Colin Purcell watches the puck sail wide during a 3-2 OT win over the Madison Capitols.Tracking The Puck - Colin Purcell watches the puck sail wide during a 3-2 OT win over the Madison Capitols.

It seems like forever since the Phantoms were last at Covelli. It was just under a month ago, and the Phantoms lost to the NTDP in our last home game. We lost the next 6 straight, including a pair to the Madison Capitols, our 3rd loss to them in 4 games this season. The Caps are a bad team, the worst in the league, but getting better. Needlees to say, the Phantoms needed to turn things around and win this weekend. The good news is, we are halfway there.

The Caps opened the scoring on the powerplay. Ryan Kirwin, skating through the slot, redirected a point shot past Colin Purcell at 7:09. The Caps were dominating early in the period, shots were 6-2 after they scored the goal. The Phantoms would finally find their legs a bit after the goal and the shots were 9-5 Caps going into the first intermission with Madison up 1-0.

The Phantoms looked a little better in the second. They evened the score when Trevor Kuntar went cost to coast, taking the puck out of the faceoff circle in his defensive zone, beating a pair of Caps defenders (Jan Stibigr and Hunter Carrick), and put a shot high short-side, stick side on Christian Stoever at 9:02. The Caps answered that one late on a two man advantage with Austen May off for hooking Carson Bantle on a breakaway, then Jayson Dobay off for a boarding infraction. Ryan Kirwin, again, at 17:29 taking a snap shot from the right faceoff circle through traffic to regain the lead. Shots were 14-8 Phantoms in the middle frame.

John Larkin pitches in to remove a dangerously dislodged pane of glass during a 5-2 loss on Friday night. John Larkin helps with glass repairs. - John Larkin pitches in to remove a dangerously dislodged pane of glass during a 5-2 loss on Friday night.

Well, it was probably the worst offensive effort we're seen in a long time from the Phantoms. Despite this fact we were in the game for most of it and for a short time led, the Phantoms only managed 12 shots on net. However, the fine folks in the lower part of section 222 will probably remember this game for their near death experience in the second frame, but I'll get into that later.

The first period started well. Both teams had some jump in their step as the puck dropped. The Phantoms registered their first shot on goal within the first minute. You know it's bad when I put a stat like that in the opening description. Their next shot would be about 20:00 later when the second period started. You read that right, we only has 1 shot in the first frame. The NTDP put up 12. Despite this, we were scoreless at the Covelli heading into the first intermission.

The Phantoms seemed to be righting the ship in the second. Just passed the halfway mark of the period the Phantoms were getting shots and controlling the puck, and a face off win led to Josh DeLuca getting a goal off a rebound from a Bradly Marek shot at 10:35. Shots were 7-4 Phantoms in the frame at this stage. The next 2:09 would be fatal. 

The puck beats Colin Purcell but bounces off the post and out as the Phantoms beat the Sioux Falls Stampede 4-2 at the Covelli.Saved by the Post - The puck beats Colin Purcell but bounces off the post and out as the Phantoms beat the Sioux Falls Stampede 4-2 at the Covelli.

The Phantoms knew they would have to be a little better last night than the night before to earn the full 2 points against Sioux Falls. The good news is, they were just that - a little better. Good enough to earn a regulation win in front of a decent crowd on Hockey Fights Cancer night.

The first period looked a lot like Friday night. The Phantoms came out strong and without some scrambling in net by the Stampede netminder, Grant Adams, could have run up the score pretty quick. They did score first, the first shorthanded goal for the Phantoms this season. The Stampede's Chase Foley misplayed a puck that sprung Matthew Cassidy, who carried the puck with John Beaton on a 2-on-1. Foley left himself in no-man's land, unable to defend the pass or shot, and Cassidy laid the puck onto Beaton's stick. Beaton extended his point streak to 5 games, ripping the puck short side, beating the stick and blocker of Adams at 13:28. Shots were 13-3 Phantoms in the first period and they led 1-0.