YOUNGSTOWN, OH – Three goals in the final 8:32 of regulation and 32 saves from Gavin Enright were the perfect combination for the Green Bay Gamblers as they shut out the Youngstown Phantoms (15-17-4-1, 35 points) 3-0 at the Covelli Centre Sunday night.
“Disappointing,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I think the frustrating part is you look at chances, chances for, chances against, and I think we generated a lot through the first 30-35 minutes, for whatever reason didn’t finish…Tonight I thought we had some good looks, hit a coupe posts, ultimately it doesn’t go in. It’s tough to stomach.”
Youngstown almost scored in the opening 90 seconds of the game, but a brilliant defensive play kept the game scoreless. With Enright out of position on the left side of the crease, John Beaton fired a backhander towards the net that looked destined for the twine, but Brady Ziemer slid behind Enright, blocking Beaton’s attempt right at the goal line, keeping the game scoreless.
After 48 minutes of scoreless hockey, Green Bay finally cracked the scoreboard. Dylan Moulton redirected a shot behind Dominic Basse (23 saves) at 8:32 of the third, giving the Gamblers a 1-0 lead. Chad Hillebrand was awarded a goal at 16:24, and Jarrett Lee was the beneficiary of a puck in the blue paint poked into the net by a Youngstown defender at 17:13 to account for all the scoring. It was the first time this season the Phantoms were shut out.
With the win, Green Bay distanced themselves from the fifth-place Muskegon Lumberjacks by two more points and now have a three-point advantage for a home-ice berth in the first round of the Clark Cup Playoffs. Youngstown remains in sixth place, three points ahead of seventh-place Cedar Rapids. The top six teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. Trevor Kuntar had his scoring streak snapped at 13 games, one shy of the team record set by Brett Murray last season.
Youngstown will take to the road for the next four games, playing in Cedar Rapids next weekend for a pair and Dubuque the following weekend for two before returning to the Covelli Centre Valentine’s Day weekend to take on the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
By the Numbers
Shots – 32
Saves – 23
Power Play – 0/3
Penalty Kill – 4/4
Goals – none
Assists – none