Phantoms win home opener

The Phantoms won their home opener Saturday
The Phantoms won their home opener Saturday

Youngstown, OH (WYTV)- The Youngstown Phantoms (3-2-0) picked up their second win against the Bloomington Thunder this season, 3-2 in the shootout, in their home opener on Saturday afternoon.
The Phantoms got off to a fast start, controlling the flow of play throughout most of the opening period. A tripping penalty to Bloomington’s Shane Bednard put Youngstown on the power play, and while up a man, forward Bryan Lemos came streaking down the wing and fired a shot that deflected off the post and past Thunder goaltender David Jacobson to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

“I thought we had a good start, and the fact that our power play was able to finish midway through the frame was a positive,” remarked Phantoms Head Coach Anthony Noreen.

The Phantoms’ power play unit struck again in the second period, when forward Trey Bradley tossed a pass through the crease right to forward Kyle Connor, who one-timed it past Jacobson for his 50th career USHL goal, to give the Phantoms a 2-0 lead, 16:19 into the second.

“It’s a great accomplishment and a real honor to be able to score 50 goals,” remarked Connor. “To be able to do it in a great league like the USHL is really something special.”

“Put simply, the only two guys to score 50 goals for us have been Sam Anas and Austin Cangelosi, and you’re lucky to get those guys every few years. Obviously, Kyle deserves to be in that mix. I am extremely happy for him and am excited to see his game grow to the next level. ” said Noreen.

The tide changed at the end of the frame however, when Phantoms defenseman Tommy Parran was called for holding, giving Bloomington a power play. While on the man advantage, Ryan Galt took a pass from Blake Gober and deposited it past Phantoms goaltender Colin DeAugustine, cutting the Phantoms lead in half, 2-1 after the second.

Bloomington struck quickly in the third when Patrick Curry threw a shot on net that went off the post and ricocheted off of DeAugustine’s leg and into the net, tying the game at 2-2.

The Phantoms continued to get a plethora of chances down the stretch, but neither side was able to break the stalemate, and the two headed to overtime.

“I thought from the second half of the second period on, Bloomington controlled a lot of the play, but as we got into the third, and especially in the overtime period, I really liked us,” said Noreen. “Even when they scored their two goals, I thought we were still playing some of our best hockey of the game, we just needed to bear down and put some more pucks in the net.”

After a scoreless extra session, the two sides headed to a shootout where both teams exchanged goals in the first and fourth rounds. In the seventh round, Phantoms forward Kiefer Sherwood managed to wrist one past Jacobson to give the Phantoms the win, 3-2 in the shootout.

DeAugustine made 25 saves on the 27 shots he faced, while the Phantoms’ power play struck for the fifth straight game, converting on two of its five chances.

Up next, the Phantoms hit the road for a pair of games in Dubuque next weekend on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is scheduled for 8:35 ET, while Saturday will be an 8:05 pm start.

COURTESY: YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS

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