Well, it looked like a good start Sunday for the Phantoms. After winning the OT game on Friday after a somewhat slow start, it looked like we were finally prepared to play Madison. That did not last too long.
It's rare to see the Phantoms put shots on goal early but we managed to put 5 on former Phantom Christian Stoever in the first 2:30 of the game. Ried Pabich would get the fist shot on goal at around the 2:49 mark. Colin Purcell made the save but Carson Bantle managed to knock the rebound out of mid-air and in to make it 1-0 Capitols early.
Trevor Kuntar would get the Phantoms back in it and then on top before the period was over. First, Ben Schoen left a drop pass for him at the top of the right faceoff circle for a wrist shot at 10:22. The second came at 14:10 on the powerplay when Georgi Merkulov sent a pass to the bottom hash mark inside the right faceoff circle for a one-timer.
Shots were 13-6 Phantoms in the first period. Madison started rolling a little in the middle frame but despite outshooting the Phantoms 10-7, the score remained 2-1 Youngstown after 40:00.
The Caps would tie it in the third. On a rush up ice, Carson Bantle seemed to take a shot that he did not get good wood on and flubbed it into the slot. The play might not have been what he intended but it worked as a great pass to Stephan Davis who managed to get around Nikolai Jenson and tip in in behind Purcell at 11:00 of the period. Shots in the third period were tied at 8.
No one managed to score in the OT period, Madison getting the only shot on goal, so we went to a shootout. Ryan Kirwan and Rickey Lyle both scored for the Caps, both shooting stick side from the slot. Trevor Kuntar and Ben Schoen were both denied by Stoever and Madison won the game and the season series against the Phantoms.
Well, it seems we need someone else other than Trevor Kuntar to score. John Beaton scored the big goal on Friday after Kuntar kept us in the game with a pair of goals. The difference Sunday was no one else stepped up. Defense wasn't bad and goaltending was satisfactory, or at least was going into the shootout. Special teams were also good and we showed a lot better discipline, going 1 for 5 on the PP and killing the only PK we had on the night.
I don't know what else to say other than Madison has our number this season and it's a good thing we don't face them any more except in the extremely unlikely chance we meet in the playoffs.
Things looked a lot better, especially with most of our players back in the lineup. We have a big test against the NTDP U17s coming up this weekend and hopefully some of the good work that got us 3 of 4 points this weekend will carry over and we can get 4 more points to really kick 2020 into gear. Anyway, here is a highlight - I'm sure you can guess who it is.
Trevor Kuntar lasers a wrister in for a goal!