The Phantoms celebrate Trevor Kuntar's game winning goal with 1.5 seconds left on the clock.Just In Time! - The Phantoms celebrate Trevor Kuntar's game winning goal with 1.5 seconds left on the clock.

Okay, this was a weird game.

I have to start the recap by mentioning what you probably already have heard. The Phantoms were involved in a scuffle with the NTDP U18s on Saturday night as the final buzzer sounded that resulted in several players on both sides, as well as the NTDP Head Coach, John Wroblewski, getting suspended. Analyzing that mess, I will save for another day.

The result was yesterday morning it was announced that due to a "scheduling conflict" the U18s were not making the trip to Youngstown but instead sending the U17s.

The behind the scenes report is that due to the fight, they were not "dressing any draft eligible players" except Danny Weight and instead calling up the U17 players. That came straight from an alert from the NHL's Central Scouting Service.

As pointed out by Ryan Hardy, the GM of the Chicago Steel, this was not a true call up situation since they sent the full U17 coaching staff. So we got the U17s, possibly a break for the Phantoms, but still an awkward situation at best for the team, league and USA Hockey. For their part, the Phantoms would be without the services of Tristian Amonte, Josh DeLuca, and Christian Stoever. To fill in we dressed and played affiliate forward Garrett Steele, and affiliate netminder Collin Purcell backed up Chad Veltri.

Chad Veltri watches a puck go by as the Phantoms defense battles in a tight contest.The Phantoms Deal Out A Winner! - Chad Veltri watches a puck go by as the Phantoms defense battles in a tight contest.

The good news, the Phantoms won again against the Green Bay Gamblers and pulled within a game and a half of the second spot in the Eastern Conference.

The bad news, they had to do it without forward Joseph Abate who was injured in Staturday's game. Abate may miss more than just this one but that'll be a discussion for the next preview.

The Phantoms jumped out on top when Tyler Spott attempted a short pass to Brady Meyer just inside the Gamblers blueline. Matthew Barnaby read the play and picked off the pass and skated into the slot where he ripped a wrist shot in the face of defenseman Xan Gurney that netminder Ryan Ullan was unable to get more than a piece of and it found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at 7:28.

The Gamblers evened things up late in the first when Jesse Tucker made a nice pass from the top of the right faceoff circle to Austin Heidemann a few feet to the left of the net. Heidemann was able to make the sharp angle shot and Chad Veltri, in net for a sixth concecutive start, was unable to get across to stop it at 17:43.

Chad Veltri celebrates the win against the Gamblers on HFC night.Hockey Fights Cancer in Youngstown! - Chad Veltri celebrates the win against the Gamblers on HFC night.

Hockey Fights Cancer, it's one of those universal hockey themes. If you can't pump a crowd up with that, then do you even play hockey? With over 2,400 in attendance last night for the Phantoms' HFC night, the Phantoms proved they could.

The game started with a couple quick strikes for the Phantoms. Aresenii Smekhnov reversed the puck behind the Gamblers net. Craig Needham was able to pick it up when a Gamblers defenseman, Chase Pilawski, was unable to intercept it. Needham burred the biscuit just 0:24 into the game.

There was a brief delay after the goal, not only to pick up the carnations thrown for the HFC promo, but also to fix some loose glass. Shortly after the delay, the Gamblers picked up a holding penalty which lead to a Liam Dennison wrist shot finding it's way through traffic and behind the Gamblers netminder, Maxsim Zhukov, at the 2:03 mark. The goals came on the first two shots on net by the Phantoms.

The Gamblers weren't going to fold 'em just yet. On a two-on-two rush up ice, Luke Mylymok laid a pass to the top of the crease where Noah Prokop, who had gotten a step on defenseman Jeppe Urup, was able to tap it in behind Chad Veltri at 7:55.