After cancelling the game Friday due to a failing cooling system for the ice and an abysmal performance on Saturday, the Phantoms probably were just trying to get out of the weekend without anything else crazy happening at the Covelli and a bounce back win over the NTDP U17s. Well, they got half of that. It was somehow not surprising when I walked into the Covelli Centre on Sunday afternoon to a darkened arena due to a power outage. After an 80 minute delay, the lights were back on and we were able to play, and the Phantoms earned a 6-3 win.
Things started badly for the Phantoms. Just 1:19 into the game the NTDP struck first. A shot rebounded off of newly acquired Phantoms netminder Jacob Fowler as he missed sweeping the puck out of danger. Before he could cover it, William Vote poked it in to open the scoring. The Phantoms struggled to keep up for most of the period. However, a late penalty for USA put the Phantoms on the powerplay, and Trey Taylor notched his first of the night with 1:15 left in the period from near the blueline with Shane LaChance screening the NTDP goaltender Carson Musser. Shots were 8-7 Phantoms in the period.
Taylor got his second of the tilt early in the second. Kyle Bettens skated out from behind the USA net and laid a pass for Taylor to one-time from the left faceoff dot at 4:06. Winter Wallace, fresh out of the penalty, box extended the lead with a shot on the rush that looked to beat Musser stick side at 7:51 - just 9 seconds out of the sin-bin. Paul Fischer halved the deficit for USA, a point shot through a screen in front of Fowler at 12:13.
The Phantom got that back late and added to the lead to finish the middle frame. First at 18:30, Winter Wallace centered a pass to Chalie Lurie, alone in the slot, who beat NTDP netminder Michael Chambre who came in midway through the second. Moments later, defenseman Nick Williams joined the rush on the left flank of Trey Taylor taking a pass and rifling a shot for his first USHL goal just 0:35 after the Lurie goal. Shots were 12-8 Phantoms who also had a 5-2 lead heading into the third.
The NTDP got one back to make it almost interesting early in the third, Austin Burnevik throwing a backhander at the net that handcuffed Fowler at 4:57 of the frame. That was it from the U17s and Trey Taylor completed the hat trick by adding an empty netter with 1:36 remaning. This was only the second Phantoms defenseman to get the hat trick, a little over a decade after Chris Bradley scored his in 2012. I have to thank Matt Lipcsak for his stat keeping for that one. Shots were 8-5 NTDP in the third and 25-23 Phantoms overall. Jacob Fowler stopped 20 of 23 in his first start and got his first win since joining the Phantoms a couple weeks ago.
Well, we really needed that. Not just the players or the coaches but everyone who worked to get at least these 2 games played. The office and operations staff were noticeably frustrated with events before the game on Friday, it had already been a very long week for them at that point. Things were hectic on Saturday and I'm sure they were looking for a nice easy Sunday afternoon when the lights went out. MY understanding of the situation was that there was a planned outage between 3-4pm that city officials had told arena management would not affect the Covelli Centre. This was obviously not the case.
The fact that 512 people still stuck around is kind of amazing in itself and they were treated to a good game. I had camera issues on the only goal scored in my camera range so no highlights today, sorry. But hey, that article cover pic is like a work of Renaissance art, right?