YOUNGSTOWN, OH – Youngstown Phantoms (10-5-2-1, 23 points) goalie Wouter Peeters stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn his first USHL shutout as the Phantoms downed the United States National Team Development Program’s U17 team 2-0 Friday night at the Covelli Centre. Youngstown has won five in a row and has points in nine of their last ten games.
“I thought it was a very tight game,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “Their goaltender was great, our goaltender was great, it was a good hockey game.”
After a scoreless first period, Youngstown opened the scoring at 11:10 of the second period with Chase Gresock’s sixth goal of the year. Gresock’s snap shot from the left hashmarks beat NTDP goalie Spenser Knight (30 saves) to put the Phantoms in front, but the play happened because of Alex Barber. Barber, who got the lone assist on the goal, was back checking as USA tried to exit the zone, stole an attempted clearing pass, and found Gresock alone down low. “Alex has been doing that for the past couple weeks,” said Patterson. “He’s tenacious on the puck. He’s smart enough to pick teams apart.” Patterson also had praise for Gresock. “This year from square one he came into the Fall Classic as a man on a mission. When he plays like that he’s one of the hardest guys to play against.”
Youngstown doubled their lead at 11:00 of the third period. Max Ellis came flying down the right side and forced a shot past Knight, who was late getting to the left post. It was Ellis’ sixth goal of the season and extended his scoring streak to eight games. Team USA pulled Knight for the extra attacked with 1:08 remaining in regulation, but was unable to force anything past Peeters and Youngstown preserved the shutout.
The Phantoms return to the ice next Friday night as they’ll travel out to Sioux Falls to take on the red-hot Stampede, who have points in their last eight games. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:05pm Eastern and broadcasts will be available on KELO 1320AM from Sioux Falls (www.kelo.com) and HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 32
Saves – 24
Power Play – 0/4
Penalty Kill – 2/2
Goals – Ellis, Gresock
Assists – Barber, Hall, Parrottino
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Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 49 players were chosen in the 2017 NHL Draft and more than 400 players on team rosters this season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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