The Phantoms turned things around and beat the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 3-1 to get the weekend split.Phantoms Earn the Split. - The Phantoms turned things around and beat the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 3-1 to get the weekend split.
We were told by team sources to expect a much different team effort Saturday night over Friday night's awful performance. While it would be hard to be much worse, the question remained: would it be enough to right the ship against a struggling team in the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders? Once again, the 'Riders only dressed 15 skaters. With only 9 forwards, 6 defenseman, and an '03 goalie whose first game was the game on Friday. 

The Phantoms got on the board first in the first period. This was compliments of a Ben Schoen pass from the high slot to Josh DeLuca knocking on the back door, who tipped it in behind netminder Nick Simo at 13:24. Shots were 14-14 Phantoms after the first period.

Jayson Dobay made it a 2-0 game, scoring in back-to-back games for the first time in his USHL career. The mobile defenseman jumped up into a 2-on-2 rush to make it a 3-on-2 and buried a shot from the slot at 16:40 of the second frame. Shots were 7-6 'Riders in the middle frame.

Colin Purcell gets beat on a breakaway as the Phantoms drop one 5-2 to a depleted RoughRiders squad.Phantoms Fall to the 'Riders. - Colin Purcell gets beat on a breakaway as the Phantoms drop one 5-2 to a depleted RoughRiders squad.
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders rolled into town minus a few players. With the 'Riders dressing just 9 forwards and 6 defensemen last night, you would think the Phantoms would have a huge advantage. Add in the fact that their starting goalie was out as well, and they were going with a netminder who had never played a USHL game, with an emergency backup, and you would think the Phantoms advantage would be insurmountable. Well, think again.

The 'Riders owned the first period. The first goal came on a 'Riders powerplay. Darian Goatz feeding the puck from the right faceoff circle to the left, where Grant Silianoff was set for his 3rd or 4th attempt at a shot from that spot, beating Colin Purcell at 7:23. Jordan Tonelli would add another late, moments after the Phantoms squandered a powerplay, ripping a shot glove side on Purcell with :56 seconds left in the frame. Shots were 16-6 in favor of Cedar Rapids after 20:00.

Jayson Dobay halved the lead early in the second with a great coast-to-coast run that would have made Bobby Orr proud, driving the puck to the outside around defenseman Jack Millar and putting it in the net behind goalie Nick Simo at 4:48.

Captain Aiden Gallacher and crew clean up ~560 stuffed animals during the Phantoms anual Teddy Bear Toss.Fur Madness! - Captain Aiden Gallacher and crew clean up ~560 stuffed animals during the Phantoms anual Teddy Bear Toss.
 

The Muskegon Lumberjacks at the Covelli Centre might have been the best thing for the Phantoms. After a rough weekend in Dubuque and desperately needing points in the standings, facing a conference rival you're trailing in the standings by 2 points and have won 3 of the 4 previous meetings sounds like a good match up. And it was.

The Phantoms opened the scoring early in the first period. Matthew Cassidy blocked a shot from 'Jacks defenseman Dylan Davies. Cassidy took off up ice and Jayson Dobay grabbed the puck and flipped it out of the zone. The puck rolled into the attack zone to the left faceoff circle where Cassidy caught up to it and drove it in on goal, ripping a backhander over the 'Jacks netminder Jack Williams at 4:56. Seeing as it was Teddy Bear night, there was a bit of a delay to clear the ice after a frenzy of flying fur.

The Phantoms pushed the lead to 2-0 at 7:25 of the second when Williams slid out, well beyond the top of his crease. He made the save but the puck trickled to the side of the net where Jan Kern and John Beaton sparred with the 'jacks defenders, Kern managing to poke it in before Williams recovered. The 'Jacks had been lucky on a similar sequence in the first where he managed to get back and cover it before the puck crossed the line, close enough the goal judge lit the lamp briefly.