YOUNGSTOWN, OH – Despite many opportunities to build on an early lead, the Youngstown Phantoms (12-13-4-1, 29 points) allowed a tying goal midway through the third before falling in a shootout to the Madison Capitols by the final score of 3-2 Sunday at the Covelli Centre. Madison won the shootout 2-0.
“We expected it to be a tight game, and it was,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “We had multiple opportunities when it was 2-1, good, good looks, and for whatever reason it doesn’t go in the back of the net…it was a good game, but at the end of the day we lose in a shootout.”
Madison jumped out in front early, scoring just 2:49 into the game. Carson Bantle poked home the rebound of a Reid Pabich shot for his 12th goal of the season, staking the visitors to a 1-0 advantage.
Youngstown answered back just past the midway point of the period. Trevor Kuntar took a drop pass from Ben Schoen at the top of the right circle and ripped a shot off the bar and in at 10:22 to tie the game at 1-1. The Phantoms grabbed the lead using a new-look, five-forward power play. It was Kuntar again, snapping a one-timer from the right circle past Christian Stoever (28 saves) for a 2-1 Youngstown lead. Kuntar leads the USHL in goals with 20. He almost completed the hat trick late in the period on another power play, but his shot rang off the post.
After a scoreless second period, Madison cashed in on the rush at the 11:00 mark of the third period. Bantle feathered an area pass into the low slot and Stephen Davis got enough of his stick on it to redirect it over Colin Purcell’s shoulder and into the net. It was Davis’ first USHL goal, and it knotted the game at 2-2 forcing overtime.
The Phantoms almost took the game in the first 15 seconds of the bonus frame, but Jacob Felker’s shot from the left boards rang off the outside of the post. Youngstown outshot Madison 2-1 in overtime, but neither team scored, sending the game to a shootout. Madison won the skills competition 2-0, with Ryan Kirwan and Ricky Lyle converting. Kuntar was the Phantoms’ first shooter and was stopped by Stoever; Schoen missed the net on his attempt. Bantle was stopped by Purcell in the second round, but Kirwan and Lyle both beat the rookie netminder, who made 24 saves while earning his team a point in the standings.
Youngstown takes to the road for one game against the U17’s on Friday night before returning to the Covelli Centre the next night to due battle against them again on Saturday the 17th. It’s Pittsburgh Penguins night at the Covelli Centre, with the Penguins Ice Crew and Iceburgh coming to join the fun. If you can’t join us at the Covelli Centre, the game will be broadcast live on Western Reserve Radio and HockeyTV. Later in the week the game will be featured on Armstrong Cable.
By the Numbers
Shots – 30
Saves – 24
Power Play – 1/5
Penalty Kill – 1/1
Goals – Kuntar (2)
Assists – Cassidy, Merkulov, Larkin, Schoen