The Phantoms looked to bounce back after a wild 8-5 loss to the NTDP with the defending Clark Cup champs and current Eastern Conference leaders, the Chicago Steel. Everyone knew this was going to be a tough game and we would need our players to elevate their game. 

The Phantoms scored the only goal in the first, Alex Barber's first USHL goal on a hard wist shot from long range that blew the Steel's netminder Oskar Autio at 14:03. Barber used a defenseman in the slot as a screen making it hard for Autio to track. Shots were 9-9 going into the intermission. 

The Steel came out of the lockers ready to even things up. Behind the Phantoms net, Steel forward Baker Shore lifted the stick of Jake Gingell forcing a turnover. Chicago defenseman Matteo Pietroiro got a shot on Ivan Prosvetov who was unable to corral the rebound. Shore nicely backhanded the rebound in to tie the game 0:15 into the second. However 1:18 later, Jake Malone would send a shot into traffic and Tommy Parrottino tipped it by Autio.

The teams would trade goals again later in the second. On the penalty kill, Max Ellis would strip Tyler Gratton, a forward dangling the puck on the PP near the blueline, and skate up ice for a breakaway goal. Ellis had used a similar move before in shootouts, nice stickhandling to freeze the netminder and going backhand to forehand around them for open net at 8:12. However, moments after the Phantoms were back to full strength the Steel's Jordan Seyfert laid a nice pass to Robbie Stucker all alone in front of Prosvetov, the Phantoms defense blowing the coverage massively,  and Stucker put on a skick handling clinic in front of the Phantoms netminder before popping the puck over him at 8:49. Things would get chippy after that and both sides would have good powerplay opportunities, but 3-2 was the score after 40:00 with the shots 10-6 in favor of the Steel in the period.

Well it was a game where goals came fast and were scored in bunches. The Phantoms and the NTDP U18 squad combined for 9 goals last time they met, this time they decided to up the pace a little. It's hard to write up a game with 13 goals scored by 13 different goal scorers but here we go anyway.

The NTDP would get on the board first. A DJ King shot from the point was stopped but Tyler Weiss in the right spot to shovel the rebound home over Ivan Prosvetov at 7:02 of the first. The Phantoms would even it when Julian Kislin took a shot that was stopped by NTDP netminder Drew DeRidder but the rebound popped over to the other side of the net for an easy rebound goal for Curtis Hall at 11:07. Just 1:59 after that the NTDP retook the lead when a Ty Emberson point shot found it's way through the traffic and behind Prosvetov. The Phantoms would respond once again when Mike Regush centered a pass behind his back to Matt Barry who fired it home at 16:58. The tie would last only another 1:29 when Andrew Petrillo was unable to get back into position from pinching in deep and the NTDP's Jack DeBoer on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Weiss. DeBoer would take the shot, beating Prosvetov. Joel Farabee would dance around Jake Gingell, cutting through the slot from the left faceoff, circle to add to that just 0:27 after that. Shots on goal were 12-11 with the slight edge going to the Phantoms.

Wouter Peeters would start the 2nd frame. Adam Samuelsson would get things going quickly, stuffing a lose puck near the crease in between the skate of Peeters and the post at 2:12. Oliver Wahlstrom would beat Zach Metsa on the point during a Phantoms powerplay and managed to stay just a step ahead of the Phantoms defenseman. He managed a forehand to backhand move before crashing into Peeters and the net, just 1:15 after the Samuelsson goal. Peeters would protest the net being dislodged or interference but it was a good goal. Matthew Thompson would get one right back on the powerplay, fading back in the right faceoff circle before firing a laser shot bar-down behind DeRidder at 3:56. Max Ellis would backhand a pass to a pinching Jake Gingell in the slot at 6:09 to bring the Phantoms within 2. This was as close as we would get. Mattias Samuelsson would set up a trailing Jake Pivonka in the slot at 13:51 and with 0:49 left, Trevor Janicke would put hime his own rebound for a powerplay tally. The Phantoms outshot the NTDP 14-11 in the frame but were down 8-4 after 2 periods.

The Phantoms finally get a win at home and against a rival in regulation to boot, downing Muskegon in sixty. Prior to this, the only Phantoms points were a SO win on the road in Fargo and a SO loss to the Lumberjacks last weekend. They played a good team game for all three periods and were rewarded with a big pair of points and some swagger to take on the road with them to Muskegon for the second game of the weekend. 

The Phantoms got on the board first at 6:56 of the first. Matthew Barry and Mike Regush out grinding 'Jacks defensemen Blake Evannou and Clayton Philips behind the net. Barry, after an extended battle, managed to dig the puck out as Regush put himself in front of the net to one-time the pass to beat 'Jacks netminder Adam Brizgala. The Phantoms would hold that 1-0 lead into the intermission, the first period they held the lead at the end of at home. The 'Jacks had a slight edge in shots 9-6.

The Phantoms would push the lead to 3-0 in the second. The first one early on some carry over powerplay time from the first frame. Max Ellis, after a nice steal to keep it in the zone, sent a pass to Curtis Hall or maybe a shot on goal that Brizgala deflected to the side with a pad. Tommy Parronttino slammed home the lose puck at the side for the first goal of the frame at 1:16. A little over 4:00 they added another when Marc Del Gaizo flubbed a backhand pass just inside the Phantoms blueline. Eric Esposito recovered the puck and immediately hit Barry who had jumped behind the 'Jacks defense. Barry made a forehand to backhand move that opened up Brizgala's five hole when he went forehand again and slid it through. The Phantoms continued the pressure through the frame and eventually outshot the 'Jacks 11-5.