Well, two weeks into the season and things are going well for the Phantoms. Last week saw them rebound from a season opener loss in Ann Arbor against the NTDP U18 squad by heading back to Ann Arbor to beat the U17 squad and then traveling to Bloomington to hand them their first loss. This weekend we get a little deja vu as we take on USA and Bloomington again.

This time it's our first grudge match of the season as we head back up to Ann Arbor to take on the NTDP U18 squad again. The 4-2 loss on opening night was a well played game for both teams. USA looked a little more comfortable as a team, probably due to having more players familiar with one another. The Phantoms are quickly solidifying as a team and should be looking to up their game a little against the U18 squad. I don't thin there is anything we need to change fundamentally. Save for a couple mistakes, we played a solid game. As long as we can reduce the mistakes I think we can hold our own against them. USA's goaltending is something to keep an eye on, I like our chances better against Michael Lackey over Luke Opilka but that's something we have no control over.

Then we come back to play an afternoon game against the Bloomington Thunder for the home opener. Last Saturday's match against them was a great way to open the season series against the expansion franchise. It was a hard fought, physical game with both teams goalies having to stop a lot of rubber. Again, if I'm the Phantoms I don't change a thing but that's a lot easier to say after a 3-1 win on the road. The Phantoms just need to be careful about getting to wrapped up with the home opener and keep their focus on the game. I doubt that will be a problem after a few good hits. I think this will be the kind of hockey game the Covelli crowd can really get into and I expect it to get loud and a little rowdy.

Here are a few small news updates and items of interest.

Lets start with some good news. I know a few people were wondering about the fate of Zach Evancho. After putting in over two years of service with the Phantoms he was cut from the team this season during the final roster cut. It looks like he's found a roster spot close to his hometown of Derby, NY with the Buffalo Jr. Sabers of the OJHL. This is the same organization he was in before joining the Phantoms, playing for their U18 (T1EHL) team. In 4 games he's notched 1 goal and 2 assists. The OHJL is a Junior A Canadian League. Matthew Alvaro and Taylor Best both came from the OJHL, Best lead the league in points last season. Both Alvaro and Best have D1 college commitments so there is a strong chance that Evancho will commit to a great school too. I wish him the best of luck though I think with his compete level I think he'll make his own 'luck'.

I'll have analysis tomorrow. Well, without further ado here is what the USHL posted: