The Phantoms hit the ice in Halloween themed uniforms for the last of 2 home games before a long road stand. Too bad the only thing scary was their lack of energy against a high powered Chicago Steel team. Despite the poor performance, they held on to take a point in the OT loss, so maybe this one was half trick and half treat.
The Steel clearly had the edge on offense from the start. They dominated puck possession and shots on goal but the Phantoms found a way to score first. Steel defenseman Owen Power made an ill advised pass from the goal line, cross ice and to the blue line, but Yusaku Ando intercepted it above the faceoff circle where he set up Trvor Kuntar in the slot for the opening tally at 7:53, beating Victor Ostman in net for the Steel. This was the Phantoms first shot on goal.
Brendan Brisson would tie it later in the first, just 0:08 into a powerplay, with a snap shot from top of the right faceoff circle that seemed to find a seam through Dominic Basse. Shots ended up 10-5 in the first frame but we were even on the scoreboard after 20:00.
The Steel would get the only goal of the second frame, Uula Ruikka made a nice behind the back pass to Elis Hede in the low slot. Hede managed to shrug off a couple Phantoms defenders and their sticks and get a shot past Basse at 14:39 to take a 2-1 lead into the third. Shots were even at 7 a piece in the middle frame.
Despite lopsided shots and possession in the third, the Phantoms managed to retake the lead. They tied it at 3:33 when Aiden Gallacher skated around a pair of Steel defenders during a 4-on-4 situation, snapping home a shot, beating Ostman. Reilly Funk gave them the lead back a short time later when he tipped a Nicholai Jenson point shot to score at 8:55.
But the Phantoms had kept the Steel's big guns too quiet all night. That changed at 10:44 when Gunnerwolfe Fontaine tipped a shot past Basse to tie it. Shots were 18-3 in the third and more time would be needed to finish this tilt.
And for the second time this season, the Phantoms found themselves in OT. This time they never got traction and the Steel were flying. Fontaine had a 2-on-1 with Owen Power and Jayson Dobay defending. Dobay took away the pass but Fontaine snapped a shot beating Basse 5 hole, the Phantoms netminder visably stunned for a second after, and left looking between his legs where the puck slipped through. The Phantoms got no shots on net in the OT while the Steel had 3. Shots overall were 37-15 in favor of the Steel.
This was a poor performance all around. I hate to single out Basse after he got shelled most of the game, especially the third and OT, but at least a couple of the goals allowed, including the OT tally, were stoppable pucks. He did stop 33 shots, and you have to credit that as part of the reason we got a point out of this one. Beyond that, the lack of offense outside the Kuntar-Funk-Ando line was very disappointing.
Like the home opener OT loss, we had a decent crowd. We had 1,220 in the stands last night. Unlike the home opener where it feels like we left a point on the table, this was definitely us stealing a point. With a Monday game on tap, I doubt we'll see anywhere near that kind of crowd. Anyway, here is the highlight.
Aiden Gallacher zig-zags through the Steel for a goal!