Dubuque Takes Game One 3-1
YOUNGSTOWN, OH - The Youngstown Phantoms find themselves on the brink of elimination after the first game of the Clark Cup Playoffs as they dropped Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to the Dubuque Fighting Saints 3-1 at the Covelli Centre Monday night.
"By no means do you think you're going to walk through a series unscathed," said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. "It's a series for a reason, it's not one game...I liked our energy, but I don't think our execution was as good as it will be or what it can be."
After a scoreless first period, Youngstown finally broke the ice just past the halfway point of the second period. Brett Murray stole a puck in the left corner of the Dubuque end and from just above the goal line, snapped a shot over the shoulder of Matt Thiessen (16 saves) to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.
Bram Scheerer tied the game for the Fighting Saints 1:58 into the third period. Sheerer drove down left wing and managed to sneak a wrist shot between Chad Veltri (27 saves) and the short-side post, tying the game at 1-1. Dylan Jackson put Dubuque ahead 2-1 at the 11:32 mark. Riese Gaber carried the puck down the right side and wrapped around the Phantoms net, throwing a pass to Jackson who was parked at the mouth of the crease. Jackson chipped the puck over Veltri and into the cage to put the Fighting Saints ahead.
Youngstown had a big opportunity to tie the game just over two minutes later as Gaber and Jackson were assessed coincidental penalties on the same play, giving the Phantoms a full two minutes of 5-on-3 advantage to try to tie the game. Youngstown could not score on the opportunity and remained down a goal. "I thought they did a good job of staying in lanes," said Patterson. "We were trying to get some movement and they did a good job of holding the fort and staying in those shot lanes. When we did execute and get it down low for a little bit of a 2-on-1 we have a bobbled puck and can't connect." Derek Contessa added an empty net goal with 31.6 seconds left in regulation to make up the final margin.
"The message is 'we can think about it, we can be mad about it, we can be frustrated about it for five or six minutes, but at the end of the day tomorrow's going to come sooner or later, and tomorrow that's the only thing we can change," concluded Patterson.
Tonight was Dubuque's first playoff win at the Covelli Centre in five opportunities. Youngstown will try to keep their season alive against these same Fighting Saints tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio.
By the Numbers
Shots - 17
Saves - 27
Power Play - 0/3
Penalty Kill - 3/3
Goals - Murray
Assists - Urup
Box Score - https://www.ushl.com/view/#/game-summary/8658
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