Well, on Sunday we stole a point by clawing our way into overtime. Heck, we could have won the game but the way we were outshot and outplayed, we were pretty lucky to get a point. The hope was that we would regroup, make the necessary changes to our game, and come out competitive. What we got was almost the exact opposite. This won't be my typical recap since I don't want to relive the trauma. This will be more of what went wrong.
The Steel scored early. A John Spetz shot through traffic. Despite not having much in the way of offense the Phantoms managed to tie when Cade Lemmur kept the puck in the zone on a Steel clearing attempt. The puck found the stick of Garrett Dahm who fired it home for his first USHL tally, beating Steel goalie Ian Shane near the mid part of the frame. The tie didn't hold long, less than 4:00 after the Dahm goal we were back down a pair of goals by Sam Colangelo and Gunnerwolfe Fontaine.
Maatieu De St. Phaile made it a 3 goal lead early in the second. Artyom Borshyov got us back to within a pair 0:26 later, putting a shot through traffic that trickled through Shane. Hey, the Steel were doubling us up on shots, but we were still in it at that point. It even looked like we might have some life left in us but that faded fast. Towards the end of the frame, Liam Devlin and Brendan Brisson added goals in a 1:12 span. De St. Phaile added a pair in the third and Dawson Pasternak and Owen Power added one each. Arseni Smeknhov scored a goal to save a little face with just under a minute left but at that point the Phantoms seemed more about taking penalties than scoring goals.
Colin Purcel was the netminder of record for 8 of the 10 goals on 21 shots. Dominic Basse came in the last 8:14 and let 2 in on 5 shots. Those average out about the same. It's going to be fun figuring out which netminder was the worst this weekend, but Basse stopped 33 of 37 the night before and I thought even then we needed a little better. Compared to Monday, that was excellent.
We were outshot 26-14, and 37-15 the night before. That's a combined 63-29, it's not hard to see what one of the issues was. Offensively, it seemed like we had no game plan. We simply reacted to what the Steel were doing. Most of our scoring this weekend came on turnovers or simple rushes up ice. There was no sustained offensive pressure and forechecking was extremely limited. The Steel managed to contain the Kuntar, Funk, and Ando line, and we had no answers.
We pretty much failed in all 3 zones. This is a team loss, I guess we'll call it that for both nights. I put some of Sunday's loss on Basse but after last night I think we're looking at a top down issue. Coach Patterson has a lot of work to do before the bus ride to Lincoln. The first step is trying to get team confidence back, especially these netminders.
I will say that Artyon Borshyov had a strong game beyond the goal he scored. Alex Gritz got some ice time and looked like a solid prospect, if you can judge talent in a game like this. Another positive, only 395 people suffered through this one. I'm trying to keep this as toned down as possible but this was one of the worst games I've seen in a few years.
So, no highlights. My camera wasn't running for the Dahm goal, I wish I had got that one at least. Sorry. Yeah, there is lots all around to be sorry about.