Phantoms Down U18's 5-2
YOUNGSTOWN, OH - Two special teams goals from Jaden Grant and 30 saves from Mattias Sholl helped power the Youngstown Phantoms (6-14-1-1, 14 points) to a 5-2 victory over Team USA's U18 squad Saturday night at the Covelli Centre.
"Jaden came up big tonight," said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. "He plays in all situations. He's a very good communicator...he's a complete leader. I'm so proud of him...Sholl was tremendous. (He) made big stops all night."
Youngstown scored the first three goals of the game, two in the first period and the only goal of the second. Grant Hindman kicked things off with a wrister through traffic that found twine 8:55 into the first period. It was Hindman's fourth goal of the season, all of which have come in the last eight games. The Phantoms lead doubled on Jaden Grant's redirect power play goal with just eight seconds remaining in the opening frame. It was Grant's third goal of the season, all coming in the last five games. Mike Brown scored the lone tally of the second period, snapping a wrist shot from the left wall past Gibson Homer (13 saves) for his second of the season, giving Youngstown a 3-0 lead at the second intermission.
USA got on the board with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Dylan Duke 6:44 into the third, but the Phantoms answered back 46 seconds later. With Hindman in the box for hooking, Will Hillman deflected a pass at center that bounced right to Grant, giving him a breakaway from the red line. From the hashmark, Grant snapped a wrister past Homer's blocker for his second of the game, Youngstown's fifth shorthanded goal of the season, and a 4-1 Phantoms lead. "I saw the guy was looking cross-ice, so I made the read to step up," said Grant. "Just had to get on my wheels to break away." Tonight was Grant's second multi-point game of his USHL career and first two-goal game.
The NTDP responded with another power play goal, this one from Ty Gallagher at 16:14 to get back within two at 4-2. Brown's stick had broken earlier in the shift, and USA was able to work the puck around their formation until Gallagher pumped a one-timer from the left circle behind Sholl. Youngstown had to kill eight penalties on the night, and while they were successful on six of those attempts, Patterson was displeased. "I thought some of those penalties were selfish, there's no way to beat around the bush," said Patterson. "It can't happen. It can't happen in a close game. It can't happen in a game that gets away from you. It's tough to give a negative message after getting two points, but I'd be a terrible coach or leader if I didn't bring that up. I was frustrated."
The U18's pulled Homer to the bench at 17:01 in an effort to tighten the score, but Winter Wallace scored on the empty net at 17:39 to seal the victory for Youngstown. It was Wallace's second multi-point game of the season and first career three-point game.
Jack Malone tacked on two assists, raising his career point total to 92. Malone now has 67 assists in his USHL career, jumping him two spots on the Phantoms' all-time assists list into sole possession of fourth place. Riley Duran extended his scoring streak to four games with an assist on Wallace's goal. Tonight was Ben Schoen's 100th game in the USHL. The Phantoms and U18's wrap up their 3-in-3 weekend series tomorrow afternoon at the Covelli Centre at 4:05.
By the Numbers
Shots - 18
Saves - 30
Power Play - 1/5
Penalty Kill - 6/8
Goals - Brown, Grant (2), Hindman, Wallace
Assists - Duran, Hillman, Larrigan, Malone (2), May, Wallace (2), Zmolek
Box Score - https://www.ushl.com/view/#/game-summary/9424
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