YOUNGSTOWN, OH – After turning a 2-1 second intermission deficit into a 3-2 third period lead, the Youngstown Phantoms (3-1-2-0, 8 points), surrendered back-to-back goals to Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, including the game winner with 1:05 remaining before the shootout, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Chicago Steel Sunday night at the Covelli Centre.
“I thought we were content to play on the perimeter for a big chunk of that game, and when you do that you’re going to watch,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I felt like that’s what we did, especially through 40 minutes, and that’s something we can improve on and need to get better tomorrow.”
Youngstown got on the board first, and it was thanks to a pair of their most productive producers so far this season. Yusaku Ando picked off a clearing pass and found Trevor Kuntar. Kuntar blasted a half-slapper past Victor Ostman (12 saves) at 7:53 to put the Phantoms ahead 1-0. “Ando is very cerebral,” said Patterson. “Defensively he’s always in the right spot. He’s often in the right place at the right time.”
Chicago tied the game with a power play goal from Brendan Brisson, who ripped a wrister from the top of the right circle past Dominic Basse (33 saves) at 14:16 of the first, and took the lead when Elis Hede tapped home a shot from five feet out at 14:39 of the second period to take a 2-1 lead.
The Phantoms battled back, tying the game with a four-on-four goal by Aiden Gallacher. Gallacher carried the puck into the Chicago zone, danced around two Steel defenders, and snapped a wrister past Ostman at 3:33 of the third, knotting the game at 2-2. “I think you look at any player coming into this league, after their first year, you start to feel that confidence that not only can you play, but you can excel. I think Aiden has been a great example of that,” said Patterson. “He does everything properly away from the rink and he gets the dividends when he’s at the rink, just for how hard he works. He’s been good offensively, defensively, he plays in all situations. He’s a rock for us.”
Youngstown temporarily grabbed the lead at 8:55 when Nikolai Jenson drifted a shot through traffic past Ostman, but Chicago tied the game at 10:44 when Fontaine redirected Jack Babbage’s shot past Basse. The Phantoms got a power play late in regulation, but were unable to convert and the game went to overtime. Both teams had a few chances with odd-man rushes, but in the end, Fontaine pulled the puck out of the corner in his own end, carried it up ice, and snapped it thru Basse’s five hole from the right dot to give the Steel the victory.
Youngstown and Chicago will face off again tomorrow night, wrapping up the Phantoms’ five-game homestand. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:05pm Eastern and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio.
By the Numbers
Shots – 37
Saves – 33
Power Play – 0/4
Penalty Kill – 3/4
Goals – Gallacher, Jenson, Kuntar
Assists – Ando, Borshyov, Dobay, Kuntar (2)