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By Matthew Lipcsak, 10/31/21, 1:15AM EDT





YOUNGSTOWN, OH – After a Friday night game that head coach Brad Patterson was “extremely disappointed” in, the Youngstown Phantoms (3-6-0-1, 7 points) bounced back for a 4-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Saturday night at the Covelli Centre. The victory for Youngstown snapped the Phantoms’ five-game winless streak and the Cedar Rapids’ three-game winning streak.

“This morning at pregame skate…we challenged them a little bit,” said Patterson. “And the ‘compete boots’ were on this morning, no doubt. That carried over into tonight.”

It helps when a lucky bounce goes your way too, and Youngstown benefitted from such a bounce before the game was barely three minutes old. A dump in by Shane LaChance jumped over the stick of Bruno Bruveris (26 saves) and to Justin Varner in the right corner. Varner threw the puck into Bruveris’ skates, bouncing off of them, off LaChance, and into the empty net at 3:01 for a 1-0 Phantoms lead and the first USHL goal for LaChance.

Youngstown doubled their lead at 14:33 on a powerplay goal from Jaden Grant. Grant got loose in front of the net as two defenders attacked Kyle Bettens and left Grant alone down low. Grant made a quick deke and fired the shot past Bruveris on the short side to give the Phantoms a 2-0 lead.

Cedar Rapids broke through with a lucky bounce of their own as David Chen’s centering pass hit a Youngstown defender and ricocheted behind Chauvette 3:14 into the second period to cut the Phantoms’ lead in half, but Youngstown answered back minutes later. Ryan Alexander snapped a wrister from the right circle past Bruveris to the short side after a seeing-eye cross-ice pass from Stiven Sardarian at 7:31 to give Youngstown back its two-goal cushion at 3-1.

The RoughRiders got an early powerplay goal just 17 seconds into the third period from Grant Ahcan to get back within a goal. Cole Burtch was injured on the play and taken by ambulance to a local hospital. No update was available on his condition after the game.

Later in the period, with Winter Wallace in the box for slashing, the Phantoms cashed in for a shorthanded goal. Bettens poked the puck away from a Cedar Rapids defenseman and went on a breakaway. Bettens made a couple of fakes, and when Bruveris lunged forward, Bettens lifted the puck to the top of the net for his second goal of the season, capping off the scoring at 4-2.

Youngstown wraps up their three-game homestand tomorrow against the Chicago Steel. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:05pm.



By the Numbers

Shots – 30

Saves – 23

Power Play – 1/5

Penalty Kill – 4/5

Goals – Alexander, Bettens, Grant, LaChance

Assists – Bettens, Catalano, Ingram, Sardarian, Varner, Werner