Colin Purcell and the Phantoms scratch out a 3-2 win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Purcell stopped 36-38 shots in his first game in Youngstown.Purcell and the Phantoms hold on for a win. - Colin Purcell and the Phantoms scratch out a 3-2 win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Purcell stopped 36-38 shots in his first game in Youngstown.

The Phantoms came into Saturday looking to sweep the weekend series and get off to a 2-0 start in the season rivalry between them and the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The Jacks just wanted to win a game. Only one team was going to get their wish and the Phantoms found ways to make it theirs.

Muskegon seemed to have a step on the Phantoms to start the game. Phantoms goaltender Colin Purcell, making his first start in Youngstown seemed ready to step up to the challenge. The Phantoms could barely muster more than a few shots on goal, but managed to score first when Reilly Funk and Yusaku Ando were able to get behind the Jacks defense, with Muskegon really fumbling the defensive assignments, and Ando backhanded the Funk pass home at 12:58, beating 'Jacks netminder Jack Williams.

The Jacks got one back late in the first while shorthanded. With a Jack in the box, pun intended, Luke Mobley blocked an Aiden Gallacher shot and went the other way on a breakaway. He went straight up the slot and made a simple forehand to backhand move, flipping the puck in on Purcell stick side with :19 seconds left in the period. Shots were 12-5 in the frame and the Phantoms were lucky to be tied.

Dominic Basse stops 20 of 22 in his first start in Youngstown as the Phantoms beat the Lumberjacks 4-2Basse and the Phantoms Down the Jacks. - Dominic Basse stops 20 of 22 in his first start in Youngstown as the Phantoms beat the Lumberjacks 4-2

I guess this is the first "normal" weekend for the Phantoms, no Fall Classic just the regular grind of the hockey schedule. I put quotes around normal because the games against Muskegon can be anything but. With Dominic Basse getting his first start in Youngstown and after the loss last week, I was really hoping this game wouldn't get too crazy.

The Phantoms opened the scoring, Garrett Dahm laying a pass to Defenseman Linden Alger, who was pinching into the left faceoff circle. Alger one-timed a hard shot that beat the Jacks netminder Noah Giesbrecht at 5:09 of the first. The Phantoms would make it 2-0 at 9:36 when Trevor Kuntar muscled around defenseman Dylan Gratton and got a shot on goal. Giesbrecht made the initial save but Reilly Funk got his stick on the rebound and pushed it into a wide open net. Both goals were USHL firsts for the scoring player.

The Jacks got one back with :54 left in the period. A Luke Mobley centering pass took an odd bounce in the slot, possibly hitting John Beaton's stick, and rolling in on Purcell who was unable to adjust his position in time. Shots were 7-6 Jacks but the Phantoms had a 1 goal lead after the first 20:00.

Trevor Kuntar boxes out a Capitols player as the Phantoms lose their home opener in a heartbreaking OT loss to Madison.Kuntar keeps the Caps away from the crease! - Trevor Kuntar boxes out a Capitols player as the Phantoms lose their home opener in a heartbreaking OT loss to Madison.

We're finally to the home opener, and after a few days of sitting in the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, I'm really glad for my seat at the Covelli. It seemed at first that the familiar setting was good for the Phantoms too, but it might have been too much of a good thing. Complacency kills and there is no such thing as a safe lead in hockey.

The Phantom started where they left off in Cranberry. The Capitols took an early penalty, and the Phantoms wasted no time. Trevor Kuntar sent a shot-pass from the point to the stick of Matthew Cassidy, who tipped it behind Caps netminder Simon Latkoczy just 0:48 into the game and only :07 into the penalty. Less than 2:00 later, John Beaton fed a pass to a wide open John Larkin at the top of the slot. The veteran defenseman wasted no time unloading a shot that lit the lamp at 2:17.

Jacob Felker took a slashing call for the Phantoms, leading to the Capitols first goal off the stick of Ryan Kirwin with Brockton Baker setting a good screen on Phantoms goaltender McClean Dorr at 6:50.

The Phantoms would add a pair more, the first off the stick of Yusako Ando who put home a rebound off a Linden Alger shot on the power play at 11:04. Young defenseman Austen May added added another at 17:11, rifling a shot through traffic that found the back of the net. Shots in the frame were 14-12 Phantoms, and we led by 3.