- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Opinion and Editorial
- Hits: 62
OK, it's time for the first road trip of the season as the Phantoms (0-2-0-0) load the bus and head to Fargo to take on the Force (0-1-1-0). Both teams looked solid in preseason and both had problems on opening weekend.
Fargo has the talent up front to compete with just about anyone. Garrett Van Whye, Nicholas Cardelli and Logan Jenuwine all looked really strong in preseason. Also someone to keep and eye on is Ryan Savage, a C-ranked skater on the NHL CSS report. On defense, Clayton Philips is highly touted and had a strong showing at the Fall Classic. The 3rd round Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick has great mobility and passing ability, a guy who can run the powerplay from the blueline, creating a lot of space down low for his teammates. Also looking good in preseason was John Shultd, a big defenseman who can play physical as well as having good offensive ability. In net, Ryan Bischel looked good as a backup last season, a 2.21 GAA and a .904 SV% and like a solid starter at the Fall Classic. He got dinged pretty badly last weekend, 7 goals in 96 minutes.
For the Phantoms, Curtis Hall is the obvious offensive threat. Chase Gresock also played well in preseason and opening weekend. I won't comment much else on offense, the lack of consistency between preseason and last weekend has left me scratching my head. On defense, Gianfranco Cassaro looked really good at times during the opening weekend, one of the few players I thought looked like he played as good last weekend as he did in preseason. Andrew Petrillo also looks really good to start, much stronger and faster than last season. In preseason, he was very active on offense as well as defense, often time seen down behind the opponents net. The big question is in net. Neither Ivan Prosvatov nor Wouter Peeters really looked impressive. I'll leave stats out but both had issues. Prosvatov had the first start and missed some routine saves, one in particular where he failed to hold the post on a stuff in from the side had me worried. Peeters seemed technically a lot more sound and his movement seemed a little sharper and faster than what I saw in preseason. However, he seemed to have issues with rebound control and also flubbed a hard around behind his net leading to a turnover and easy warparound goal against. Both looked like with a little more experience they would be very good number two netminders but both looked like the had a ways to go before either was a clear number one.
- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Game Recap
- Hits: 100
After losing a tough one Saturday night, the Phantoms were looking to bounce back on a early Sunday evening. Everyone was hopeful a few minor changes to the lineup would give the Phantoms the boost they needed. The bad news is, it didn't work. The good news is... well, I'm still looking for the silver lining. I guess it's that it's only the first week of the season and we have plenty of time.
Things got off to a good start once again. The Phantoms looked to have a good jump in their step and took the lead a little over midway through the first frame. Curtis Hall, drfting from the high slot to the back of the left faceoff circle to create a little space, ripped a big slapper that beat Aces netminder Kris Carlson. Drew Elser would tie it back up just :32 after, on a rush up ice he let one fly from the right side that beat Phantoms netminder, Wouter Peeters this time, cleanly. Like the night before, the Aces would grab the lead late in the first. Max Andreev would carry the puck behind the Phantoms goal line and center to Matt Gosiewski, who wandered right through and behind the Phantoms defense. Peeters would stop the intital shot but Gosiewski would get his own rebound and poke that past Peeters with 2:23 left in the opening frame. To add to the issues, Max Ellis and Marco Riefenberger got tangled up late. Ellis gave what appeared to be a spear to Riefenberger. Play continued with Riefenberger apparently no worse for the wear and both teams possessing the puck. With about :12 left in the period and the first whistle after the altercation, there was a lengthy discussion and Ellis was given a major and game ejection. As far as I can tell, it must have been reported by the linesman.
The Phantoms would draw a penalty on the Aces early in the second, negating some of the major, when Eric Esposito was hauled down by Charlie Raith a stride away from having a shorthanded breakaway. Moments after the 4 on 4 expired, and with Phantoms defenseman Steven Holtz stickless, Gosiewski would get the puck on his stick in the slot for his second goal of the game to extend the lead to 3-1. Later on an Aces powerplay, Wouter Peeters would try to direct a harmless misdirected dump in hard around the back of his own net. However instead of a hard around and up the far side boards, he just bounced it softly off the boards to lie behind the net. Gosiewksi centered the pass to the other side where Max Andreev easily put it in for a 4-1 lead. The Aces would add another powerplay goal early in the third when Sebastian Diriven took the puck up the left side boards and laid a pass over to Jakub Lacka, who skated to through slot without much of a look from the Phantoms defenders, and Lacka put home an easy one-timer.
- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Game Recap
- Hits: 64
The Phantoms looked to kick off the 17-18 season with a win, something we haven't done the past 4 years. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait another season for that. The Phantoms seemed to lack some of the energy we saw in preseason and displayed some of the goaltending issues that were present in Cranberry.
The Phantoms got off on the right foot.Working the puck behind the Aces net, Matthew Barry made a pass to the point to defenseman Gianfranco Cassaro who blasted it past the Aces netminder Zach Stejskal at 9:21. However, the Aces would get it back 1:30 later, with goalie Ivan Prosvetov screened, Jakub Lacka tipped a point shot in from Sebasitan Driven to tie it. Later in the period, with time expiring, Tyler Madden threw a backhander towards the net that may have hit the far post or crossbar and was deflected down and behind a flailing Prosvetov and behind him with 1.0 seconds left in the frame. The puck may have been hit with a high stick but was not called as such. The initial shot seemed to catch the Phantoms goalie off guard. Shots were 9-8 Aces.
The Aces would rule the second frame. A Tyler Madden shot would cleanly beat Prosvetov stick side at 6:40. The Phantoms though they had one back a few minutes later when an Eriks Zohovs shot was gloved by Stejskal , who was then shoved into the nety by a sliding Aces defender. I could not tell you if the refs had considered the play blown dead prior or that the puck did not cross the line, what I can tell on replay it's probably the latter, but the goal was not signaled and not counted after a short discussion. Moments later, the Aces were up ice and Max Andreev tried to tuck one in while going behind Prosveltov's net. He was unsuccessful but Drew Elser managed to poke it in with Prosvletov not able to hold the post at 9:35. Aces would out shoot us 11-5.