A bad start to a game can really hurt a team, the Phantoms put that on display last night. The Phantoms gave up a pair of goals in under 4:00 to start the game and never recovered, only scoring once and losing 4-1 to the Bloomington Thunder. This one may have some consequences down the road as well, the Phantoms management needing to address a few problems.

The Thunder went to work early in the first. Griffin Lunn opened the scoring when he gloved down a fluttering rebound off a Vladislav Dzhiovili shot right in slot in front of netminder Darion Hanson and quickly fired a shot by the surprised goalie just 2:28 in. Moments later, Cameron Burke would strip Tommy Apap of the puck heading through the neutral zone, passing to Marko Reifenburger for a shot. Hanson would make the initial save but the rebound came straight to Burke to shoot from the left faceoff circle for a goal 1:01 after the first. Mitchel Mattson would make it 3-0 when Ethan Somoza would hit him with a pass just above the faceoff circles and Mattson made a nifty move to cut between to Phantoms defenders in the high slot and putting a backhand shot by a sprawling Hanson at 9:00 leading to Hanson being pulled for Ivan Kulbakov.

The Phantoms would get one of those goals back just 1:00 later on a powerplay when Alex Esposito put a cross ice pass to Dominic Dockery parked off the post to the left of Thunder netminder Logan Halladay that Dockery was able to rifle home for his first of the season. That was as close as it would get. Ben Mirageas would add a powerplay goal with 2:05 left in the second, batting a puck out of the air. It looked to me like it was played with a high stick but none the less, it was ruled a goal. Logan Halladay would stop 27 of the 28 shots he faced in the game, 46 of the 28 he saw both nights.

The Phantoms extended their losing streak to 4 games after falling to the Bloomington Thunder 3-1 Friday night. This drops the Phantoms to .500 as they finish up the first quarter of the season.

The Phantoms started off strong. The carried the play much of the first period, outshooting the Thunder 7-3. The Thunder would strike on their fourth shot of the frame, late in the period and on the PP when Tarek Baker would put a shot from the point through some traffic and in on the glove side of Ivan Kulbakov at 16:26. This was probably the softest goal the Belorussian netminder has let in all year.The shots would remain 7-4 going to the first intermission.The Phantoms had plenty of chances in the first but the Thunder did an excellent job blocking shots and eliminating second chance shots. Several times the Phantoms elected to pass rather than shoot and more than one good chance ended up on the backhand of a players stick where they couldn't get off a good shot.

The Thunder would take a bit more control in the second period, doing a good job of clogging the neutral zone and not allowing the Phantoms offense to get good flow moving up ice. The Thunder would extend their lead to 2 goals when Jake Durflinger would strip the puck from Curtis hall moving up ice in the neutral zone. Durflinger and August Von Ungern-Sternberg would break in on a two on one with Micheal Karow defending but Karow would lose an edge and fall. Durflinger fed Von Ungern-Sternberg for an easy goal on a defenseless Kulbakov at 16:20. The Thunder outshot the Phantoms 7-5 in the second period.

The Phantoms only had one Sunday home game all season and it was a 5pm start yesterday against the league leading, undefeated Chicago Steel. Having won 10 in a row and looking to set a new record for the longest win streak to start the season, a record they had already equaled. The Phantoms were just looking to win the weekend at home and get to .500 at the Covelli before a big road trip.

The first period set the game up as a Eastern European goaltenders duel. The Phantoms Ivan Kulbakov, getting his second start of the weekend and third straight, against Ales Stezka who only had let in 2 goals in 4 games, 3 of those shutouts. It was evident early that neither was going to let in anything soft. Kulbakov would get a little heavier workload, the Steel outshooting the Phantoms 14-8, but both netminders would make big saves to keep it scoreless going into the first intermission.

The Phantoms would strike first on a powerplay. Nicholas Werbik would strip Matt Kirested of the puck after a mishandle behind the net and centered it to Alec Mahalak in the high slot for a wrister that beat Stezka at 3:25 of the period. The Phantoms would add to that before the period ended when Michael Karow would make a great pass up ice to hit Coale Norris, springing him and Griffin Loughran on a 2-on-0. Norris dished to Loughran who made no mistake in burying a laser of a shot top shelf at 12:03. Despite the shot count being much lower and still favoring the Steel, 6-5 in the frame, the Phantoms took the 2-0 lead to the lockers.