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By Matthew Lipcsak, 04/21/17, 11:15PM EDT


Ivan Kulbakov stopped 23 of 24 to help force Game 4



YOUNGSTOWN, OH – After getting outscored 10-1 last weekend in Chicago, the Youngstown Phantoms exploded for four goals and avoided elimination by downing the Chicago Steel 4-1 at the Covelli Centre Friday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

“We’ve been saying for weeks how the fans have been treated to playoff-type games, well, this was a playoff game,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I’m proud of the guys, they showed up.”

Michael Karow scored the opening goal of the game at 7:41 of the first period, giving Youngstown their first lead of the series. Karow intercepted a clearing pass at the left point and flung a shot toward net. Karow’s shot was wide, but it ricocheted off the end boards, off the right skate of Chicago goaltender Ales Stezka (24 saves), and across the goal line for Karow’s first goal of these playoffs.

Eduards Tralmaks tied the game for the Steel 1:49 into the second period. Phantoms netminder Ivan Kulbakov (23 saves) appeared to have held on to a shot by Alec Regula, but the puck trickled behind Kulbakov and Tralmaks fired it into an empty cage for his second goal of the playoffs.

Marshall Moise put the Phantoms ahead for good at 6:10, stepping through three Steel defenders and swatting a bouncing puck past Stezka from the top of the left circle for his first of the playoffs.

Tommy Apap stretched the Phantoms lead to 3-1 at 9:23 with a shorthanded goal. Apap picked up the puck at center and carried into the Chicago end. From the right circle, Apap did a toe-drag and fired a wrist shot that beat Stezka to the blocker side. Brandon Estes capped off the scoring at 7:17 of the third, blasting a shot from center point through traffic and past Stezka for his first of the playoff, making up the final 4-1 margin.

Youngstown must attempt to fend off elimination once more tomorrow night in Game 4 of this best-of-five series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm and broadcasts will be available on YPHR and HockeyTV.    

By the Numbers

Shots – 27

Saves – 23

Power Play – 0/1

Penalty Kill – 3/3

Goals – Karow, Moise, Apap, Estes

Assists – Ellis, Gingell, Karow, Pooley


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Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 players were chosen in the 2016 NHL Draft and more than 402 players on team rosters this season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.


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Postgame Interview with Head Coach Brad Patterson