The Phantoms only get 1 of 4 points during the home opening weekend.The Phantoms drop a pair to the 'Jacks - The Phantoms only get 1 of 4 points during the home opening weekend.

The Phantoms opened at home this past weekend, looking to get things on the right track after not getting any points in the standings during the Fall Classic. We managed to mess that up royally, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on Friday and barely even showing up to skate on Saturday. We did manage to get 1 point for a regulation tie on Friday but that wasn't enough to lift us out of the basement, leaving us in 17th place out of 17 teams. To make it worse, both losses were against out divisional rival, the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Friday's game was a battle of goaltenders. Jonathan Mor starting in net for the Phantoms and Brandon Bussi for the 'Jacks. Through most of the first half of the game, it didn't look like either netminder was going to give an inch. It was scoreless until the 7:31 mark of the second frame when Conner MacEachern managed to jab home a shot from Jack Malone off a faceoff to Bussi's right to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead. They would hold the slim margin until the waning moments of regulation when, with Bussi off for an extra man, former Phantom Jagger Joshua returned the favor off a James McIssac point shot with 0:48 left on the clock. Neither team would score a goal in the 3-on-3 OT, despite the Phantoms having 1:53 of powerplay time to close the frame. Only the 'Jacks Bobby Lynch would score in the shootout, weaving through the slot before going with forehand, top shelf shot on Mor's glove side. Shots were even at 32 a side, the Phantoms 10-12-9-1 and the 'Jacks 10-9-11-1.

The Phantoms didn't win at the Fall Classic but still played hard.The Phantoms at the Fall Classic 2018 - The Phantoms didn't win at the Fall Classic but still played hard.

Well, I'm back - sort of. After a few things came up midway through last season, including a big change in my work schedule, I was unable to maintain things here. Hopefully I'm in a better position to keep up on the blog now. In any event, I was able to catch all 4 days of the USHL Fall Classic. I'd like to say the Phantoms dominated at the event but we lost both games. It was good hockey but we came up short. Unfortunately, this season the games count for the season making 0-2-0-0 to start.

The Phantoms kicked off their season against Tri-City. They came out with a lot of energy and looked sharp the first few minutes. However, the Storm would quickly take some of the air out of our sails with the first goal. Newcomer defenceman, Aiden Gallacher found himself in the penalty box and the Storm took advantage on the PP. Storm defenceman Zach Jones sent a shot from the blueline, that was stopped by goaltender Jon Mor. Jake Crespi tried to poke it in on Mor's right side but Mor was able to hold it out with the leg pads but the puck bounced to his left and Brad Morrissey was able to swipe it in at 5:02, Mor not able to get over to stop it. The Phantoms would get it back on a PP of their own, Gianfranco Cassaro rifling a point shot on net that was saved by netminder Jake Barczewski but the rebound quickly found it's way to newcomer Liam Robertson who wasted no time putting it back in at 10:11. The Storm would take the lead again when Joe Berg hit Conner McMenamin with a pass at the top of the faceoff circle to Mor's left. The winger put a shot on goal that sneaked in short side at 15:56. The Phantoms outshot the Storm 10-6 but would trail by 1 after 1.

Ivan Prosvetov stares down a shooter in his first game after injury.Ivan Returns to action! - Ivan Prosvetov stares down a shooter in his first game after injury.
It was a night that should have been an easy going, somewhat celebratory night. The Eastern Conference leading Phantoms playing the leagues bottom ranked team and netminder Ivan Prosevetov returning from injury, we should have had a lot different tone to a Thursday night game coming off a week and a half long break. However, sloppy play and less than stellar goaltending (from both netminders) put a huge damper on things and more issues with the Ice Zone might have helped kill the mood. I won't comment (much) on the latter part of that.

The game was pretty evenly played. The Phantoms giving up early chances to the Capitols, but Madison not able to take advantage of a few Phantoms defensive zone turnovers and other mistakes. The Phantoms grabbed the lead late in the third on a powerplay, defenseman Julian Kislan hustling to cut off a puck heading out of the zone and moving it onto the corner. Kislan made a nice play keep a pair of Caps defenders from possesing the puck until Max Elis and Curtis Hall could get there and dig the puck out. Hall put a nice cross-crease backhand pass to the stick of Tommy Parrottino who burried it behind Caps goalie Dryden McKay at 17:00. Madsion had a 1 shot advantage in the first, 11-10.