YOUNGSTOWN, OH – Two goals 2:18 apart late in the third period broke the game open for the Des Moines Buccaneers as the Youngstown Phantoms (8-6-2-0, 18 points) fell in the inter-conference matchup up 5-2 Sunday night at the Covelli Centre.
“It’s frustrating,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “Too much time in the penalty box…five-on-five I thought we were pretty good. Ultimately I thought we had plenty of opportunities throughout the course of that game and just didn’t put them in the back of the net.”
Des Moines scored the only two goals of the first period on nearly identical plays. Logan Anderson opened the scoring at 15:20 with his second of the year, and Joey Strada doubled the visitors’ lead at 19:00. Both goals were scored on back door feeds at the weak-side post for tap-ins. Strada extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, accumulating nine goals in that time frame.
Youngstown broke onto the scoreboard just past the halfway mark of the second period with a power play goal. Yusaku Ando was the beneficiary of some nice passing by John Beaton and Georgi Merkulov as Ando was able to sneak a low shot past the right leg of Cameron Rowe (34 saves) for his sixth goal of the season, cutting the Des Moines lead in half. With time winding down in the final minute of the period, Matthew Cassidy scored on a breakaway, slipping a shot through Rowe’s five-hole with 11.6 seconds remaining in the period to tie the game at 2-2.
Des Moines retook the lead at 14:17 of the third period. A clearing attempt by Des Moines bounced in on Phantoms netminder Colin Purcell (20 saves). Purcell misplayed the puck off his blocker, and it settled down for Patrick Schmiedlin just six feet from the net. Schmiedlin was able to smack it home to give the Bucs a 3-2 advantage. A turnover behind the net led to a goal for Manuel Alberg at 16:35, and Mason Nevers tacked on an empty net goal at 18:57 to cap off the scoring.
The Phantoms continue their four-game home stand with a pair of games against the defending Clark Cup-champion Sioux Falls Stampede November 22-23. Friday the 22nd is Family Fun Night featuring $5 tickets for kids 12-and-under which includes a free soft drink, popcorn, and cotton candy. Saturday the 23rd is Drink in the Rink featuring $1 hot dogs and $1 draft beers. Puck drop both nights is scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern and both games will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio.
By the Numbers
Shots – 36
Saves – 20
Power Play – 1/4
Penalty Kill – 6/6
Goals – Ando, Cassidy
Assists – Beaton, Merkulov