Phantoms Stumble against U18's 6-3
YOUNGSTOWN, OH - An initial two-goal deficit was too much for the Youngstown Phantoms (5-14-1-1, 12 points) to overcome as they fell to Team USA's U18 squad 6-3 at the Covelli Centre Friday night. Youngstown trimmed the USA lead to one three times but was never able to tie the game.
"It stings a lot," said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. "I really did like good chunks of that game today...we need to come back tomorrow and attack it the same way five-on-five and find a way to win that special teams battle." Team USA was 2-for-4 on the power play while Youngstown was 0-for-2.
Team USA opened the scoring just 4:02 into the game on Dylan Duke's tap-in goal and doubled their lead on Adian Hreschuk's power play wrister 5:45 into the second. Cole Burtch got Youngstown on the board 1:03 later with a snap shot from the right-wing circle, his ninth of the year, bringing the Phantoms back within a goal at 2-1. The NTDP got their two-goal lead back at 13:08 on a lucky bounce for Liam Gilmartin and led 3-1 at the second intermission.
Youngstown responded with the opening goal of the third period to get back within a goal. Kyle Furey ran the give-and-go with Jack Silich, giving Furey an open lane to the net that he used to slip a backhander past the right leg of Gibson Homer (15 saves) to trim the USA lead to 3-2 at 5:22. USA regained their two-goal lead at 13:21 when Ryan St. Louis sent a power play wrist shot off the far post and behind Colin Purcell (16 saves), but Youngstown had another answer. Jack Malone found Silich parked in front of the crease and delivered a beautiful pass that Silich redirected home at 16:31 to bring the Phantoms back within a goal at 4-3.
The Phantoms sent Purcell to the bench late to try to tie the game, but Red Savage was credited with an empty net goal with 37 seconds remaining in regulation when he was hauled down by Bennett Zmolek while bearing down on the yawning cage. Justin Janicke scored a fluky goal off the ensuing faceoff to make up the final margin of 6-3.
Yusaku Ando and Jaden Grant both had their scoring streaks snapped. Malone's pair of assists broke a string of four games without a point. Malone has 91 points in his USHL career and moved past Josh Melnick and Keifer Sherwood into eighth-place on the Phantoms all-time scoring list. Riley Duran has points in three-straight games, the longest active streak on the team. Youngstown and Team USA continue their three-game weekend series tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre. The Phantoms will celebrate "Hockey Fights Cancer" night during the game. Puck drops at 7:05pm.
By the Numbers
Shots - 18
Saves - 16
Power Play - 0/2
Penalty Kill - 2/4
Goals - Burtch, Furey, Silich
Assists - Duran, Malone (2), Schoen, Silich
Box Score - https://www.ushl.com/view/#/game-summary/9417
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