The Phantoms drop a 3-1 game to Muskegon but no one cares we lost, we're just thankful to see some hockey.Please bear with me while I try to remember how to do this. It's been a while. I guess I'm not the only one who is rusty, after a couple weeks off due to cancelled games and some other reasons (you can guess) that have kept a good portion of the team off the ice for practice, the Phantom looked like they were just a step off in their home opener against Muskegon. But with 12 players on the scratch list, only Cade Lemmer suspended, and 3 '03 affiliates in the lineup, it was going to be a rough night anyway.

The Lumberjacks got off to a good start and dominated play. The Phantoms, for their part, were on their heels pretty much from the drop of the puck and had a hard time trying to get out of first gear. Their transition game, especially their lack of ability to move the puck through the neutral zone, was obvious from the start. The 'Jacks scored first, Dylan Wendt ripped a shot on goal, with Sholl making the stop but the long rebound went right to the stick of Cameron Berg to pot a goal in a yawning net at 4:11 of the first. The Phantoms were outshot 14-4 in the first.

The Phantoms were outshot in the second 11-4 but still evened it up. Reilly Funk picked up his 3rd of the season picking off a Danil Gushchin pass just inside the 'Jacks blueline. Funk skated to the crease unobstructed and ripped a shot that beat Christian Stover stick side at the 10:00 mark. The real story of the middle frame was the netminding of Mattias Sholl. Shortly before the Funk goal, he made a save on an odd man rush for the 'Jacks. A give and go play with Tyler Dunbar feeding Philip Tresca made Sholl have to nearly split himself in two but the Phantoms netminder stopped the puck and covered it. Moment after the Funk goal, Ben Strinden got a pair of shots on net from the slot, Sholl making the first save challenging the shot well out of the crease and the second caugh in the glove from a sitting position several feet outside the blue paint. 

The Phantoms turned things around and beat the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 3-1 to get the weekend split.We were told by team sources to expect a much different team effort Saturday night over Friday night's awful performance. While it would be hard to be much worse, the question remained: would it be enough to right the ship against a struggling team in the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders? Once again, the 'Riders only dressed 15 skaters. With only 9 forwards, 6 defenseman, and an '03 goalie whose first game was the game on Friday. 

The Phantoms got on the board first in the first period. This was compliments of a Ben Schoen pass from the high slot to Josh DeLuca knocking on the back door, who tipped it in behind netminder Nick Simo at 13:24. Shots were 14-14 Phantoms after the first period.

Jayson Dobay made it a 2-0 game, scoring in back-to-back games for the first time in his USHL career. The mobile defenseman jumped up into a 2-on-2 rush to make it a 3-on-2 and buried a shot from the slot at 16:40 of the second frame. Shots were 7-6 'Riders in the middle frame.

Colin Purcell gets beat on a breakaway as the Phantoms drop one 5-2 to a depleted RoughRiders squad.The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders rolled into town minus a few players. With the 'Riders dressing just 9 forwards and 6 defensemen last night, you would think the Phantoms would have a huge advantage. Add in the fact that their starting goalie was out as well, and they were going with a netminder who had never played a USHL game, with an emergency backup, and you would think the Phantoms advantage would be insurmountable. Well, think again.

The 'Riders owned the first period. The first goal came on a 'Riders powerplay. Darian Goatz feeding the puck from the right faceoff circle to the left, where Grant Silianoff was set for his 3rd or 4th attempt at a shot from that spot, beating Colin Purcell at 7:23. Jordan Tonelli would add another late, moments after the Phantoms squandered a powerplay, ripping a shot glove side on Purcell with :56 seconds left in the frame. Shots were 16-6 in favor of Cedar Rapids after 20:00.

Jayson Dobay halved the lead early in the second with a great coast-to-coast run that would have made Bobby Orr proud, driving the puck to the outside around defenseman Jack Millar and putting it in the net behind goalie Nick Simo at 4:48.