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 Youngstown Phantoms

Morin's Clutch Goal Gives Phantoms the Shootout Win

February 23, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Youngstown Phantoms News Release

Youngstown, OH - The Youngstown Phantoms (24-13-4-3, 55pts) picked up a huge shootout win against the Chicago Steel, claiming a 2-1 victory at the Covelli Centre Friday night, in a game that could have playoff implications. Going into the day, the Phantoms were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture while the Steel entered as the fifth seed.

Defense and goaltending shined during the contest. The Phantoms carried a massive shot advantage throughout the game, finishing with a 45-18 difference, and allowed just two Chicago shots in the second period. Only seeing one go into the net during regulation was not an issue for Phantoms Head Coach Ryan Ward.

"First of all, it was great to be back at home. What a crowd," Ward said. "I think we are a bit snake bitten in the goal scoring department right now, but we are getting chances. In general, when you give up 18 shots and you have 45 you can't be displeased at that as a coach."

Friday night in Youngstown started slow for both teams until Chicago got the scoring started when Michael Hagens beat the Phantoms defense at 4:31. The Steel killed two Phantoms power play opportunities in the period, leading to a 1-0 lead at the end of one.

Chicago started the second period on a man advantage due to a Tory Pitner holding penalty at the end of the first but could not add to their lead. After almost 17 minutes of defensive hockey, Sam Ranallo connected on a beautiful redirect in front of the net to tie the contest at 1-1. At the end of the second, the Phantoms had 25 shots recorded while Chicago had only 9 despite the game being tied.

Bodies came together at the end of the second, once again leading to power play hockey to begin the period. That about concluded the action in the third period as regulation ended and the 1-1 tie held due to dominate goaltending from both teams.

The Phantoms tried to make something happen quickly in overtime when Hunter Ramos had a breakaway opportunity that ultimately missed high within the first minute. The remainder of overtime was back and forth with both teams trading chances at winning the game. Overtime came to an end, and it was shootout time at the Covelli Centre

Each team came up empty in round one. Chicago's Mick Thompson found the cage in round two, while Grant Young answered right back extending the shootout. The next three rounds ended because of great goaltending. In round six, Michael Emerson could not sneak one past Phantoms goalie Aiden Wright and Zach Morin was up for the home team. Morin skated down the right side, made his way to center and sent a lefty laser past the Steel goalie, sending the Phantoms home a winner.

Wright continued his hot streak at home denying 17 of 18 shots. One the other side, Louka Cloutier stopped 43 of the 44 shots sent his way, ultimately giving up two goals in the shootout.

The Phantoms are set to take on Chicago again tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre for Country Night. Puck drop is slated for 7:05pm.

By the Numbers

Shots - 45

Saves - 17

Power Play - 0/3

Penalty Kill - 2/2

Goals -Ranallo

Assists - Morin, Voronin

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United States Hockey League Stories from February 23, 2024

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