YOUNGSTOWN, OH -- A nearly perfect game from Kyle Chauvette (24 saves) helped lead the Youngstown Phantoms (4-6-0-1, 9 pts) to a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Steel Sunday evening at the Covelli Centre. Sunday’s win snapped the Phantoms six-game winless streak against the Steel.
“I thought we had a really good effort,” said Phantoms assistant coach Brandon Gotkin. “A lot of energy, a lot of consistency in our detail top to bottom, and obviously Chauvy (Chauvette) was lights out.”
Kyle Bettens opened up scoring just 48 seconds into the first period to give Youngstown the early lead. From the neutral zone, Adam Ingram pushed the puck forward towards Chicago’s net. The puck then bounced off of the corner board while Gibson Homer (23 saves) was out of position, Bettens then picked up the puck from right in front of the net and tapped it in for his third goal of the season.
Youngstown doubled their lead at 19:22 off of a goal from Grant Porter. During a puck battle in the left circle, the puck hit the skates of Tyler Catalano and bounce to Porter, who ripped the shot past Homer, earning his first USHL goal.
Late in the second period, what appeared to be a goal from Stiven Sardarian was waived off by officials because Homer lost his helmet during the play. Off the ensuing faceoff, Youngstown received some good hockey karma when Jaden Grant redirected the puck in at 17:04 for his fifth goal of the season. Less than 30 seconds later a huge save from Kyle Chauvette kept the Steel off of the scoresheet. Zam Plante picked up a cross-ice pass and blasted a one timer to an open gap at the front of the net but Chauvette pounced on the puck just in time. Youngstown went into the second intermission with a 3-0 lead.
Less than two minutes into the third period Ryan Alexander extended Youngstown’s lead to 4-0. Stiven Sardarian gained possession of the puck in the Phantoms zone and passed it to Evan Werner who turned on the jets and went down the left side into Chicago’s zone. His pass went to a wide-open Alexander, who gathered the pass and took his time to snipe the puck into the net stick side on Homer.
Chicago had another huge scoring opportunity with 5:35 left in the third period. Jackson Blake blasted a backhander off a pass from Adam Fantilli but a diving Chauvette covered it just in time to keep it a 4-0 game.
With less than three minutes left in regulation, the Steel cashed in on a power play goal and ruined Kyle Chauvette’s shutout bid. After Chris Hedden was called for interference, Adam Fantilli tipped the puck past Chauvette at 17:47 to give Chicago their first of the night. Youngstown’s penalty kill ended the night 1-for-2.
Chicago pulled Homer for the extra attacker with under 3 minutes left in the period. At 18:35, Justin Varner got his third of the season with an empty net goal to solidify the Phantoms win by a score of 5-1.
Youngstown takes to the road next weekend for a road trip up to Muskegon to take on the Lumberjacks.
By the Numbers
Shots – 28
Saves – 24
Power Play – 0/3
Penalty Kill – 1/2
Goals – Alexander, Bettens, Grant, Porter, Varner
Assists – Catalano, Ingram, LaChance, Pietila, Rose (2), Sardarian, Werner