YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WYTV)-The Phantoms fell to the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 3-2 in a shootout, on Saturday night. Forwards Kyle Connor and Max Letunov scored the goals in regulation for the Phantoms, who mounted a third period comeback for the fourth time in six games.
The Phantoms found their way onto the scoreboard first, 11:03 into opening period, when forward Trey Bradley brought the puck over the ice on a broken 2-on-0. He sent a cross-ice feed to Connor, who sniped a wrister past Muskegon netminder Michael Latorella, giving the Phantoms a 1-0 lead that held up throughout the remainder of the period.
“It was a broken play in the neutral zone, and Trey did a nice job of getting it to me and I put it on my back hand and it went in,” said Connor.
The Phantoms continued to get a myriad of chances in the second, and forced Latorella to make a number of acrobatic saves to keep Muskegon in the game.
The Lumberjacks eventually evened the game up, 1-1 with three minutes left in the period, when defenseman Christian Wolanin netted his sixth goal of the season. Just 1:42 later, Wolanin lit the lamp again, giving the Lumberjacks their first lead of the game, 2-1, after 40 minutes.
Both sides continued to exchange quality scoring chances, however it was the Phantoms who managed to tie the game late in the period, when a shot from defenseman Kris Myllari was initially kicked out by Latorella, but went right to Letunov who slammed home the rebound, tying the game at 2-2, and forcing overtime.
“In the third period, there was no doubt on the bench that we were tying that game,” said Head Coach Anthony Noreen. “The amount of chances we had and the way we were battling, there was no doubt, and I felt the same way through the overtime.”
Much like regulation, there were chances aplenty from both squads, and both Phantoms netminder Chris Birdsall and Latorella were forced to come up with huge saves to keep their teams alive in the contest.
The game remained tied, 2-2, through overtime and headed to a shootout, where the Phantoms received goals from Letunov and forward Josh Melnick in the first and fourth rounds, respectively. With the Lumberjacks up 3-2 in the shootout, Latorella stopped Bradley’s attempt, preserving the win for the Lumberjacks. Despite the loss, the Phantoms outshot Muskegon, 42-26, while the power play was held scoreless, going 0-for-7 on the night.
The Phantoms return to the ice on Wednesday morning, for the second school day game of the season, when they welcome in the Chicago Steel for a 10:15 am faceoff.
COURTESY: YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS