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.
A 'Riders powerplay put the Phantoms back down by 2 when Darian Goatz poked in a rebound from the top of the crease at 7:25. Ryan Taylor would add another after blocking a pass from Caleb Price and taking it the other way for a breakaway goal through the 5-hole at 12:58. This ended the night for Purcell, he was replaced by Dominic Basse. Shots were 13-8 Phantoms in the middle frame.
Matthew Cassidy would get the Phantoms back to within a pair in the third, a powerplay goal deflecting a Trevor Kuntar shot from the point 1:40 into the third. That was it and Tyler Rollwagan added the empty net goal to make it a 5-2 final score. Shots were even at 6 a piece in the third and 30-26 RoughRiders total.
Well, this may be the lowest point in the season as far as this fan goes. This was not just a "should win" game with the 'Riders being totally decimated but this leaves us in 6th place in the conference and only 3 points ahead of the 'Riders who have 3 games in hand. I'm not going to call it a "must win" game at this point but another 'Riders win tonight will be a serious blow to the Phantoms and will probably give Cedar Rapids a lot more life late in the season.
The Phantoms just had no energy, no direction, and a lot of the squad gave minimal effort last night. This is not acceptable at this point of the season. Passing, in particular, seems to be just plain bad. The first half of the first period the Phantoms were outshot 9-2, another head scratching statistic. How do you let that happen in your own barn against a team that has so many gaping holes in their lineup, especially at forward?
The crowd was pretty lackluster and the attendance only shows 712. We'll probably make that up tonight with Military Appreciation Night. Hopefully the team shows up too. Anyway, here is the highlight.
Matt Cassidy tips one in on the PP!