Comeback Comes up Just Short as Phantoms Fall in Shootout
November 13, 2022 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Youngstown Phantoms News Release
YOUNGSTOWN, OH - Despite trailing by scores of 3-0, 4-1, and 5-2, the Youngstown Phantoms (5-5-1-1, 12pts) stormed back with four goals in the third period to force overtime before falling in the shootout to the Dubuque Fighting Saints Saturday night at the Covelli Centre. Dubuque won the shootout 2-1 in four rounds.
"There are no moral victories in what we do," said Phantoms Head Coach Ryan Ward. "But I'm extremely proud of our guys for clawing back on home ice. We got off to a slow start, there was a ridiculous amount of special teams, but very proud of the guys for clawing back in."
The first four goals of the game were all on the power play, and three of them belonged to Dubuque. Max Montes had a pair of goals sandwiched around a Michael Burchill tally, with the Montes goals coming at 10:40 of the first and 2:35 of the second. The Burchill goal came at 1:48 of the first as Dubuque struck twice on a major power play after Tomas Machu was sent to an early shower for elbowing at 18:35 of the first period. Cole Helm was also sent home early on the Dubuque side as he was given a major penalty and a game misconduct at 10:56 of the first for charging. Youngstown was unable to cash in on that power play while Dubuque struck twice on their major advantage. The Phantoms power play ended at 2/6 while Dubuque settled at 3/5.
Youngstown broke the Dubuque scoring run at 6:19 of the second when Reese Laubach put home the rebound of Nick Williams' shot for a power play goal to get Youngstown on the board, but Ryan St. Louis sneaked through the defense from the blue line in and snapped a wrister past Jacob Fowler (14 saves) at 14:35 to put Dubuque back ahead by three at the second intermission.
The Phantoms answered back when William Whitelaw redirected a beautiful pass from Andrew Strathmann behind Paxton Geisel (22 saves) for a shorthanded goal at 1:48 of the third to trim the Dubuque lead once more, but Dubuque got it back at 4:14 on a one-timer from the slot by Oliver Moberg.
Youngstown wasn't done though, as captain Shane Lachance scored a pair of goals 11 seconds apart at 4:54 and 5:05 respectively. "There's not a better leader in this league than Shane Lachance," said Ward. "Certainly one of the best captains I've ever coached. For me when the going gets tough the true leaders rise to the top, and there's no better leader than Shane Lachance." Lachance's pair, his seventh and eighth goals of the season, cut the Dubuque lead down to one at 5-4.
The Phantoms continued to work, and were rewarded with the tying goal. Whitelaw took the puck from the left corner, walked along the goal line, and fired a shot at Geisel. Geisel made the initial stop, but Whitelaw kept hammering at the rebound and eventually stuffed it in at 8:27 for his second of the night and eighth of the season, tying the game at 5-5.
The game remained tied throughout the remainder of regulation and overtime. Youngstown had what was probably the best scoring chance of overtime when Kenta Isogai went on a breakaway, but Geisel stopped Isogai's shot with his right shoulder.
In the shootout, Whitelaw scored in the second round for Youngstown to give them a 1-0 advantage, but Montes converted in the top of the third to extend the skills competition. Nils Juntorp slid a puck around Fowler with a nifty deke in the top of the fourth and Williams failed to convert for the Phantoms in the bottom of the round, giving Dubuque the 6-5 victory.
Youngstown takes to the road for the next three games, playing next weekend in Chicago before traveling to Plymouth on Thanksgiving eve to take on the U18s before returning home for a pair of games against the U17s on Black Friday and the following evening.
By the Numbers
Shots - 27
Saves - 14
Power Play - 2/6
Penalty Kill - 2/5
Goals - Lachance (2), Laubach, Whitelaw (2)
Assists - Centrella, Isogai, Perkins, Strathmann, Svoboda, Varner, Whitelaw, Williams, Willson (2)
Box Score - https://ushl.com/ht/#/game-summary/10358
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