Dalton Messina keeps a NTDP player a safe distance away from Chad Veltri as he makes sure he keeps control of the puck.Defending the Crease. - Dalton Messina keeps a NTDP player a safe distance away from Chad Veltri as he makes sure he keeps control of the puck.

And the regular season is a wrap with the Phantoms downing the NTDP U17s. 

Owen Gallatin got the NTDP on the board first. After making a great bank pass from his own end to the neutral zone to spring Hunter McKown, Gallatin jumped up from his defensive position to join the rush. McKown hit him traling the play and he put a shot on goal that somehow eluded Chad Veltri in net at 9:38. Despite being outshot 9-7, the NTDP carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Phantoms stormed back in the middle frame, starting with a powerplay goal. Joseph Abate, back for his second game after an upper body injury, hit Gianfranco Cassaro with a cross ice pass at the blueline. The defenseman was all alone as he carried the puck to the top of the left faceoff circle and unleashed a laser shot that beat NTDP goaltender Drew Commesso at 4:21.

Matthew DeMelis put the Phantoms ahead after taking a pass from Ben Schoen near center ice. DeMelis danced around defenseman Connor Kelley, treating him pretty much as a pylon in a stick handling drill, and right by defenseman Jacob Truscott, before making a backhand to forehand move on the shot that beat Commesso at 12:17. 

Christian Stoever shuts the door in a 3-0 shutout of Sioux Falls.Stoever shut down the Stampede. - Christian Stoever shuts the door in a 3-0 shutout of Sioux Falls.

The Phantoms faced Sioux Fall for the second time, just a day after being beat 4-1 by the same team. What a difference that 24 hours makes. In what looked like a total flip from the previous night, the Phantoms managed to beat the Stampede 3-0 and earned Christian Stoever his first shutout in the USHL.

The Phantoms definitely looked like they had more energy to start the game. They put up the first goal of the game at 8:36 when Craig Needham took a shot on net that Stampede netminder Alec Calvaruso made the initial save but the rebound landed in the low slot, where Dalton Messina came crashing into a herd of defenders and jammed the puck passed the goaltender to put the Phantoms up 1-0. The Phantoms outshot the Stampede 11-6 in the first period.

In the second frame, Brett Murray would score an unassisted, shorthanded goal when Calvaruso went behind the net to retrieve a puck dumped the length of the ice. Murray pursued the puck and stripped Calvaruso behind the net and managed to wrap it around for a goal with 0:30 left on the clock.

Chad Veltri covers the puck in a 4-1 loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede.Veltri covers up. - Chad Veltri covers the puck in a 4-1 loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede.

After a bit of controversy last weekend, last night looked like the Phantoms could have used a little bit of "us against the world" anger to wake up. Maybe you can't blame them for being tired, last week was a long one and with the season winding down and heading towards the playoffs, it might be a lot to expect them to have much left in the tank this weekend.

The Phantoms looked good in the first part of the opening frame. They jumped out to an early lead on the powerplay with their first shot of the game. Ben Schoen would grab the puck after it was tipped off the stick of Brett Murray along the boards and cut through the faceoff circle into the slot where he ripped a shot that beat Stampede Netminder Alec Calvaruso at 3:58. Seeing Brett Murray hug Schoen for the goal celebration is a funny sight with the size difference.

The Phantoms would carry the play through much of the period but did not muster much in shots on goal. The Stampede would eventually grab some momentum and answered back late. A failed clearing attempt by Steve Holtz would end up on the stick of Jared Wescott at the blueline. Wescott would pass it to Cade Borchardt on the goal line near the boards and go to the front of the net to recieve the pass back from Borchardt for a defletiion that beat Chad Veltri at 17:13. Shots were 13-3 for the Stampede in the period.