YOUNGSTOWN, OH – After coming back from multi-goal deficits for three of their last four wins, there was no such luck for the Youngstown Phantoms (15-16-4-1, 35 points) on this night as they fell to the Green Bay Gamblers 4-2 Saturday at the Covelli Centre.
“(Green Bay) earned some breaks tonight,” said Patterson. “There were a couple of unfortunate bounces, but that happens. I think Green Bay earned those bounces tonight, and I think there’s areas of our game where we need to earn them.”
Green Bay grabbed a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the first period. Kyler Grundy delivered a perfect cross-ice feed to Ryan O’Reilly, who fired a one-timer past Dominic Basse (17 saves) at 10:09, giving the visitors the advantage.
Youngstown went to work on the power play early in the second period and cashed in. Aiden Gallacher fired a full slapper from center point past Nicholas Grabko (15 saves), tying the game at 1-1 4:14 into the second period.
Green Bay took back the lead with goals from Dylan Moulton and Nicholas Zabaneh at 8:57 and 13:57 respectively and built up a two-goal lead at 3-1. Moulton put home a rebound and Zabaneh converted on a breakaway to stake the Gamblers to the multi-goal lead.
The Phantoms answered back with another power play goal, this one in the final two minutes of the period to draw within 3-2. Trevor Kuntar won a faceoff back to Gallacher, and his shot from the point redirected behind Grabko off Matthew Cassidy at the edge of the crease at 18:04. It was Cassidy’s 11th of the season and third power play goal of the weekend. All five Youngstown goals scored during regulation play this weekend have been on the power play, which has gone 5-for-13 in the two games combined. “I think our power play is clicking,” said Patterson. “Today and yesterday we haven’t scored an even strength goal, and you have to get to hard areas to score them and I felt like we didn’t often (at even strength), and that’s an area that we have to adjust.” Cam Thiesing tapped in an insurance goal at 8:24 of the third, converting a 3-on-1 break for the Gamblers to put the game on ice.
Youngstown and Green Bay wrap up their three-game series tomorrow evening at the Covelli Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:05pm Eastern, and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio.
By the Numbers
Shots – 17
Saves – 21
Power Play – 2/4
Penalty Kill – 4/4
Goals – Cassidy, Gallacher
Assists – Gallacher, Kern, Kuntar, Merkulov,