YOUNGSTOWN, OH – One goal was all the offense the Youngstown Phantoms (33-21-1-4, 71 points) were able to muster on Friday night, but the Sioux Falls Stampede got a pair of goals from Carl Berglund and 17 saves from Alec Calvaruso as part of a 4-1 win for the visitors at the Covelli Centre.
“I thought (Sioux Falls) hunted pucks,” said Phantoms head coach Brad Patterson. “I thought they touched first a lot. Those little things that we talk about all the time that we build our team on, I felt (Sioux Falls) won that battle tonight.”
Youngstown did get on the board first, scoring a powerplay goal 3:58 into the game. Ben Schoen found some space between the circles and snapped a wrist shot past Calvaruso for his fifth goal of the season, giving the Phantoms a 1-0 lead. “Ben has been great,” said Patterson. “I really like the fact that he’s firing pucks whereas at the start of the year I think he’s maybe looking to pass a little bit more, and he’s tremendous at that, but I just filtering pucks towards the net you’re going to get rewarded.” Schoen’s goal, however, was just one of three Youngstown shots for the entire first period, a frame that saw the Phantoms get outshot 13-3.
Sioux Falls tied the game before the end of the period on Jared Westcott’s tap-in at 17:13, and took the lead on Berglund’s first of the game at 5:46 of the second period. Berglund beat Youngstown netminder Chad Veltri (24 saves) with a wrist shot from the left circle just as time expired on a 4-on-4, giving Berglund credit for a shorthanded goal. Berglund scored again just 29 seconds into the third period. Berglund’s shot from between the circles was initially blocked by Nikolai Jenson, but the shot ramped up Jenson’s stick into the air and fell over Veltri’s shoulder into the net. Veltri had come five feet out of the crease to challenge Berglund’s shot and fell victim to the lucky bounce. Sioux Falls added a fourth goal when Blake Bride scored on the empty net with 29.3 seconds remaining in regulation.
The loss cost Youngstown the opportunity to separate themselves from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference, as Cedar Rapids also lost so both teams remain tied with 71 points apiece. The Phantoms also lost the opportunity to remain within a point of the Chicago Steel, who were victorious tonight. Sioux Falls benefitted from the victory and the Waterloo Black Hawks’ loss to Chicago and moved into second place in the Western Conference. Youngstown and Sioux Falls wrap up their series tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio.
By the Numbers
Shots – 17
Saves – 24
Power Play – 1/6
Penalty Kill – 6/6
Goals – Schoen
Assists – MacEachern, Murray