alex Barber's first USHL goal on a hard wist shot from long range that blew the Steel's netminder Oskar Autio at 14:03. Barber used a defenseman in the slot as a screen making it hard for Autio to track. Shots were 9-9 going into the intermission.
The Steel came out of the lockers ready to even things up. Behind the Phantoms net, Steel forward Baker Shore lifted the stick of Jake Gingell forcing a turnover. Chicago defenseman Matteo Pietroiro got a shot on Ivan Prosvetov who was unable to corral the rebound. Shore nicely backhanded the rebound in to tie the game 0:15 into the second. However 1:18 later, Jake Malone would send a shot into traffic and Tommy Parrottino tipped it by Autio.
The teams would trade goals again later in the second. On the penalty kill, Max Ellis would strip Tyler Gratton, a forward dangling the puck on the PP near the blueline, and skate up ice for a breakaway goal. Ellis had used a similar move before in shootouts, nice stickhandling to freeze the netminder and going backhand to forehand around them for open net at 8:12. However, moments after the Phantoms were back to full strength the Steel's Jordan Seyfert laid a nice pass to Robbie Stucker all alone in front of Prosvetov, the Phantoms defense blowing the coverage massively, and Stucker put on a skick handling clinic in front of the Phantoms netminder before popping the puck over him at 8:49. Things would get chippy after that and both sides would have good powerplay opportunities, but 3-2 was the score after 40:00 with the shots 10-6 in favor of the Steel in the period.
- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Game Recap
- Hits: 65
Well it was a game where goals came fast and were scored in bunches. The Phantoms and the NTDP U18 squad combined for 9 goals last time they met, this time they decided to up the pace a little. It's hard to write up a game with 13 goals scored by 13 different goal scorers but here we go anyway.
The NTDP would get on the board first. A DJ King shot from the point was stopped but Tyler Weiss in the right spot to shovel the rebound home over Ivan Prosvetov at 7:02 of the first. The Phantoms would even it when Julian Kislin took a shot that was stopped by NTDP netminder Drew DeRidder but the rebound popped over to the other side of the net for an easy rebound goal for Curtis Hall at 11:07. Just 1:59 after that the NTDP retook the lead when a Ty Emberson point shot found it's way through the traffic and behind Prosvetov. The Phantoms would respond once again when Mike Regush centered a pass behind his back to Matt Barry who fired it home at 16:58. The tie would last only another 1:29 when Andrew Petrillo was unable to get back into position from pinching in deep and the NTDP's Jack DeBoer on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Weiss. DeBoer would take the shot, beating Prosvetov. Joel Farabee would dance around Jake Gingell, cutting through the slot from the left faceoff, circle to add to that just 0:27 after that. Shots on goal were 12-11 with the slight edge going to the Phantoms.
Wouter Peeters would start the 2nd frame. Adam Samuelsson would get things going quickly, stuffing a lose puck near the crease in between the skate of Peeters and the post at 2:12. Oliver Wahlstrom would beat Zach Metsa on the point during a Phantoms powerplay and managed to stay just a step ahead of the Phantoms defenseman. He managed a forehand to backhand move before crashing into Peeters and the net, just 1:15 after the Samuelsson goal. Peeters would protest the net being dislodged or interference but it was a good goal. Matthew Thompson would get one right back on the powerplay, fading back in the right faceoff circle before firing a laser shot bar-down behind DeRidder at 3:56. Max Ellis would backhand a pass to a pinching Jake Gingell in the slot at 6:09 to bring the Phantoms within 2. This was as close as we would get. Mattias Samuelsson would set up a trailing Jake Pivonka in the slot at 13:51 and with 0:49 left, Trevor Janicke would put hime his own rebound for a powerplay tally. The Phantoms outshot the NTDP 14-11 in the frame but were down 8-4 after 2 periods.
- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Opinion and Editorial
- Hits: 72
Hey, we're back home and if your reading this it means I manage to finis this weeks preview in record time. I apologies for the typos and lack of information since I'm jamming this out at the last second. It's been a busy week and I got behind and just remembered I forgot to do this. Last week the Phantoms swept Central Illinois and Muskegon (5-4-2-1) on the road for 6 points bring them out of the Eastern Conference basement to 4th place. That's impressive but they'll need to be even better this weekend at home when they face the NTDP U18's (3-0-0-0), the last team to beat them, and then the Eastern Conference leading Chicago Steel (8-2-0-1), who knocked us out of the playoffs last season on their way to a Clark Cup.
I can leave a lot of the NTDP stuff to the article from week 5, nothing has really changed. With 17 NHL CSS ranked players, take your pick. I sort of singled out Jake Pivonka last time as the overlooked player, I think he's better than the C-rank indicates, and he scored the OT goal against us. I'm not going to pick anyone this week. A couple weeks ago when we were in Plymouth, the goaltending duties were split between Jonathan Mor and Drew DeRidder. I think it would be interesting to see Mor play this week in the Covelli since he sat on our bench for several games last season as a backup to Ivan Kulbakov but never touched the ice.
Then we welcome Chicago. The Steel are returning a solid group of core players as well as an excellent compliment of new faces. Leading the way is Jack Dugan, a '98 prep school graduate and Las Vegas Golden Nights draftee who has transitioned very well to the USHL. His 9g and 8a gives him second place in the league in both goals scored and total points. Behind him is Blake McLaughlin, a 00 born player with a B-rank on the NHL's CSS list. He leads the league in assists with 11 and added 4g as well, 4th overall in league points. Samuel Bucek is an interesting forward. The big (6'2" 216 lbs) Slovakian import played some for the Steel in 15-16 before jumping to the QMJHL last season. He's back with the Steel this season and has 4g, 7a. Baker Shore is a returning veteran who has upped his game this seaons with 5g and 5a. On defense Graham Lillibridge is in his 3rd USHL season, 2nd with the Steel and his 11a and 2g puts him in the top spot among defensemen in both assists and total points. Derek Daschke is also a 3rd year veteran and team captain as well one of the more solid defenders in the league. Xan Gurney is also a blueliner I would keep an eye on. He played 1 in the regular season and 10 games in the playoffs and looked comfortable the whole way through. He's played 11 games this season as well and the thing that impresses me is that in his 22 games of USHL experience he's only ever taken 1 penalty, a hooking minor. That's not including a game in preseason where he picked up a slash and later a full blown boxing match against Hank Sorensen, a guy a lot more familiar with the penalty box and the art of fisticuffs. In net is another interesting story. Last year they were lead by Czech Ales Stezka, this year it's a Finnish guy named Oskar Autio. I don't have much scouting information since he did not play any in Cranberry but he's put up good numbers with a 2.43 GAA and a .943 SV%. Behind him is Justin Robbins, a '99 born goaltender who played 1 game for them last season, allowing 3 goals to Bloomington. He played a couple games in preseason and, while he didn't impress me, he looked like he could be a legitimate backup. A smaller guy, 5'7" and 172lbs, he didn't show quite the athletics and mental sharpness to make up for his size but he did not seem far off. However, he's played 2 complete games, 1 a shootout, this season and allowed 10 goals to the U17s in 60 and 5 in the shootout loss to Green Bay. This leaves him a 7.20 GAA and a .889 SV%. Normally you would think he was on the verge of being shipped out but there's a catch - he's the owners son. With the Steel playing the U17s again before heading to Youngstown, it'll be interesting to see who starts which game or if Autio plays both.
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