BENSENVILLE, Ill. – The Youngstown Phantoms never trailed Friday night, but had to fend off several furious comeback attempts to down the Chicago Steel 3-2. The Steel were able to pull even with the Phantoms once in the first period and again in the second, but Zach Evancho put them away for good with a goal 4:07 into the third.
New arrival Nathan Walker scored in his first game with the Phantoms (15-16-0, 30 points) and Alexander Dahl also found the back of the net. Sean Romeo played solid between the pipes, allowing just a pair of goals on 34 shots to pick up his 13th win of the season and vault Youngstown past Chicago (13-15-3, 29 points) in the United States Hockey League Eastern Conference standings.
Walker put the Phantoms up 1-0 on his first USHL shift. Evancho fed him pass at center ice and the Australian winger went in 1-on-3, drove to the net got off a quick shot and muscled in his own rebound just 2:45 into the game.
The Steel knotted things up less than three minutes later. Chicago blue liner Tobias Ruelykke’s fired a shot from the point that banked off the end boards right out to Ray Pigozzi, who was set up on the backdoor, and he made quick work of it.
Youngstown came right back and grabbed the lead again just one minute later. Austin Cangelosi got behind the Chicago defense and put a shot on Alex Sakellaropoulos. The Chicago netminder made a sprawling save but Dahl was right there to pick up the rebound and loft it into the open net to make it 2-1 at the 6:01 mark.
Daniel McNamara brought the Steel back even 7:36 into the second. Christian Heil got the puck behind the Phantoms net off a giveaway and fed it out for McNamara, who was set up on the edge of the crease and he put it low on Romeo.
Evancho put the Phantoms in front for got in the third. The Steel came inches from going in front when McNamara put a backhand shot off the far post, but the puck ricocheted out and Luke Stork gathered it up and flew up the ice. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native wristed a shot on Sakellaropoulos, who made the initial save, but Evancho crashed the net and stashed the rebound.
The Steel pressed the Phantoms in the final minutes but Romeo was able to weather their flurry to pick up his 13th win of the season.
Phantoms by the Numbers
Shots – 31
Saves – 32
Power Play – 0-for-3
Penalty Kill – 3-for-3
Goals – Dahl, Evancho, Walker
Assists – Cangelosi, Evancho, Dan Renouf, Stork
Next on the Slate
The Phantoms are back in action Saturday night when they take on the Lincoln Stars in Nebraska. Puck drop at the Ice Box is set for 8:05 p.m. EST and the game will be webcast on FASTHockey.com.
Phantoms Flex Packages are on sale now starting at the low price of just $75. Flex Packages include 10 undated ticket vouchers that can be redeemed at any game and in any increment throughout the rest of the season. Call 330.747.PUCK (7825) for more information or to reserve a Phantoms Flex Package today. For all the latest news, visit www.YoungstownPhantoms.com, follow the Phantoms on Twitter (@YtownPhantoms) and ‘like’ them on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/YoungstownPhantoms).
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