YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The visitors put on a special teams clinic at the Covelli Centre Friday night, as the Youngstown Phantoms (8-8-0-2, 18 points) only managed to kill one of four power plays for the Chicago Steel and surrendered two shorthanded goals on the same power play enroute to a 8-4 decision at the hands of the Eastern Conference leaders.
“I thought we had plenty of chances,” said Phantoms’ Head Coach Brad Patterson. “They were obviously opportunistic and we weren’t to the same degree.”
The Steel scored three goals in the opening 12:07 to open up a margin that they would not relinquish. Joe Miller scored on the rush at 6:35, Jake Livanavage converted a power play one-timer at 11:06, and Jayden Perron scored a power play redirect at 12:07 to stake the visitors to a 3-0 lead.
Youngstown stopped the Chicago scoring run with just under four minutes left in the period. William Whitelaw, the first overall pick in this past summer’s Phase I draft, scored on the first shot of his USHL career, finishing off a 2-on-1 rush with Ryan Alexander to get the Phantoms on the board at 16:29.
“I thought (William) was tremendous,” said Patterson. “He hounded pucks. He was physical. He was making good plays through neutral ice. He was a threat on the attack. He was solid defensively. To say that he did all of those things (for us) after just two or three practices is a credit to him. Obviously, it’s an indication on what we thought of him prior to the draft. Super excited to see him back here in the future.”
Chicago answered back with Sam Lipkin’s 5-on-3 power play goal at 5:22 of the second, but Youngstown didn’t give up. Jaden Grant scored a power play goal on a redirect at 7:42 and Morgan Winters ripped a wrister past Christian Manz (37 saves) at 16:54 to get the Phantoms back within a goal at 4-3. Youngstown could get no closer and the Steel removed any doubt from the game when Miller got his second of the game at 18:12 and Luke Levandowski scored 42 seconds later to give Chicago back their three-goal lead at 6-3 and chase Owen Bartoszkiewicz from the game. Bartoszkiewicz stopped only four of the 10 Chicago shots he faced.
Winter Wallace got one back for the Phantoms, picking up a rebound and backhanding it into a wide-open net, trimming the Chicago lead to 6-4, but Adam Fantilli and Lipkin scored shorthanded goals exactly a minute apart during the same Youngstown powerplay (15:36 and 16:36) respectively, putting the game definitively out of reach and capping off the scoring. Kyle Chauvette stopped 9-of-11 in relief of Bartoszkiewicz.
The Phantoms are back in action on December 3rd and 4th as they travel to Rochester, New York to take on the Green Bay Gamblers for the Wegman’s American Cup.
By the Numbers
Shots – 41
Saves – 13
Power Play – 2/6
Penalty Kill – 1/4
Goals – Grant, Wallace, Whitelaw, Winters
Assists – Alexander, Ingram (2), Sardarian, Taylor (3), Varner