They say one definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I guess hockey is a little crazy because last night the Phantoms faced the same team as the night before and both teams pretty much played the same game. The outcome was the same through 60:00 but the ending was indeed different.
Once again, the Sioux City Musketeers took the lead in the first. With their netminder, Matiss Kivlenieks, pulled on a delayed penalty call Eeli Tolvanen took a shot from the right side half boards just outside the bottom of the faceoff circle. Ivan Kulbakov made the save but the rebound popped to the left side for the extra attacker, Marcel Godbout, who tapped home an easy goal at 11:29. Like the night before, the Phantoms turned their game up a notch after giving up the first goal. The shots were 7-6 Phantoms after the first period.
The Phantoms would once again answer in the second frame, with the same player and line getting the goal. Max Ellis would start things off by jumping in on the forecheck immediately after coming on the ice during a change. He dispossesed veteran defenseman and former Phantom Carson Vance of the puck in the corner and skated behind the Muskies net and attempted a wrap around that found it's way to the stick of Tommy Apap just on top of the other side of the goal crease for the tap in, time of the goal 4:49. Much like the night before, all three forwards on the time were down low, Marshall Moise was just outside the crease as well. The Phantoms would start to shut things down after that, much like the night before. Shots were 10-2 Phantoms.
The Phantoms domination would continue through the third. The Phantoms outshooting the Musketeers 8-3 but Kivlenieks had the answer to all of them. However, the Muskies netminder started to look fatigued. Several time he stayed down on the ice after covering the puck much longer than normal. Also at times he seemed to be stretching his legs like they were stiffening or cramping. You could start to feel that as the game was heading to OT, everything was going in the Phantoms favor. Then in four-on-four overtime, Evan Wisocky would pass to puck to Jake Gingell exiting the Phantoms zone. Gingell would carry the puck through the neutral zone and the defensman continued into the Musketeers zone, joining Moise and Wisocky on the attack. Gingell let go a shot from the outside hash marks of the left faceoff circle that found just a small crack between the pads of Kivlenieks and trickled in, bringing fans to their feet at 2:22 of the OT. Both teams registered a shot on goal in the OT and the shots were 26-12 Phantoms overall.
The Phantoms played a stellar defensive game, eliminating a lot of dangerous chances. If there was any issue, it's the fact that the powerplay failed to produce anything on 6 chances, seven all weekend. This has to improve, we're 0 for the last 12. The penalty kill was 3 for 3 on the night. The goal last night put us down to second in the league in PK %, but we're still over 90%. The game was physical, borderline chippy, and the Phantoms seemed to get the better of the hits. If it wasn't such a close score, you could easily see one side or both taking it up a level or a fight or two but neither side wanted to take a dumb penalty or do anything to give the other team momentum.
The attendance last night was great, over 3300. The fans really helped push the team, there was a lot of energy and it was the loudest I've heard the crowd in a long time, outside of kids day games. The Phantoms delivered too, and that goes a long way to selling tickets down the road. For that matter, there was a good contingent of Muskie fans both nights. You have to think they were happy with the weekend. And no highlights again, all the action was out of my camera range and focus.