The Phantoms just don't seem to catch a break at home. We're currently the best team on the road but conversely the second worst at home, only the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders have a worse home record. The last team the Phantoms beat at home was the Chicago Steel and the Phantoms were looking to cache in on that again last Friday but fell short by a goal.

The Phantoms started in a dominant fashion, controlling the play for a good part of the first period. The Phantoms got on the board first, Alex Esposito lead the rush into the attack zone and laid a pass to Nicolas Wekbik just as they crossed the blueline. Werbik took the pass entering the right faceoff circle and launched a wrist shot from the dot that beat Steel netminder Ales Stezka at 10:32 of the first period. The Steel would answer back with 3:04 remaining. Jake Jaremko would take a pass from Reggie Lutz and drove into the attack zone. A Phantoms defenseman, I think Ty Farmer, swent down in a slide early to block a shot allowing Jaremko to slide easily into the slot and fire off a shot that beat Ivan Kulbakov. The Steel would grab the lead early in the second period, 2:10 into the frame, when Tyler Gratton flipped a deceiving backhander from the right faceoff circle through a little traffic that I think Kulbakov would have wanted back.

After the second goal the Phantoms seemed a little deflated but would continue to get shots on Stezka throughout the second period. The Steel tightened up the defense and blocked a lot of shots in the third period and Stezka made several excellent saves to keep the score 2-1. The Phantoms would not even get a puck through traffic and on net during the over 1:30 of 6 on 5 with Kulbakov pulled. shots on goal were 8-6, 13-6, 5-6 with the final shots on goal 26-18 in favor of the Phantoms. Good defense and excellent goaltending won the day for Chicago.

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.