- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Opinion and Editorial
- Hits: 354
Well, here we go. It's the "second season" and you can pretty much hit the reset button. The Phantoms (0-0) did not get the help they needed this weekend from Central Illinois (R.I.P.) or Muskegon, so they finish in third place in the Eastern Conference with no bye in the first round.
This means we face the 6th place team, the Dubuque Fighting Saints (0-0). We've played the Saints four times, dropping the first one at the Fall Classic, but beating them the next 3. We havn't faced them since December 30th, so a lot has changed since then.
The Saints are an odd team. Despite being one of the biggest teams in the league, 2nd in average weight at 187lbs and 1st in average height at 6'2", a lot of their damage is done by smaller players. Matias Maccelli is their top scorer by far, leading the team in both goals and assists, 31 and 41 respectively, which tied him with Erik Haula as the top scoring Finnish player to have played in the USHL. The 5'11", 165lbs winger is a projected 3rd round NHL Draft pick, can stick handle in tight spaces and has a great shot.
Keeping with the trend of smaller forwards is the line that is probably the most exciting to watch outside of our 3M line, the lineup of Reise Gaber (22g, 28a), and the Jackson twins, Dylan (13g, 31a) and Ty (15g, 25a). The line averages 5'8" and 151lbs but use their speed and agility to drive teams crazy.
They do have some larger forwards that will contribute in their own way. Derick Contessa (11g, 9a) and Cooper Haar (6g, 11a) can grind players down on the boards, both are 6'3" and 205+ lbs. Willie Knierim, who left Ohio State after 2 seasons there, is the big guy to watch at 6'3", 206lbs. However, he has also put up 18g and 29a and also leads the team in PIMs with 140, double the next guy in line.
- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Game Recap
- Hits: 788
And the regular season is a wrap with the Phantoms downing the NTDP U17s.
Owen Gallatin got the NTDP on the board first. After making a great bank pass from his own end to the neutral zone to spring Hunter McKown, Gallatin jumped up from his defensive position to join the rush. McKown hit him traling the play and he put a shot on goal that somehow eluded Chad Veltri in net at 9:38. Despite being outshot 9-7, the NTDP carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Phantoms stormed back in the middle frame, starting with a powerplay goal. Joseph Abate, back for his second game after an upper body injury, hit Gianfranco Cassaro with a cross ice pass at the blueline. The defenseman was all alone as he carried the puck to the top of the left faceoff circle and unleashed a laser shot that beat NTDP goaltender Drew Commesso at 4:21.
Matthew DeMelis put the Phantoms ahead after taking a pass from Ben Schoen near center ice. DeMelis danced around defenseman Connor Kelley, treating him pretty much as a pylon in a stick handling drill, and right by defenseman Jacob Truscott, before making a backhand to forehand move on the shot that beat Commesso at 12:17.
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