YOUNGSTOWN, OH – Four goals four different ways help lift the Youngstown Phantoms (9-6-3-0, 21 points) to a 4-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede Saturday night at the Covelli Centre. Youngstown scored goals at even strength, shorthanded, on the power play, and into an empty net.
“I liked a lot of (the game),” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “We were direct, crisp with the puck, and just advanced it quicker…I liked the drive. I liked the work in the hard areas. Ultimately the guys were rewarded tonight.
Youngstown opened the scoring at the 13:28 mark of the first period and never trailed in the game. With Garrett Dahm in the box for tripping, Matthew Cassidy picked off a pass in his own end and quickly started to rush up the ice. Cassidy carried the puck up the right side while John Beaton joined the play down the left side to turn it into a 2-on-1 break. Cassidy slipped the puck cross ice to Beaton, and Beaton snapped it past the short-side blocker of Grant Adams (25 saves) to put the Phantoms ahead 1-0. It was Beaton’s seventh goal of the season, the first shorthanded goal for Youngstown as a team, and extended his scoring streak to five games.
The Phantoms doubled their lead just 33 seconds into the second period. Cassidy stepped out from below the goal line in the right-wing corner and from below the bottom of the circle snapped a wrister off the far post and into the net, giving Youngstown a 2-0 lead. Sioux Falls scored at 5:01 of the second to cut into the Phantoms lead, coming off a nice move in tight by Jared Westcott to get around Colin Purcell (18 saves) and tuck one into the cage.
Youngstown jumped back in front by two with a power play goal 5:07 into the third period. Pretty passing by the Phantoms found Trevor Kuntar alone in the right circle for a one-timer, and he blasted the puck behind Adams for his team-leading 11th goal of the season, increasing the Youngstown lead to 3-1.
After a fluky goal for the Stampede at 11:16 was credited to Cam MacDonald, bringing Sioux Falls back to within one at 3-2, the pace of the game really slowed down as both sides were called for a litany of penalties the remainder of regulation. Youngstown was able to kill off all seven penalties they were assessed during the game, but Patterson was not happy afterwards. “I don’t like being in the box, and we addressed that after the game,” said Patterson. “They’re not going to appreciate the first few minutes of practice on Monday.” Cassidy scored an empty net goal at 18:34 for his second goal of the game, sixth of the season, to wrap up the scoring.
Youngstown takes to the road for a three-games-in-four-days span starting on Thanksgiving Eve in Plymouth when they’ll take on the U18’s. The road trip continues on Black Friday with a tilt in Green Bay, and the trip concludes against Madison on November 30 before the Phantoms return to the Covelli Centre on December 6 to take on the U18’s.
By the Numbers
Shots – 29
Saves – 18
Power Play – 1/5
Penalty Kill – 7/7
Goals – Beaton, Cassidy (2), Kuntar
Assists – Ando, Beaton, Borshyov, Cassidy, Dahm, Larkin, Merkulov