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 Youngstown Phantoms

Phantoms Pushed to Brink of Elimination with 7-4 Loss to Madison

April 16, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Youngstown Phantoms News Release

Youngstown Phantoms fight for a loose puck vs. the Madison Capitols
Youngstown Phantoms fight for a loose puck vs. the Madison Capitols
(Youngstown Phantoms, Credit: Scott Galvin/Galvin Photography)

Youngstown, OH - The Youngstown Phantoms opened the defense of their 2023 Clark Cup title with a 7-4 loss to the Madison Capitols Monday night at the Covelli Centre. Phantoms Head Coach Ryan Ward liked how his team started the game, however, their youth started to show as the game went on.

"I thought we started fine, and then I thought we made some critical errors," Ward said. "Some youthful errors that we can't make and hopefully they learn from it. We have a young team and they got their first playoff experience out of the way now."

The Phantoms got on the scoreboard first when Sam Ranallo won a footrace in the neutral zone and attacked the offensive end in a 2-on-1. Making a toe drag to the middle, he lost his footing, but still ripped it into the net at 4:48 to put Youngstown ahead. Rainers Rullers evened the score 11 minutes later when a Youngstown clearing attempt hit a stanchion and stayed in the zone. Two quick passes later found the puck on Rullers' stick, and he fired a shot past Phantoms goalie Aiden Wright to knot the game at 1-1.

The first goal of a high pace second period was a snipe from Youngstown's Conner de Haro, where his shot from the left-wing wall found a sliver of space to the back of the cage, giving the Phantoms the 2-1 lead at 5:13. Madison answered back with a pair of goals from Aiden Long at 6:49 and 9:54 with the latter giving the visitors a 3-2 lead. Grant Young's power play goal at 12:00 tied the game at 3-3, but that was when the wheels came off for Youngstown. Max Nagel sent a shot just above the glove of Wright and into the twine just 13 seconds after Young's goal to put the Capitols back in front for good. The Capitols' leading goal-scorer, Austin Burnevik, fired a missile from just inside the blue line at 18:22 to give the Capitols a two-goal advantage. The final of Madison's five goals in the period was scored by Brendan Lamb 12 seconds later to give the Capitols a 6-3 advantage heading into the final frame.

Youngstown found life just before the midway point of the third. Andrew Strathmann started the comeback attempt for Youngstown after he sent a slapshot from the left circle through traffic and in at 8:54 for Youngstown's second power play goal of the night, trimming the Madison lead to 6-4. With 3:27 remaining in the game, the Phantoms coaching staff pulled Colin Winn to the bench in favor of an extra attacker, but Madison managed to clear the puck quickly and found Nagel in front of the empty cage to pick up his second goal of the night at 16:59, capping off the scoring.

Wright stopped 10 of 16 shots in two periods of play and was pulled at the start of the third in favor of Winn, who stopped all 8 shots he faced. Carsen Musser had a great performance in net for Madison, stopping 29 of 33 Youngstown shots.

The Phantoms now face elimination and a win-or-go-home game tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre if they wish to keep their dreams of defending their Clark Cup title alive. Puck drop is slated for 7:05pm.

By the Numbers

Shots - 33

Saves - 18

Power Play - 2/2

Penalty Kill - 1/1

Goals - de Haro, Ranallo, Strathmann, Young

Assists - Cerrato (2), Jencko, Lewis (2), Machu, Ranallo

Box Score -

Images from this story

Youngstown Phantoms fight for a loose puck vs. the Madison Capitols
Youngstown Phantoms fight for a loose puck vs. the Madison Capitols

(Scott Galvin/Galvin Photography)

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