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 Youngstown Phantoms

Phantoms Force Game 3 With 5-2 Win Over Madison

April 17, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Youngstown Phantoms News Release

Youngstown Phantoms celebrate win
Youngstown Phantoms celebrate win
(Youngstown Phantoms, Credit: Scott Galvin/Scott Galvin Photography)

Youngstown, OH - The Youngstown Phantoms topped the Madison Capitols 5-2 behind Adam Pietila's hat trick. The win forces a decisive Game 3 tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre Phantoms Head Coach Ryan Ward was pleased with his team's effort tonight, calling the win "dominate".

"We dominated the game," Ward said. "Much better effort. We are a resilient group, I thought we did a good job tonight sticking with our game plan and executing."

The Capitols got a pair of power play goals to open the first period. Max Nagel picked up his third goal of the postseason at 17:01 on a one-timer from the left circle. Fifty-four seconds later it was Andrew Kuzma, snapping a shot from the high slot past Aiden Wright to make the score 2-0 in favor of the visitors. The Phantoms owned an 11-5 shot advantage in the opening frame, but couldn't find the cage.

Youngstown answered early and often to the tune of three goals in the middle frame before the 11-minute mark. Mikey Burchill was the first Phantom to get on the board after he sneaked a shot past Patriks Berzins to the short side off a Sam Ranallo steal in the Capitol zone at 2:51. After a Madison forward committed a tripping penalty, the former Capitol Nathan Lewis located a bouncing puck in front of the net and put it home to give the Phantoms their third power play goal of the postseason. The future Buckeye's goal evened the score at 5:29. Just over five minutes later, Pietila was trying to lean out of the way of a Luke Osburn shot, but it ended up hitting his stick and redirected it past Berzins at 10:45 to give the Phantoms their first lead of the night. The Phantoms kept their pressure on the Madison net in the second period, logging 16 shots to only 6 from Madison.

The hot stayed hot as Pietila added some cushion to the Phantoms' lead just over a minute into the final period. Pietila received a beautiful centering feed right on the tape from Conner de Haro as he skated down the slot and fired a one-timer past Berzins to give Youngstown a 4-2 lead. The assistant captain was not done there, securing a hat trick off a wrister from the blue line at 18:23 on an empty net after Berzins was pulled in favor of an extra Capitol attacker. The empty net goal gave the Phantoms a 5-2 victory. Pietila's hat trick was the third in team postseason history, the first since 2018 (Chase Gresock).

Wright had a great bounce back performance on the night, stopping 15 of the 17 Madison shots. Berzins took the loss in net for the Capitols, stopping 35 of 39 shots.

The Phantoms face Madison again tomorrow night with the season on the line for both clubs. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 at the Covelli Centre.

By the Numbers

Shots - 40

Saves - 15

Power Play - 1/4

Penalty Kill - 1/3

Goals - Burchill, Lewis, Pietila (3)

Assists - Botterill, de Haro, Jencko (2), Machu, Osburn, Ranallo, Young

Images from this story

Youngstown Phantoms celebrate win
Youngstown Phantoms celebrate win

(Scott Galvin/Scott Galvin Photography)

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United States Hockey League Stories from April 17, 2024

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