BRACEBRIDGE - Like a lot of the action on ice, the Bracebridge Phantoms’ final weekend of action in 2012 was back and forth, with the club earning two losses and a win.
FIST TO CUFFS..
Phantoms player Matt Dickieson #21 gets into a big punch out with Rama Aces player during the game at the Bracebridge Memorial Arena on Sunday, Dec. 22 in Bracebridge. Both players were sent off the ice for a time out.
(Photo by Bev McMullen)
They will now take a well-deserved break until Jan. 4, but the first-year Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League expansion club can rest assured they’ve made their mark, holding firmly on to the third seed for the bulk of the season thus far.
On Dec. 21 the Phantoms toured to Lefroy to take on the Wave in a high-scoring, 8-5 victory.
Phantom forward Jachym Suchanek broke a scoreless tie late in the opening frame but two quick goals, just 12 seconds apart by the Wave took a 2-1 game into the second. Phantom Cody Burtch posted one goal on the board for his club in the second, but it was all the Wave, who put up three markers to take a solid 5-2 lead into the final period.
But the Wave crashed in the third and the Phantoms exploded with Burtch scoring in the opening seconds to kick off six straight unanswered goals for the 8-5 final.
Touring then to Powassan for their tilt Dec. 22, the Phantoms offensive heat cooled off in a 3-2 loss. It was a tight-knit 2-2 game headed into the third period, where Powassan added the go-ahead and buckled down defensively to shut out the Bracebridge rush.
Their lone home game of the weekend saw the Phantoms pick up the pace again on offence Dec. 23, posting eight goals, but a heated battle against the Rama Aces had them come out on the short end of a 10-8 game.
The Phantoms opened the game with two straight goals before Rama responded with two of their own for a knotted 2-2 score heading into the second period. As the 20-minute mark hit the clock on the first, a slashing and roughing penalty against Rama gave the Phantoms a man advantage to open the middle frame, which they jumped on, adding a powerplay marker in the first 40 seconds of the second. Bracebridge managed to add three more goals in the second, including a second powerplay but a roughing penalty against the Phantoms and the tenacity of Rama lead to them scoring three more as well for a 6-5 game heading in to the final round.
Two early period goals by Joey Verreijen put the Phantoms up 8-5 but a late explosion by the Aces saw them post five unanswered goals for the 10-8 final.
The Phantoms end 2012 in third place overall with a 19-6-0-2 record, good enough for 40 points in 27 games. They sit seven points behind Temiscaming for second with the Bradford Rattlers still perfect at 24-0 for 48 points. The Phantoms are also just two points ahead of the South Muskoka Shield who end the year in fourth. The regular season ends in the first week of February. The Phantoms don’t play again now until Jan. 4, on road at Temiscaming, and then home against Rama again Jan. 5.
Phantom goalie Chadd Nelson is now third overall in league with 3.27 goals against average and tied for second with 11 wins overall.