Game two of the American Cup, the USHL's first foray into the Rochester, NY area was pretty much the same tone as the first - something random. We hoped the Phantoms would wake up a little after a slow start and overall dull performance in the first game and it seemed like that was the case... until it wasn't.
The Gamblers outshot the Phantoms 11-9 in the scoreless first but neither team really had much going in the opening period. The Phantoms opened the scoring at 5:31 of the second when Gamblers netminder Aaron Randazzo stopped Evan Werner on a breakaway but was prone and unable to stop the rebound from Adam Ingram, who tied the Phantoms all-time point scoring streak at 14 games. TJ Schweighardt made it 2-0 a little less than 3:00 later at 8:29 when TJ Schweighardt blasted a point shot on the powerplay and Randazzo had no idea because Winter Wallace was parked directly in front of him.
The Gamblers responded shortly after. A Phantoms offensive zone turnover on a 2-on-1 lead to a quick transition by the Gamblers and a Ryan Greene breakaway that he deked and went around a sprawling Kyle Chauvette at 10:05. Greene tied it at 14:20 when he was left alone in the slot, between two Phantoms defenders, and Matt BeBoer centered a pass to him for a easy one-timer. The Phantoms retook the lead late when Evan Werner got his first USHL goal. Taking advantage of the Gamblers losing possession of the puck exiting their zone, Werner stole the puck from behind the Gamblers in the high slot and went forehand to backhand and roofed the puck over Randazzo at 19:40. Shots were 11-9 Phantoms in the second period and the score 3-2 going into the third.
The Gamblers scored the only goal of the third at 4:59, a rebound goal on the powerplay by Cameron Lund to tie it. Shots were 11-9 Phantoms in the final 20:00 of regulation. The Phantoms controlled the puck for nearly the entire OT frame. Despite this they never got the puck on net and retreated the attack zone on more than a few occasions to reset, only to not manage to produce any more of a attack strategy after regrouping. The Gamblers had maybe a minute of puck possession, at the end of the OT, and got 4 shots on net. Unfortunatly for the Phantoms, Damion Carfagna, the leagues top scoring defenseman, ended up cycling in front of Chauvette alone, where Matt DeBoer found him, and Carfagna put a backhander over the glove of Chauvette to end OT with 4 seconds left before a shootout.
And that's how the American Cup ends, at least for the USHL. There was still youth games going on and maybe that was the point of the weekend. It was a nice, short road trip for the Phantoms but we only came out of it with 1 point on the weekend and that's not acceptable. We have to win the games against weaker teams and Green Bay is a weaker team. We'll finish out the year against stronger opponents and we'll have to be a lot better.
Adam Ingram puts in the rebound!
Evan Werner's first USHL Goal!