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.

Is the glass half full or empty? Saturday's tilt against the Muskegon Lumberjacks was one of those games that leave you asking questions like this. There are also some much more specific questions to be asked but I'll get to those later. For right now, we at least got our first point at home but just couldn't get that second point.

The Phantoms were banged up heading into the game. We did not even have enough healthy bodies to dress the full 21. Both teams played a sluggish first period. Shots were even at 8 side and no one had a clear advantage. The 'Jacks started to take over in the second. In addition to starting to double up on the shots, they also started the scoring off just over the mid-way point of the frame when Matej Pekar took off from the 'Jacks end on a 2 on 1 with Donovan Ott. Julian Kislin defended it well but both Andrew Petrillo and Alex Barber moved to try to pick up Ott, leaving Wyatt Bongiovanni more open than he should be trailing the play for a one-timer that the Phantoms netminder, Wouter Peeters, only managed to throw a chicken wing style elbow at. Barber should have been the forward to pick the trailer but the shot was stoppable as well. Peeters was not square to the shooter at all, he may have been expecting the pass to go to Ott. Just over 3:00 later Egor Afanasyev managed to split Jake Gingell and Zach Metsa in the slot to deflect a Bobby Kaiser shot that tipped off Peeters to push the lead to 2 goals. By this point, things seemed pretty bleak, Petrillo had moved to forward, presumably due to injuries.

The Phantoms would get back into it with 4:56 left in the second on the powerplay. Metsa would take a shot from the slot with the rebound bouncing to the left of 'Jacks netminder, Adam Brizgala. Gianfranco Cassaro managed to pop the puck up and over the sprawled goaltender into the crease where Curtis Hall would get a final stick on to put it across the line. This built up to one of the more exciting periods of hockey played at the Covelli since the playoffs last season. The Phantoms really went to work, grinding and getting pucks to the dirsty area and finally, with 2:23 left in regulation, a bouncing puck landed in the slot right on the stick of Petrillo, still playing forward, and he fired it home. Both teams would have glorious chances in the 3 on 3 OT, the Phantoms hitting a pair of posts, but no one would score.