- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Uncategorised
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The Phantoms played the second game of the weekend less than 24 hours after the 9-3 loss to the U18 squad. The question was would the U17 squads age and inexperience make up for the fatigue of the quick turnaround. It did in a lot of ways, just not in one area. That area was the Phantoms goaltending. It was a brutal continuation for Jake Moore, surrendering another 7 goals on 35 shots with no relief coming from the bench with Scott Trellis backing him up. The only info I have on Trellis is that he's in the 1996 birth year class and playes on the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite ( MM U16) last year.
Offensively, there was a lot of fireworks from both sides not just the Phantoms. The boys from Youngstown opened the scoring just over four minutes into the game with a Kyle Connor goal, his first of two in the period and on the evening. USA responded with a pair of goals before Blake Christensen scored to even it up and Connor rounded the period out with his second, with just a bit under 3 minutes to go.
The second period is when things went horribly wrong for the Phantoms. After Kiefer Sherwood and JJ Pichinich scored goals with the NTDP kids getting one in between, the Phantoms gave up shorthanded goals on back-to-back powerplays to let USA even up the score. Any life the Phantoms had seemed to have been sucked out completely. Worse still, with a little more than an minute and a half things looked really bleak as the NTDP scored another one to put them up by a goal. However, Luke Stork picked off the puck and broke in on the young USA goalie one-on-one and buried one high into the twine with :41 left in the period.
The final frame the Phantoms just ran out of gas. USA scored less than five minutes into the period and despite a few awesome chances, the Phantoms were unable to answer it. The best chance was when Tyler Spezia made a nice feed to spring Kyle Connor on a breakaway for an bid to get his first USHL hat trick. USAs goalie Luke Olpika, their backup who came in relief of Michael Lackey to start the 3rd, was up to the challenge.
This left the Phantoms on the losing side of the scorecard for the second time in less than 24 hours. The bottom line is Jake Moore put up abysmal numbers again and our defense did very little to bail him out. Both will have to improve for long term success, even when Sean Romeo returns.
- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: News
- Hits: 753
Multiple sources are reporting that Washington Capitals GM George McPhee announced yesterday that Nathan Walker signed a one year contract to play with the Caps AHL affiliate. According to reports they weren't able to sign him to a NHL contract due to the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, but were able to sign him to a minor league deal, which won't prevent him from being eligible for the next NHL draft. I always thought it was quite the opposite with junior hockey players, they could be sign a NHL contract but not be sent to the minor affiliate, but he's technically a European import who did play in the Czech majors and most of my CBA understanding is based on Canadian major junior.
Since I don't fully understand the move for several reasons, particularly the Capitals motivation other than to get him some work in the system. They stand to lose him in the draft if he gathers any more attention. Is the move in Walkers best interest? My gut always suspects the motivation to move a guy to the pros, even the minors, this early. But I do think Stormy can use the exposure and experience to get a nod in his final chance at the draft, so long as he gets the ice time. If he get paid, that's always a bonus and with him playing abroad, mostly as an unpaid amateur, since he was 12 years old, that's got to be a bonus.
Just for references sake, here is an article from a great Caps blog that breaks down what is known, really just a Tweet at this point, and a look at how it works under the CBA. Also I'll point out as of 9/20 he was off the protected list, which only listed 22 players for the Phantoms.
- Written by Justin Irwin
- Category: Game Recap
- Hits: 867
Opening night and the Phantoms took on the NTDP U-18 squad in Ann Arbor. Due to the horrid wifi at Motel 6 I'll keep it brief; it was ugly. It was very ugly. I don't know any way to sugarcoat this... we got beat by a touchdown. Jake Moore gave up 9 goals on 38 shots and that's pretty much the bottom line. The offense never had a chance to get going and the defense never had a chance to get settled. USA scored on their first shot just 1:09 into the game and it snowballed from there.
After USA rattled off the first three goals in the first period, Youngstown looked like they were getting back on track. Recent arrival Alex Smith scored a goal at 14:10, less than a minute after the Phantoms killed off a dumb checking from behind penalty he took. That rounded out The First period with the Phantoms down by a deuce. The Phantoms came out of the gate flying in the second. You could feel it as they hit the ice. Less than half a minute in he drew a penalty and JJ Pichinich scored on the ensuing powerplay to draw within a goal. That was as close as it got as USA knocked in four more before the period ended. Ryan Schwalbe scored a goal after a lengthy review, an odd occurrence to those who remember the Dubuque playoff series, to start the third. USA scored two more just to make sure
Of course, Moore can't be blamed for everything. There were plenty of stupid penalties and Team USA played a solid game. The Phantoms have a lot of newcomers and the this U-18 squad is mostly returning U-17 kids. Moore played the full preseason schedule with starting goalie Sean Romeo sidelined with an undisclosed injury and may be tired but we needed him to play a lot better, especially the first half of the game. And with a quick turnaround game at 3:30pm the next day, it will be interesting to see how Moore handles the U-17 squad. Non-affiliate goalie Scott Trellis was on the bench for the first game so unless something changes they'll probably start Moore again.
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