Third period: Phantoms 3, IceCaps 2
Early in the third, the line of Tye McGinn, Brayden Schenn and Jason Akeson made up for giving up the tying goal the frame before.
Schenn beat Pasquale high glove-side with a wrister that was exactly what the Phantoms want to see out of the NHLer. The netminder barely had time to react.
The Phantoms continued a strong period, holding off a late push from the IceCaps. Couturier almost had the empty-netter to seal it, but the buzzer rang just before the puck crossed the line - if it were a basketball game, it would have counted. Either way, the Phantoms finished with their second win since losing to St. John's on Nov. 28.
Second period: Phantoms 2, IceCaps 2
Eric Wellwood scored his first goal in 12 appearances with a nice move cutting to the net as Sean Couturier fed him the puck. Wellwood had been all but invisible through most of the first part of the season, and was a healthy scratch in three games, but has come on stronger as of late.
Unfortunately for the Phantoms, Wellwood's goal was bookended by two IceCaps goal to tie the game up each time.
Spencer Machacek scored first, with a power-play goal almost identical to Manning's the in the first period.
Zach Redmond tied it up again with 3:39 remaining in the period, sticking a rebound in the open right-side of the net before Scott Munroe could recover from the original shot.
First period: Phantoms 1, IceCaps 0
In an up-and-down, wildly inconsistent season, the Phantoms were certainly on an up to start the game. They came out with all the energy they have been lacking many games (most notably last Friday), helped along by Zack FitzGerald, and grabbed that illusive first-intermission lead.
The defenseman-turned-winger had commented that it had been hard to find a fight this year. Well, he found one 4:24 into the game, taking down Ryan Schnell and pumping up the team and crowd.
Brandon Manning put the Phantoms on the board a 6:25 with a well-timed/placed shot from the left faceoff circle as IceCaps goaltender Eddie Pasquale was turning toward him.
That goal was the only one of the period as the Phantoms ended the period with the lead for only the second time this year, the importance of which head coach Terry Murray has stressed repeatedly.
The Phantoms have a slim roster tonight, playing every healthy player in the dressing room. Ben Holmstrom and Marc-Andre Bourdon were already out long term and Erik Gustafsson has not returned to the ice since taking a shot to the foot on Saturday. This morning, Shane Harper and Zac Rinaldo were added to the unhealthy list as they both came down with the flu.
Phantoms defensive pairings:
Phantoms starting goaltender: Scott Munroe
Phantoms scratches: Rinaldo (flu), Harper (flu), Gustafsson (foot), Bourdon (illness), Holmstrom (knee), Andrew Johnston