Well, for the second time this season, the Phantoms played the worst team in it's division and left the second point on the table by dropping the game in OT. Last night, the Phantoms barely managed to skate into the extra frame, and lost in the 3-on-3.
The Phantoms came out with a lot of energy and looked dominant through the first half of the first period. At one point the shots were 6-1. The Stampede got some life on a Phantoms penalty and with Garrett Dahm in the box for a hook, Gabe Temple put a point shot through traffic and behind a well screened Dominic Basse at 12:59. The Stampede seemed to swing momentum their way for much of the rest of the frame. Shots would end up tied at 7 a side after the first 20:00.
The Phantoms tied the game at 1 all early in the second. Matthew Cassidy dug the puck out along the neutral zone boards and fed it to John Beaton at the blueline. Beaton held off and snapped a shot from the slot that beat netminder Grant Adams at 4:18. The Phantoms owned much of the middle frame and outshot the Stampede 13-5.
The Stampede took the lead again early in the third. Cameron MacDonald put the puck into the slot for Will Dineen, who had just come off the bench, and Dineen one-timed it for a goal at 4:28. The Phantoms struggled to try to tie it, and late in the period Jan Kern batted the puck out of mid-air and into Adams, who made the initial save but Josh DeLuca was on the doorstep to tap it home at 17:06. Shots were 10-9 Phantoms in the third.
Cue overtime. The game winner came off a 2-on-1, Timo Bakos skating the puck up ice with Nikolai Jenson defending but Gabe Temple out skated Georgi Merkulov to create the odd man advantage. Bakos slid the puck over and Temple ended the game with his second of the night. Shots were 2-1 Stampede in the period and 31-23 Phantoms overall.
The Phantoms, once again, got outworked by a lesser team. We got the shots but lacked the finishing ability and had lapses on defense, and the Stampede grabbed the second point. There is really no excuse for this. The Phantoms continue to play down to weaker opponents, and that has to stop.
The crowd was decent for a Friday in November. The official 1,259 may have been padded a little but we'll take it. Hopefully we'll have a bit larger crowd tonight to get some payback. We have to get both points tonight and having the fans behind them to push the team towards that is a must. Anyway, here is a highlight.
Josh DeLuca ties the game late!