Nikolai Jenson takes down a Capitol's player along the boards in a 3-2 SO loss Sunday evening.Collision Along the Boards - Nikolai Jenson takes down a Capitol's player along the boards in a 3-2 SO loss Sunday evening.

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.

Colin Purcell watches the puck sail wide during a 3-2 OT win over the Madison Capitols.Tracking The Puck - Colin Purcell watches the puck sail wide during a 3-2 OT win over the Madison Capitols.

It seems like forever since the Phantoms were last at Covelli. It was just under a month ago, and the Phantoms lost to the NTDP in our last home game. We lost the next 6 straight, including a pair to the Madison Capitols, our 3rd loss to them in 4 games this season. The Caps are a bad team, the worst in the league, but getting better. Needlees to say, the Phantoms needed to turn things around and win this weekend. The good news is, we are halfway there.

The Caps opened the scoring on the powerplay. Ryan Kirwin, skating through the slot, redirected a point shot past Colin Purcell at 7:09. The Caps were dominating early in the period, shots were 6-2 after they scored the goal. The Phantoms would finally find their legs a bit after the goal and the shots were 9-5 Caps going into the first intermission with Madison up 1-0.

The Phantoms looked a little better in the second. They evened the score when Trevor Kuntar went cost to coast, taking the puck out of the faceoff circle in his defensive zone, beating a pair of Caps defenders (Jan Stibigr and Hunter Carrick), and put a shot high short-side, stick side on Christian Stoever at 9:02. The Caps answered that one late on a two man advantage with Austen May off for hooking Carson Bantle on a breakaway, then Jayson Dobay off for a boarding infraction. Ryan Kirwin, again, at 17:29 taking a snap shot from the right faceoff circle through traffic to regain the lead. Shots were 14-8 Phantoms in the middle frame.

John Larkin pitches in to remove a dangerously dislodged pane of glass during a 5-2 loss on Friday night. John Larkin helps with glass repairs. - John Larkin pitches in to remove a dangerously dislodged pane of glass during a 5-2 loss on Friday night.

Well, it was probably the worst offensive effort we're seen in a long time from the Phantoms. Despite this fact we were in the game for most of it and for a short time led, the Phantoms only managed 12 shots on net. However, the fine folks in the lower part of section 222 will probably remember this game for their near death experience in the second frame, but I'll get into that later.

The first period started well. Both teams had some jump in their step as the puck dropped. The Phantoms registered their first shot on goal within the first minute. You know it's bad when I put a stat like that in the opening description. Their next shot would be about 20:00 later when the second period started. You read that right, we only has 1 shot in the first frame. The NTDP put up 12. Despite this, we were scoreless at the Covelli heading into the first intermission.

The Phantoms seemed to be righting the ship in the second. Just passed the halfway mark of the period the Phantoms were getting shots and controlling the puck, and a face off win led to Josh DeLuca getting a goal off a rebound from a Bradly Marek shot at 10:35. Shots were 7-4 Phantoms in the frame at this stage. The next 2:09 would be fatal. 

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